COVID-19 and the small business owner

Small businesses account for almost one-fifth of Australia’s GDP. One thing they all have in common is the lack of resources and knowledge required to deal with employee issues.

Given the current Covid-19 crisis, it is now more than ever that small businesses would need HR assistance in the absence of a dedicated resource. I have been getting queries on

  • What are our payroll options and obligations?
  • Can we ask employees to use their leave entitlement?
  • How does the JobKeeper payment work?

And the list goes on.

Employers need to be clear about what a stand down means. There are also legislative requirements around leave entitlements and accruals etc. that the business with which must comply.

The JobKeeper payment has been a good initiative by the government. A significantly impacted business will be able to claim a subsidy from the government, which will enable them to be able to continue to pay their employees. It allows employers to make employees feel valued and thus engaged. This subsidy will mean that once this is all over, businesses can resume their operations quickly without the need to hire new staff. It will lead to better staff retention, and cost savings as the team will not need to spend hours in training.

I am helping small businesses during this time by reviewing their HR practices, so when they restart, they are ready to roll. The most important part here is that when they re-open, they have airtight employment contracts in place that cover both them, and the employee should something like this happen in the future. It is also ensuring that they are finally on par with being legislatively complaint. My advice to all business owners is to use this time to review your HR practices, so you come out ready when this is all over!

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