Information as at 12.30pm Monday 19th July, 2021
NOTE: We are interpreting the information made publicly available and through our direct discussions with Government.
On Wednesday 14 July, the NSW Premier announced a two-week extension to the Greater Sydney lockdown, until at least Friday 30 July. All businesses providing essential automotive maintenance and repairs can continue to operate throughout these extended restrictions.
Retail is click and collect only – shop fronts must be closed to public access. Retail workers are permitted to be onsite for the purposes of fulfilling online orders, they are therefore permitted workers. Back door pick-up to supply parts to repair services and automotive trades possible with high caution and adherence to restrictions, hygienic practices, face masks, and social distancing.
Motor Vehicle Repair and Service
Vehicle repairs and critical maintenance, including disinfection, can continue to operate with strict COVIDSafe practices. Skeleton staff is recommended and with view to undertake repair and critical servicing only, particularly to essential services and workers. No public onsite access.
Vehicle parts repairs and critical maintenance can continue to operate with strict COVIDSafe practices. Skeleton staff is recommended and with view to undertake repair and critical servicing only, particularly to essential services and workers. In our view, this is the most difficult sector to interpret – we are advising that modifiers ensure that work undertaken is done so with the intent that it supports the repair of vehicles, so they remain safe on the roads. Fitting of new accessories such as roof racks do not fit our interpretation of ‘critical service and repair’.
Continuing business with COVID safe plan. Supply chain to essential services and trade – fulfilling online orders or contactless pick up possible with high caution and adherence to restrictions, hygienic practices, and social distancing. Warehouses are to have minimal possible staff, masks, hygiene stations, distancing at all time, restricted common areas.
Spare parts manufacturing critical to continuity of service can continue business with a COVID safe plan. Supply chain to essential services and trade – fulfilling online orders with high caution and adherence to restrictions, hygienic practices, and social distancing. Factories are to have minimal possible staff, masks, hygiene stations, distancing at all time, restricted common areas.
Management and Related Consulting Services, other Professional, Scientific and Technical Services must be closed. Work from home.
Sole operators can continue to operate, if they do not have contact with the public, or with people other than those persons living in their primary household.
Depending on where they live, some workers will be required to get regular testing. While they are able to travel as a permitted worker to their place of work, they must comply with this this requirement. Regular testing is only encouraged for team members who:
- Live in the Liverpool or Canterbury-Bankstown Local Government Areas, but work outside of these suburbs; or
- Live in Greater Sydney, but work at a location that is more than 50km outside of the boundaries of Greater Sydney.
However, if an employee lives, or are staying, in the Fairfield local government area but their workplace is outside this area, they must have a COVID-19 test once every 72 hours (3 days) in order to be allowed to go to work as an authorised worker. They do not need to get the results of their COVID-19 test before going to or staying at work. Proof of the negative tests must be on hand at all times. You must not allow a person from Fairfield to work at your premises unless that person has had a COVID-19 test in the past 72 hours. You are allowed to ask a person who is at your premises to show you proof that they have had a COVID-19 test in the past 72 hours.
You must be prepared to demonstrate your safe practice policies, and how all precautions are being taken on-site (such as hygiene, contactless pick-up etc).
Permitted workers travelling to their workplace are recommended to carry a letter from their employers that supports their reason for travel. There is a template of the recommended letter on the AAAA website in the COVID-19 Response section behind the member portal.
On-site business can continue primarily to support essential services and trades, or repairs and critical maintenance to the public. This must be made clear to customers. There is to be no on-site building access by the public. Front doors are to be closed except for on-site worker access when absolute necessary.
All administrative, management and business development staff must be working from home where possible.
Front door to be closed with contact instructions for customers to alert the workshop when they arrive. Contactless payment and key exchange. Sanitising vehicles on arrival to workshop and prior to delivering back to customers. There must be significant precautions for on-site workers in place. Management must undertake a risk assessment of the workplace and take every precaution to minimise risk.
Workplaces that remain open must:
- Have a COVID Safe Plan in place that is regularly updated (unless you are a small business with fewer than 5 employees).
- Ensure that any workers that can work from home are able to do so.
- Collect records of all workers, subcontractors, customers and clients attending the work premises for 15 minutes or longer (certain exemptions will apply).
- One worker per four square metres of enclosed workspace or in shared areas.
- unless an exemption applies, ensure that workers do not work across multiple sites, or for multiple employers.
- Ensure that workers are in good health – workers cannot work if they are unwell and employers must not require workers with symptoms to work.
- If your worker is unwell, send them home and direct them to be tested. They must stay home until they have their result.
- Report any positive cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) to NSW Health, Worksafe, Health and Safety Representatives, and notify your workforce.
- Regularly clean your facilities, shared spaces and provide additional cleaning supplies.
Undertake risk assessments for cleaning and the potential closure of your workplace in certain situations.
Your COVID Safe Plan
Your COVID Safe Plan helps protect your workers, customers and visitors and to prepare for a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your workplace.
Your COVID Safe Plan must set out:
- Your actions to help prevent the introduction of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your workplace.
- The level of face-covering or personal protective equipment (PPE) required for your workforce.
- How you will prepare for, and respond to, a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your workplace.
This plan must demonstrate how you will meet all of the requirements set out by the NSW Government. Some higher-risk industries or workplaces have additional requirements of employers and employees.
NSW Business Financial Support
Between the NSW and the Commonwealth Government, the following set of financial support schemes are available for businesses impacted by the current lockdown.
The NSW business grants program announced two weeks ago will be expanded, with grants between $7,500 and $15,000 available to eligible businesses with annual wages up to $10 million. It will be available from 19 July 2021. Click HERE.
If you are a sole trader, the owner of a small business or a not-for-profit organisation in NSW, you may be eligible for a small business fees and charges rebate of $1500. This rebate helps businesses recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and encourages growth by reducing the cost of running a business. Eligible businesses or not-for-profits only need to apply for the rebate once, but can submit multiple claims until the full value of $1500 is reached. Click HERE.
If you’re a micro business (small business or sole trader with annual turnover of more than $30,000 and under $75,000) impacted by the current Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions, you may be able to apply for a grant of up to $1500 from late July 2021. Register your interest HERE.
From Week 4 of the NSW lockdown (starting 19 July), the Commonwealth will fund 50 per cent of the cost of a new small and medium business support package called JobSaver, which will be administered by ServiceNSW:
- Eligible businesses will receive 40% of their NSW payroll payments, which will be a minimum of $1,500 and a maximum of $10,000 per week.
- Eligible businesses will have a decreased turnover of 30 per cent than an equivalent two-week period in 2019.
- The support payment will be available to non-employing and employing entities in NSW (including non-for-profits) with an annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million.
- Such businesses will be required to maintain their full time, part time and long-term casual staffing level as of 13 July 2021.
- Eligible non-employing businesses, such as sole traders, will receive $1,000 per week.