ANCONSULT SERIES: Business Shutdown – What To Do? – Part 1

So many businesses – be it hospitality or other – are utterly confused at the moment. Too much legal language, too much sensationalised media coverage and nobody can give you clear answers.

Well, firstly take a deep breath and don’t panic.

Staff Management

Providing that you want to keep your business and want to be able to open as soon as the shutdown is over (emphasis on the word of want – don’t worry about if you can yet), think about who you would like to have back so you don’t have to start from scratch again.

The next step is to find out what all their entitlements are so you have a better understanding of what amount would be required to pay them out.

There are a few ways you can “end” employment, so think about it carefully:

  • Because of these special circumstances you could stand down your full or part time employeesThis means you are actually not ending employment and therefore don’t have to pay leave entitlements or termination payments. Please remember, they will stay employed with you and will accrue leave entitlements along the way, they just don’t get paid until everything is back to normal. With the new expanded access to income support payments stood down employees will be able to claim Jobseeker Assistance from Centrelink from 27 April
  • If you choose to terminate employment, please refer to the Fairwork website to make sure they are getting paid all their entitlements. Apart from their accrued leave it could be possible that you have to pay lieu of notice and redundancy.
  • If both parties agree (and you can afford it) you can send them on annual leave, long service leave or even personal leave before you end payment or end employment. That way you would provide your employees with regular income until all the coronavirus measures from the government kick in on the 27 April. Remember the government allowed you to use the funds that you saved up for paying the withheld tax.
  • If your employees only want to get their leave entitlements paid out, ask them to terminate their employment rather than terminate it from your side. That way you protect yourself from any claims later on when everything gets back to normal.