We are committed to providing the WA community services sector with crucial information and high level resources as necessary, until the pandemic subsides.
Content from these updates will be posted on the Community Services Resource page on the WACOSS website.
JOBKEEPER ELIGIBILITY UPDATE
The following information on JobKeeper is a guide. WACOSS cannot advise if you are eligible and should apply, you must determine how the rules apply to your organisation.
An amendment to JobKeeper rules was released on Friday 1 May relating to the option that ACNC-registered charities have to exclude government income from their eligibility calculations when considering JobKeeper allowance.
This caused some confusion among charities and NFPs around the new rules. Based on questions to the ATO in the Senate Committee yesterday, it is entirely the choice or the charity or NFP to exclude that income from those calculations. Download the Senate Committee Hansard from yesterday's sitting for the clarification - see pages 23-24 of the PDF.
Specifically, it will be recalled that ACNC-registered charities are generally eligible for the JobKeeper allowance, if their income falls by greater than 15% as compared to the same time last year.
However, in calculating their income difference between periods, ACNC registered charities may choose to exclude government revenue from their eligibility calculation.
Additionally, if an ACNC-registered charities make that election, they are also able to choose to exclude those employees from the JobKeeper program, who are otherwise eligible, but for whom it can reasonably be identified that their entire remuneration is sourced from that government income.
Note that where ACNC charities have chosen not to count income from government sources in their eligibility calculation, they do not have to exclude the above employees but can choose to - the exclusion is not automatic but the choice of the employer.
If your organisation meets all the eligibility criteria and is planning on participating in JobKeeper, you will need to take action today. Organisations will need to pay eligible employees at least $1,500 (before tax) for each JobKeeper fortnight to claim payments for April. While you have up to 31 May 2020 to register your organisation, today, Friday 8 May 2020 is the deadline for organisations to pay staff for three fortnightly cycles of wages, beginning from Monday, March 30.
WACOSS wishes to sincerely thank Professor David Gilchrist for his ongoing support. David has provided updated presentation slides. Download these slides here and watch the latest webinar here. For more information, David has prepared this QandA based on the questions raised in the webinar for charities and NFPs read more here.
Please discuss your eligibility with your accountant or BAS agent. The information provided on JobKeeper is a guide. WACOSS cannot advise if you are eligible and should apply, you must determine how the rules apply to your organisation.
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT UPDATES
The Federal Government announced that they are creating incentives for philanthropic funds to give more support to charities during COVID-19. Read more.
STATE GOVERNMENT UPDATES - SECTOR PARTNERSHIPS
The Department of Communities is working in partnership with the community FDV peaks and providers to develop targeted responses to the impact of COVID-19 on family and domestic violence. They have released an update on the actions of the Family and Domestic Violence Taskforce. Read more.
The Community Sector Partnership Team have shared a Federal Government resource providing COVID-19 information for people with a disability. Read more.
NEW RESOURCES AND INFORMATION
Make Smoking History has released guidelines on tobacco use and COVID-19 for community service organisations, as those who smoke are at a higher risk of coronavirus infection. Given the need for physical distancing and infection control measures, we want to ensure our community service partners have access to information so they can best support the health and wellbeing of clients who smoke. This includes providing clients with brief advice to reduce and quit smoking and creating a safe and supportive environment across the service to reduce the risk of infection during this period. For more information click here.
Anglicare WA has updated its announcement trackers following fresh developments over the weekend. Read the State Government and Federal Government announcements.
The Women's Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services have produced a fact sheet on COVID-19 and FDV which:
The fact sheet has been shared in their latest newsletter - read here.
- Outlines ways in which COVID-19 can be used as another tool of abuse
- Describes the importance of having a safety plan
- Lists things to consider for increasing safety during a family violence crisis
- Provides ways to reach out for help - including crisis support numbers.
The School of Population and Global Health at UWA have released an update for guidance on reducing the risk and spread of COVID-19 for those working in accommodation settings. Read here. Additionally, it's particularly important that homelessness services are supported to be proactive to reduce spread of infection among people experiencing homelessness - see Shelter WA's recent update.
The Regional Chambers of Commerce and Industry of WA are providing regular updates on the impact of COVID-19 on businesses in regional WA, and are gathering data every 2-3 weeks.