Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

Businesses and employers


COVID-19 support packages

Victoria support package

On 15 July, the Government announced additional support for Victoria, including an increased and expanded COVID-19 Disaster Payment. For further information see the Treasurer’s announcement.
Last updated: 16 July 2021

NSW support package

On 14 July, the Government announced additional support for NSW, including an increased and expanded COVID-19 Disaster Payment and new small and medium business support payments. For further information see the Treasurer’s announcement.
Last updated: 15 July 2021

The Government is providing financial assistance to workers affected by lockdowns and restrictions in COVID-19 hotspots.

COVID-19 Disaster Payment is a payment to support workers whose hours of work and income are affected by a state or territory public health order that imposes restrictions on movement. Further information on the COVID-19 Disaster Payment is available on the Services Australia website.

The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is a payment of $1,500 to provide financial support to individuals who cannot work and earn income because they are directed by a state or territory health official to self-isolate or quarantine as a result of COVID-19. Further information on the PLDP is available on the Services Australia website.

Fact sheets

PDF file

Support for businesses

The Government has extended business tax incentives and loan guarantees to support investment and cash flow as Australia’s economy continues to recover from COVID-19.

The 2021-22 Budget extended temporary full expensing for an additional year until 30 June 2023. This will allow projects with longer lead times or that are experiencing COVID-19 related supply chain disruptions to be eligible for temporary full expensing.

The Government is continuing to provide support to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) through the SME Recovery Loan Scheme. The SME Recovery Loan Scheme increases lenders’ ability to provide cheaper credit, allowing SMEs to access additional funding or refinance existing loans at a lower interest rate.

HomeBuilder, which closed to new applications in April 2021, continues to support the residential construction sector, driving economic activity and supporting jobs in 2021 and into 2022.

The 2021-22 Budget also provided additional temporary and targeted support to businesses in sectors severely affected by COVID‑19, including the tourism, aviation, higher education, and creative and cultural sectors.

Financial distress

The Government has made changes to our insolvency framework to better serve Australian small businesses, their creditors and their employees.

As part of these changes, a new debt restructuring process has been introduced for eligible small businesses. This provides a faster and less complex mechanism for financially distressed but viable firms to restructure their existing debts, so that they can survive and go on trading.

Investing in your business

If you invest in an asset after 7.30pm AEDT on 6 October 2020

Your business may benefit from Temporary Full Expensing if the eligible asset is acquired and first used or installed from 7.30pm AEDT on 6 October 2020 until 30 June 2023.

Temporary Full Expensing generally applies to new assets, and also allows small and medium-sized businesses (with aggregated annual turnover below $50 million) to deduct the full cost of new and second‑hand assets. The cost of improvements made during this period to existing eligible depreciable assets can also be fully deducted.

Credit and loans

Under the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme, the Government is providing a guarantee of 50 per cent to participating lenders to support new loans to SMEs. This will allow businesses to access cheaper funding, by enhancing lenders’ ability to provide lower interest rates.

Phase 1 of the Scheme provided SMEs with access to unsecured working capital loans to help them get through the impact of the Coronavirus. Phase 1 commenced on 23 March 2020 and closed for new loans on 30 September 2020.

The Government has extended the Scheme to help businesses recover and provide continued support for those businesses facing the ongoing impacts of the Coronavirus. As part of this extension, the Government has made targeted amendments to the Scheme’s parameters to meet the evolving needs of businesses. Phase 2 of the Scheme will continue to support lenders’ ability to provide credit and ensure that SMEs benefit from lower interest rates.

Phase 2 of the Scheme commenced on 1 October 2020 and will be available for loans made until 30 June 2021.

Supporting regions and sectors

The Government has supports available for a number of hard hit sectors.