COVID-19 and Adult Learning Australia
Due to the escalation of public health measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), we have put arrangements in place to ensure our staff can work remotely and ensure our service to members and the adult learning community is maintained. We continue to support our members through professional development, membership renewals, advocacy and more. You can contact us by phone on 03 9689 8623 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are committed to keeping our members up to date on our response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We have included the following useful resources and links and will update this page as new information comes to hand.
Boosting cash flow for employers
The Federal Government is providing business support and cash payments between $20,000 and up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium-sized businesses, and not for-profits (NFPs) including charities, with annual turnover under $50 million. Changes to the amount businesses can claim for assets are also now in place.
Wage subsidies for employees
Job keeper allowances are available for businesses substantially impacted by the coronavirus. Employers can claim the fortnightly wage subsidy to help pay employee’s wages for at least six months.
Fact sheet for employers: https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/Fact_sheet_Info_for_Employers_0.pdf
Registering for Job keeper payments https://www.ato.gov.au/general/gen/JobKeeper-payment/
State government support for the Adult Community Education sector
The Victorian government has announced a $260.8m in emergency funding to support the state’s TAFE and training system which includes Learn Locals and Adult Migrant Education Services (AMES), comprising a $191.9 million guarantee to lock in funding at expected pre-COVID-19 levels and an additional $68.9 million in crisis support to ensure Victoria’s public training system can respond and recover from the coronavirus pandemic. https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/skilling-up-victorians-to-get-through-the-coronavirus-crisis/
Funding for retraining
The Tasmanian Government has introduced funding for retraining through the Rapid Response Training for retrenched and redundant workers.
Financial support and banks
The Commonwealth Bank and other banks are extending lines of credit to charities. They may also provide other concessions to defer payments or provide flexibility with other banking options. Contact your bank for advice on how they might assist.
Deadline extensions for registered training organisations
The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has:
- extended the deadline for registered training organisations (RTOs) to complete the declaration of compliance from 31 March to 30 April 2020
- extended transition periods for 51 qualifications due to expire between 17 March and 15 July until 31 December 2020.
Advice for not for profits
The Institute of Community Directors and Our Community have put together a series of fact sheets to help not for profits to stay afloat during COVID-19.
Advice for small businesses
The Council for Small Businesses of Australia has a handy list of useful links.
The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman provides help and support for small business health.
Financial assistance for community child care providers
The Community Child Care Special Circumstances Fund is for child care providers experiencing financial issues as a result of COVID-19 including service closure and reduced enrolments: https://www.education.gov.au/cccfspecialcircs
Changes to reporting requirements for charities
Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission (ACNC) provides information on extensions or changes in relation to AGMS, Annual Information Statement, Charity Operations: https://www.acnc.gov.au/node/5781959
Information to assist in making informed decisions about managing risk associated with COVID-19. For VET providers: https://docs.education.gov.au/documents/covid-19-information-vet-providers
WHO Guidelines on COVID 19 and the workplace: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/getting-workplace-ready-for-covid-19.pdf
Working from home
Information about practical arrangements for employers in establishing work from home arrangements.
Taking care of mental health
Managing fear and anxiety and the stress of self-isolation is crucial during this pandemic. Below are some links to useful resources to assist in looking after your own and others’ mental health.
Information for supporting people who are self-isolating, children and older people whose mental health may be suffering developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO)
Beyond Blue recommendations for looking after your mental helath.
Tips for managing during self-isolation: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/coronavirusmental-health-self-isolate-how-to-manage-quarantine-a9404431.html
Communicating with your community
A Communications Plan template may help you identify how to best continue communication with board, staff, students and other stakeholders: https://www.ourcommunity.com.au/marketing/marketing_article.jsp?articleId=1601
Volunteering Australia has published two position papers on safeguarding volunteers during the COVID-19 crisis: https://www.volunteeringaustralia.org/volunteering-and-covid-19/#/
Volunteering Victoria provides practical Information for volunteer managers: https://www.volunteeringvictoria.org.au/covid19volunteermanagers/
COVID-19 information in other languages
COVID-19 translated information including factsheets and promotional material for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, health professionals and organisations: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/translated-resources-coronavirus-disease-covid-19
SBS Online language portal provides information on COVID-19 in 63 languages.
Keeping up with the latest COVID-19 information
Australian Government’s Department of Health: https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov
Photo: Girl in Mask