The Victorian Government has today reintroduced the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme, forcing commercial landlords to provide rent relief to small and medium-sized businesses who’ve suffered financial losses due to COVID-19 lockdowns and the NSW Government has expanded their JobSaver payment in conjunction with the Federal Government.
Commercial Tenancy Relief for Victorian Business
Businesses with an annual turnover of less than $50 million that have suffered a decline in turnover of at least 30 per cent due to coronavirus are eligible.
Under the scheme, landlords will be required to provide proportional rent relief in line with the reduction in turnover.
For example, a business that has a turnover of 40 per cent of what it was before the pandemic can only be charged 40 per cent of its rent. Of the balance, at least half must be waived and the rest of it must be deferred.
Tenants and landlords will be encouraged to enter negotiations directly, with the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) available to provide mediation if parties cannot reach satisfactory agreement. Landlords will not be able to lock out or evict tenants without a determination from the VSBC. Legislation will shortly be introduced to enact the Scheme, which will be applied from today to ensure rent relief can start immediately.
An $80 million hardship fund has also been established for landlords who provide rent relief, with further details to be confirmed.
“We’re calling for good-faith negotiations between tenants and landlords, and the hardship fund will mean landlords who find reasonable common ground will be supported,” the minister for small business, Jaala Pulford, said.
Tenants and landlords can contact the Victorian Small Business Commission for further information on 13 87 22 or visit https://www.vsbc.vic.gov.au
NSW expands JobSaver as lockdown is extended
New South Wales treasurer Dominic Perrottet has announced an expansion of the JobSaver payment, which will see the turnover eligibility ceiling increase from $50 million to $250 million, along with an increase to maximum payments of $100,000 payments available under the scheme.
“That will ensure that around 460,000 businesses with a turnover reduction of 30 per cent will be eligible for those support payments,” Mr Perrottet said. “That is up from 230,000 businesses. That has a coverage of around 3.3 million workers right across the state.”
The expansion and extension will also see maximum weekly payments increased from $10,000 to $100,000 per week under the scheme.
Applications for JobSaver opened on Monday and will see businesses and not-for-profits receive 40 per cent of their weekly payroll, at a minimum of $1,500, as long as they maintain their full-time, part-time and long-term casual staffing level as of 13 July.
The 40 per cent weekly payroll calculation will be determined by referring to item W1 in the most recent BAS lodged with the ATO prior to 26 June 2021 for the 2020–21 financial year. Businesses will then need to deduct any amounts withheld on behalf of contractors under voluntary agreements. The amount will then need to be divided by the number of days in the BAS period and multiplied by 7 to calculate the weekly payroll amount, said Service NSW. Businesses that do not submit a BAS or have no W1 amount will be required to use the ATO’s definition of W1 to calculate their payroll for April or May before dividing it by the number of days in the month and multiplying it by 7.
Mr Perrottet said that the increased maximum payments will be back-dated to applications made as far back as last week.
The added support supplied by the state will be in part paid for by the Federal Government.
Further details on the JobSaver payment are available here: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/jobsaver-payment-guidelines
Should you have any questions or need any help to ensure you receive all available assistance, please reach out to our team at Rose Partners and we will do our best to assist.
The Team at Rose Partners