Temporary COVID disaster payment great for workers… not so much employers

Published June 04, 2021 (last updated June 6, 2022) -
Covid Payment

While financial support for employers and workers is welcome in a pandemic, what state and federal leaders fail to realise is just how expensive it is to run a business.

The recently announced temporary COVID disaster payment by the federal government is designed to take the sting out of the pockets of eligible workers, but does very little, if anything at all, to support employers.

The Victorian government’s support package for businesses affected by the latest lockdown is a step in the right direction, but as Employsure, Australia’s largest workplace relations advisor, has previously stated, what is being offered acts as little more than pocket money for employers.

“Decision makers in any government need to understand the cost of operating a business runs far deeper than simply paying staff a wage,” said Employsure Senior Business Risk Officer Michael Wilkinson.

“There is high the cost of rent, stock, electricity, internet, equipment, and more to consider, as well as the entitlements employees still accrue, like annual leave. If a business is forced to close because of a lockdown, it doesn’t automatically stop these costs from accumulating.”

Employsure is calling for continued collaboration between state leaders and their federal counterparts to ensure greater support is provided to small business owners where, and when, it is needed. This will help alleviate the stress and mental health toll that comes with running a business.

If employers do not have that extra support, it has a flow on effect to workers, as they eventually won’t have a place of employment to go back to.

State governments hold all the cards when it comes to public health directions, and it is their decision on whether or not to go into lockdown when there is a COVID-19 outbreak.

“At the end of the day small business owners are often forgotten about, and it’s clear from the little support being offered during Victoria’s extended fourth lockdown that more discussions need to be had between government, employers, and business leaders.

“More financial support for business is needed, and government at all levels should realise this. More support means less hardship for both employers and their staff. If nothing happens between now and any future possible lockdowns, we are going to see more unnecessary business closures as a result,” concluded Mr Wilkinson.


Further enquiries:

Matthew Bridges

[email protected]

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