UPDATED: April 27, 2020
The below advice has been produced by the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association and as such is relevant to Australian businesses only.
No equivalent for the NZ automotive industry appears to be published, apart from official guidance for NZ businesses and the NZ alert system guide. However, New Zealand has published a list of essential businesses on its official government COVID-19 response website.
- With the exception of public (as opposed to online) vehicle auctions, the entire Australian automotive industry remains open for business, from sales of any vehicle type to the most minor repairs.
- All businesses operating must meet social-distancing guidelines — keeping people 1.5 metres apart, and ensuring 4 square metres per person — and not have gatherings of more than 100 people indoors.
- Businesses are encouraged to adjust work practices around these guidelines in order to keep operating, such as arrange for staff to work from home.
Apprentice and trainee support plus cashflow assistance for automotive businesses in Australia
For NZ latest, visit the NZ Work & Income web page for employer support
UPDATED WITH STIMULUS ROUND TWO MEASURES: 27/03/2020
UPDATED WITH JOBKEEPER PAYMENT AND BUSINESS INVESTMENT STIMULUS: 03/04/2020
This information is sourced from the AAAA. NZ financial stimulus information is on the official government COVID-19 response website.
The Australian federal government has announced a significant stimulus package to assist business most likely to face significant financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including those in the automotive sector.
There are two cash flow assistance options available; it is essential for small and medium automotive businesses to review eligibility and access to available funding.
Small business with fewer than 20 full-time employees that employ and wish to retain an apprentice or trainee (as of March 1 2020)
You can apply for up to 50 per cent of their wage for nine months with a maximum of $21,000 per eligible apprentice or trainee or $7000 per quarter. Registrations open in early April, so be ready as you will be required to apply for the wage subsidy.
Small and medium business (under $50 million turnover)
By submitting your Business Activity Statement (BAS) on time, you may be eligible for between $10,000 and $50,000 cashflow assistance back into your business (up from $2000-$25,000).
This is a fortnightly payment of $1,500 before tax per employee, per fortnight, for up to six months. It is targeted at businesses affected by the shutdowns in response to the spread of COVID-19, including self-employed sole traders.
Businesses and sole traders turning over less than $1 billion annually are eligible if experiencing more than a 30 per cent reduction in trade lasting more than a month compared with the year prior. For those turning over more than $1b, the reduction in trade must be more than 50 per cent.
Increased instant asset write-off
The instant asset write-off threshold has been increased from $30,000 to $150,000 and now includes businesses with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (previously $50m). This applies from March 12 2020 until June 30 2020, for new or second‑hand assets first used or installed ready for use in this timeframe.
Backing Business Investment
For depreciation deductions that do not fall within the increased instant asset write-off, BBI is a 15-month investment incentive for items that exceed the $150,000 threshold or will not be first used or installed ready for use by June 30.
Advice for employers affected by COVID-19
The AAAA has produced a bulletin in partnerships with Industry Legal Group to help businesses navigate their obligations and options with regard to health and safety, isolation and quarantine, employee leave entitlements and the implications of work shortages and stoppages.
NZ members refer to official guidance for NZ businesses
Bank assistance for Australian small businesses
Depending on individual circumstances, assistance available from Australian banks varies and includes loan repayment breaks, debt consolidation and waived or reduced fees.
Most motor trades associations publish up-to-date COVID-19 advice for the automotive sector in their state or territory, which can be reached at the links below:
- New Zealand
- New South Wales
- Victoria & Tasmania
- South Australia
- Western Australia
- MTAA (National body for Australian MTAs)
MTA ACT and MTA NT do not appear to have yet published COVID-19 advice online.
Below is a list of all COVID-19 related information published by AAAA as of April 27, 2020:
- Health & Wellbeing Update for Members
- Auto Industry Welcomes COVID-19 Stimulus Payments
- COVID-19 Stimulus Package – JobKeeper Payment
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Australian Government Assistance Packages – Update for AAAA Members
- Coronavirus Health Notice Poster for your business
- Taking care of your mental health during the Coronavirus Health Crisis
- Coronavirus – Stage 1 restrictions on non-essential services – Status Update for Auto Aftermarket
- Coronavirus Health Crisis – Auto Repair and Parts Supply – An Essential Service
- Coronavirus Cash Flow Assistance: Some good news for automotive businesses
- Special Member Bulletin – Employers Guide for Managing COVID-19 in The Workplace