You can seek clarity
Being stood down is a temporary measure that means you remain employed but unpaid for the period of time that you do not perform your duties, but are not paid your usual wage. You will continue to accrue annual leave. You can learn more at fwc.gov.au
You can seek JobKeeper or JobSeeker support
You can seek JobKeeper or JobSeeker support: If you were a full time, part time or long-term casual (over 12 months) employee, contact your employer to check whether they intend to register for the JobKeeper payment for you. If they are intending to register, then they will be able to continue paying you a wage of at least $1,500 per fortnight. Otherwise, if your income has fallen below a certain level, you may be eligible for the JobSeeker payment or other Government income support. You can apply at my.gov.au. If you have already made a JobSeeker application and may now be eligible for the JobKeeper payment, do not withdraw your application, the relevant Government agencies will contact you if your JobSeeker claim needs to be stopped in favour of the new JobKeeper allowance from your employer.
You can continue to seek employment
Many businesses have increased demands at this time. If you have been stood down or had your hours reduced and you find other work you can take that job. As long as you are not employed as a full-time permanent employee this will not require you to resign from your original job. Your Government support will be adjusted based on the income you receive.
You can defer your home loan repayments
You can free-up cashflow by requesting to defer your home loan repayments for 6 months. During this time, interest and fees will add to your loan balance, and after the 6 months has ended, your loan term will be extended so your repayments don’t increase because of the deferrals. Any available redraw will be used first during the 6 months, unless you specifically move it to another account in order to provide extra cashflow. We’ll also make a one-time payment to you, offsetting any interest charged on the interest. The payment will vary depending upon your loan balance and interest rate.
You can seek certainty with our fixed home loan interest rates
2.29% p.a.3 interest rate (3.99% p.a. comparison rate) available to any owner occupier customer – including existing customers who switch – for a one, two, or three year fixed term paying principal and interest with Wealth Package, effective 30 March. Our Fixed rates may now be substantially lower than your current variable rate. Investors also have access to attractive rates that may be lower than the current variable rates. Bear in mind that fixing your rate means that you are signing up for that period and a fee and break costs may be payable if you need to repay your loan early.
You can receive credit card relief
If you have missed your credit card minimum repayment in March, CommBank will automatically refund the late fees and interest charges for the month of March – you will not need to do anything to access this refund. This support is focussed on customers who are finding it difficult to meet their current commitments before Government stimulus payments arrive in April and May.
You can seek rent and utility relief
You may be eligible for rental assistance from the Government. Talk to your landlord about what else may be possible for further rental relief. The States and Territories have agreed to a 6 month moratorium on the eviction of commercial and residential tenants if they can’t pay their tax due to the ongoing crisis. Please continue to speak with your landlord and try to work on measures to help you both during this time. You may also be eligible for an energy subsidy. Many utility providers have also launched relief measures. Speak to your specific provider about temporary relief.
You can consider accessing superannuation
As a last resort, if you require further cash during this period, you may be able to access up to $10,000 of your superannuation in both 2019-20 and 2020-21. Applications for early release of super will be accepted through myGov from 20 April. You can register your interest with the ATO now by logging in to your myGov account and following the ‘Intention to access coronavirus support’ instructions. You do not need to contact your super fund directly. You will not need to pay tax on these amounts and they will not impact on Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments. Consider getting advice before doing this – stock markets have fallen substantially recently, and you may be selling your investments well below previous valuations.
You can access additional benefits
Through Benefits finder in the CommBank app, we may be able to find government or other benefits you may be eligible for. We have also recently increased some of our term deposit rates, providing several options to earn a return well above the cash rate. In addition to increasing our 12-month term deposit rate for personal customers for a limited time, CommBank is taking steps to help free up household cashflow for our personal customers.
You can access free childcare
The Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package was announced on 2 April to provide assistance to childcare centres to pay their staff and remain open if they have active enrolments. This boost will enable parents and registered carers to obtain free childcare from approved centres, effective 6 April until 30 June 2020.
You can seek additional support for your overall wellbeing
This period of uncertainty may cause stress for many individuals, families, community groups and businesses. It is critically important that you look after your mental wellbeing, as well as your overall financial wellbeing. If you are suffering from heightened stress or any other mental health condition, consult your regular doctor about the appropriate course of care, as you may be eligible for Medicare rebates on psychological services, with additional telehealth services being put in place to ensure they are available for all people requiring them.
You can seek help as a vulnerable community member if you are at risk of domestic violence
If you or your family are impacted by family or domestic violence, support is available to you. 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) is a free national counselling and referral service. All of these calls are confidential and can help provide guidance during a difficult time, if you're unable to call you can also visit www.1800respect.org.au for more information. Alternatively if you’re a CommBank customer experiencing a domestic or family violence situation, you can speak to our specialist Community Wellbeing team about your financial needs. For more information visit commbank.com.au/dv-assistance.