Lockdown Playbook ACT

Lockdown Playbook Update 16/8

What are the key steps your business needs to have in place to come out the other side of lockdown? We break down the 3 key components to safeguard your business during this testing time.

Three steps:

1) Protect your family & team

2) Protect your cash flow

3) Protect your business – so bigger & better when we can go back to work.

Protecting your team

Your team is your most valuable asset, therefore it is so important that you comply with all Government Regulations including the following items.

  • COVID19 lockdown – https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/act-status-and-response/lockdown
  • OH&S – eg does you team have everything they need to work safely from home,
  • Awards – ensure you follow all award provisions especially in relation to leave provisions
  • Fair Work Australia – especially in relation to stand downs, make sure you are across Fair Work Australia’s instructions for appropriate use of stand-down processes. Fair Work has comprehensively outlined your responsibilities during COVID here
  • Stay in touch with your team – Every day – to reduce stress and boost morale.

Protect your cash flow

Cash is king!

  • Try to get projected outflows less than projected inflows.
  • Look at next month; next three months; and next six months.
  • Do good/bad/ugly analysis to find the pain points and work out how to resolve

Protect your revenue

  • Let clients know you are open for business
  • Let clients know about any changes eg office hours, services, delivery etc.
  • Watch your work pipeline very closely; and
  • Chase your debtors to make sure they are going to pay on time (or at least instalments).

Manage your expenses

  • Reduce overheads and capital expenditure
  • Organise supplier payment plans with ATO, Bank, landlord, utilities etc

Apply for government grants & support

  • COVID-19 Business Support Grant
  • COVID-19 Small Business Hardship Scheme

Apply for tax payment deferrals

  • Must still lodge on time
  • Apply for deferment of income tax and BAS payments
  • Vary PAYG Income Tax Instalments

Protect your business

Think strategically about what is critical for your business to survive. What do you need to keep doing, stop doing or do differently? We suggest focussing on the 5 Key Pillars of your business:

  • Finances – Cash flow and debt management
  • Clients – Make sure they know you are open for business
  • Team – Manage your capacity
  • Products & services – What do clients want?
  • System & process – How can you improve efficiency?

Before you stand down your team

Your team is your biggest asset – it’s important to look after them!

This lockdown has forced non-essential businesses to close for at least a week and perhaps longer.  So, what do you do with your employees?

Fair Work Australia https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au/ allows you to stand down employees (without pay) if there is a sudden workplace closure that is outside the employer’s control. For example, when:

  • the business has closed because of an enforceable government direction (which means the employee can’t be usefully employed, even from another location)
  • there’s a stoppage of work due to lack of supply for which the employer can’t be held responsible.

When client demand reduces you need to consider matching your capacity to demand.  However, before you stand down your employees you should talk to them and work out if there are other workplace options. These can include:

Even if employees can’t do their regular work from home, there may be other productive things they can do. For example:

  • Get their CPD/Training up to date;
  • Help you work “ON” the business (not “IN” it) eg:
    • Help you with marketing eg writing newsletters, blogs, fact sheets, review website content etc;
    • Help you improve the quality and/or diversity of your products and services eg R&D; update your pricing or payment methods; or how you deliver your services.
    • Help you improve your efficiency – write/update checklists, templates, job descriptions, procedures manuals

If they can work from home:

  • Remember OH&S obligations (eg take chair from office)
  • Watch cyber security issues inc how will your IT provider know who he can help?!  Set up Two Factor Authentication.
  • Give your team clear productivity goals to help keep them on track.
  • Keep in touch very regularly!

If you don’t have enough productive work for everyone then you can consider

  • Reduced shifts and/or unpaid leave eg 3-4 days a week
  • Voluntary leave (with pay); or
  • Stand downs (no pay) but at least they can come back when you reopen.

But you need to be strategic – You can look at who is core and who can multi-task? Or can you share the pain across the board so that all can survive?

And, if all else fails, then you can also look at voluntary redundancy or compulsory redundancy.

But make sure you check your awards, employments agreements and Fair Work Australia and follow the correct process to avoid unfair dismissal or other issues.

DFK Everalls is still open albeit working from home.  If  you would like to discuss anything in more detail please do not hesitate to call us on 02 6232 4588.

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