By now you will have been affected in one way or another by COVID-19. It is one of the most challenging situations the global community has faced in modern history. Protecting the health and wellbeing of our people and their families, our clients and members and the community remains our number one priority. Advice regarding the evolving COVID-19 situation is being regularly updated by the Federal and Victorian Governments and we are using this information to review and adapt to the changing environment and to ensure our decision making is sound and appropriate.

LBW currently have no known cases of COVID-19. The LBW office remains open and our people remain available to support our clients during these difficult times. From the information currently available, we are planning for operations to continue, although this may look different to what it looks like today.

Here's what you need to know:

  • LBW APROACH TO CORONA VIRUS – OUR PEOPLE + OUR CLIENTS
  • STIMUMLUS PACKAGE SUMMARY
  • LBW COMMITMENT TO HELP CLIENTS

LBW APROACH TO CORONA VIRUS – OUR PEOPLE + OUR CLIENTS

Self quarantine
Where one of our people returns from overseas, has had contact with someone who has or is suspected of having COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19 we are requesting they work from home for a self quarantine period of 14 days. Anyone who is feeling unwell will need to stay away from the office until recovered.

Meetings and events
We are minimising face to face meetings in our office and are instead encouraging our people to connect with each other and our clients in a different way. We are looking at conducting meetings over the phone, conference calls or using video conferencing facilitates. We have also taken the decision to defer any pre-arranged functions to a later date.

Working remotely
We are fortunate to have strong internal systems that support our ability to work remotely and in a flexible manner if required. We are currently trialing some working from home options with our people to ensure the business can continue to operate if we are forced to close down. As a valued LBW client we want you to know that we care about you and your business and we are here to help you during this challenging and unprecedented time. The Australian Government last week released an economic stimulus package to help combat some of the issues businesses will be facing right now. A summary of this package is outlined below:

STIMUMLUS PACKAGE SUMMARY
Business Investment

  • $700 million to expand the instant asset write off scheme – asset cost threshold increased from $30,000 to $150,000 for businesses with turnover increased from $50 million to $150 million. Effective for purchases from Thursday the 12th March to 1 July 2020.
  • Introduction of a time limited 15 month investment incentive by accelerating depreciation deductions by allowing deduction of 50% of the cost of the asset, with existing depreciation applying to the balance of the assets’ cost

Cash Flow Assistance for Business

  • Businesses with turnover up to $50 million eligible for tax free payments equal to 50% of PAYG withheld from salaries and wages (minimum of $2,000 and maximum of $25,000) over 6 months (1/1/2020 to 30/6/2020). Delivered as a credit to the business upon lodgement of the activity statements
  • $7,000 each quarter in wage subsidies for employers of less than 20 people to save jobs of apprentices (backdated to 1/1/20 and effective to 1/9/20)
  • Administrative relief for certain tax obligations for businesses affected by COVID-19 (case by case basis)

Individuals

  • One off payment of $750 to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession cardholders (most payments made by mid April 2020)
  • Deeming rates for pensioners cut by 50 basis points

Regions and Communities

  • Initial $1 billion allocation to support those regions and communities that have been disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19 – including those heavily reliant on tourism, agriculture and education

Health Stimulus ($2.4 billion)

  • New Medicare telehealth service ($100 million)
  • Financial support for increased demand in public hospitals and public health system ($500 million)
  • Other various initiatives including research, protective equipment support for frontline health staff, communication, aged care resourcing and training, dedicated respiratory clinics

LBW COMMITMENT TO HELP CLIENTS

We are committed to helping our clients as they work to solve and address some of these challenging business issues. Whatever it is, we are here to support and guide you and this could be in the form of: cash flow projections, disaster recovery plan advice, business resilience planning or support to apply for one of the handouts in the stimulus package. Please get in touch if you would like to arrange a time to discuss these issues with your LBW representative.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. It really is an unprecedented and evolving situation that we are facing both locally and globally – so things may change at any time. We will let you know if anything will impact you and the service you can expect to receive from us.

Finally, please make sure you check in with your loved ones, be sensible and take care of each other.