Download the guide or see the helpful information below. 

Has your business been forced to shut down or seen a significant decrease in revenue?

Here’s what you can do.

You can take measures to look after your employees

As you know, your employees are among your most valuable assets and being prepared to hit the ground running once the crisis passes is critical. This means taking steps to keep them safe and maintain essential services. It also means continuing to pay them if you can afford to. There are two alternatives by which employers can provide financial support to their employees.

  • New JobKeeper Measures: If your revenue has declined by 30% or more due to coronavirus you may be eligible to apply for the JobKeeper Payment which would see the Government pay $1,500 per fortnight for each of your full time, part time or long-term casual employees for up to 6 months. You would be obliged to forward the payment, keep them employed (although they can be stood down) and fund any of the difference to their usual wage if they have not been stood down. You can register at the ATO - JobKeeper payment
  • Stand Down Measures: Under certain conditions you may be able to stand employees down, allowing them to stay on the books and accrue annual leave, without you having to pay a wage. This will assist in allowing you to quickly restart your business when the coronavirus passes.  If you are eligible, you can still apply for the JobKeeper Payment, allowing you to continue to pay each eligible employee that has been stood down $1,500 per fortnight. Otherwise, once employees have exhausted their leave entitlements, they may be eligible to receive a JobSeeker Payment, which has been increased by $550 per fortnight, or other Government income support.  This will in many cases be preferable to redundancy, because it will help keep your employees connected to your business so that you can start up more quickly in the future.
  • You can access our dedicated JobKeeper helpline: To help make sense of the support available for your business, we have introduced a dedicated CommBank JobKeeper helpline. Our Australian-based helpline is available to you 24/7 on 13 26 07.

You can boost cash flow

From 28 April 2020, the Australian Taxation Office will begin automatically crediting your BAS (for businesses and NFPs with <$50m revenue), with a payment equal to 100% of tax withheld on your salary and wages, between $10,000 and $50,000 with a further payment available in the July-October period. For CommBank small and medium-sized business customers with less than $50 million annual turnover, you can apply for an unsecured loan of up to $250,0002 (lending criteria applies) with no establishment fees, no account fees and no repayments required for up to six months. For the first six months, interest will be deferred1 and capitalised at a reduced variable rate from 4.5% p.a. From six months, over the remaining term of the loan, amortising principal and interest repayments will be required to be made.

You can reduce rates and fees

For CommBank small business and community customers, we’re providing additional flexibility by reducing interest rates by 1.00% p.a. on small business loans where the interest rate is calculated based on the RBA cash rate plus a margin, which will come into effect on 3 April 2020.

You can also access a range of other options available to businesses most affected, including waiving some terminal rental and eCommerce fees from March-May for EFTPOS and eCommerce facilities for eligible merchant businesses impacted by Government restrictions, and waiving early redraw fees on business term deposit accounts. To find out if your business is eligible and for details of which fees are waived and which are still payable, visit coronavirus support for business customers.

You can seek rent and utility relief

Many utility providers have also launched relief measures. Speak to your specific provider about temporary relief. The Code of Conduct for commercial tenancies was released on 7 April 2020 and aims to provide a range of rent relief measures for eligible small businesses with an annual turnover of less than $50 million, have a 30% or greater loss in revenue the meet the eligibility criteria for the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper programme. You can find out more at business.gov.au.

You can be assured that your personal liability won’t be impacted

Legislation has temporarily been relaxed so Directors will not be personally liable for insolvent trading where debts are incurred in the ordinary course of business. You will still need to repay debts taken out, but can take steps to protect your business through this period. You can find out more at business.gov.au.

See what benefits you can claim

For businesses

You may be eligible for benefits, rebates and concessions that could help you save money and help your business with cash flow.

Check if you’re eligible

Personal

If you've lost income due to coronavirus and are claiming income support you may also be eligible for other benefits and rebates.

Check if you’re eligible

Have you been stood down by your employer or had your income significantly reduced?

Here’s what you can do. 

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 talk to us about your loan and credit card repayments

If you’re concerned about making repayments on your credit card, personal loan or home loan, we have options to help you manage. Call us on 13 30 95 to speak to our Financial Assistance Solutions team to find out more about the options that suit your individual situation. They’re open 8am-9pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 2pm on Saturday (Sydney/Melbourne time). 

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 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 rent 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 may benefit from discussing your situation and possible financial planning needs with one of our qualified financial planners. Your first meeting is obligation-free and may be over the phone or at your local branch (subject to social distancing measures). You can get in touch by visiting the Commonwealth Financial Planning webpage or calling us on 1800 138 713 from 8.30am to 5.30pm, Monday-Friday (Sydney/Melbourne time).

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 also have some special term deposit rates, providing several options to earn a return well above the cash rate. CommBank is also taking steps to help free up household cash flow 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.

Are you a retiree who has seen their income or superannuation fall?

Here’s what you can do.

You can seek additional payments from the government

You should update your income details online at Services Australia or call the Older Australians line on 132 300.

You can reduce your drawdown rate

 Your minimum drawdown rate on any account-based, allocated or market-linked pensions and annuities you own will be reduced by 50% and you should consider whether this is right for you given your circumstances. If you have sufficient cash resources this would mean that fewer assets would need to be sold in your superannuation account now, during a time of stock market volatility.

You can make changes to your asset allocations but please think carefully before doing so

While your income may have reduced significantly, you should think carefully and seek financial advice prior to making any decisions to alter your overall asset allocation given current market and economic conditions. You may benefit from discussing your situation and possible financial planning needs with one of our qualified financial planners. You can get in touch by visiting the Commonwealth Financial Planning webpage or calling us on 1800 138 713 from 8.30am to 5.30pm, Monday-Friday (Sydney/Melbourne time).

Make an appointment to speak with a financial planner

You may benefit from discussing your situation and possible financial planning needs with one of our qualified financial planners. Your first meeting is obligation-free and may be over the phone or at your local branch (subject to social distancing measures). You can get in touch by visiting the Commonwealth Financial Planning webpage or calling us on 1800 138 713 from 8.30am to 5.30pm, Monday-Friday (Sydney/Melbourne time).

You can take measures to remain safe and secure during this time

The risk of serious illness from coronavirus increases with age. It is important that you do everything you can to reduce your chances of catching the virus which includes maintaining safe social distance and limiting your exposure to any non-essential environments or groups of people. We understand that some of our customers prefer to come into the branch to do their banking. In light of the Government’s announcement around essential services, we are committed to keeping as many of our branches open as possible and also ensuring that our customers and staff are kept healthy and safe. Some of our branches may need to close from time to time and we will keep you updated via our branch locator tool. Social distancing will be observed in branch and added measures have been put in place to ensure the branch is kept clean and safe for all. If you have questions about using your Passbook during this time visit commbank.com.au/passbook.

You can increase your online safety and awareness of scams

We want you to remain safe and secure online as well. Unfortunately, there are some online scammers that will be seeking to take advantage of the current situation and access your personal information. Please do not share your personal bank details with anyone that contacts you directly. 

Learn more about how to protect yourself online

You can access support through the National COVID Older Persons Information Line

Council on the Ageing, National Seniors Australia, Older Persons Advocacy Network, and Dementia Australia have banded together, supported by the Commonwealth Government to launch a new support service. If you're an older Australian or a carer, you can call 1800 171 866 to get the critical information you need to stay healthy and safe during coronavirus. The hotline also provides an accessible one-stop source for personal support, questions and up-to-date guidelines. 

There is much that we can do together.

For further information and links to applications, please go to commbank.com.au/coronavirus

You can empower yourself and take charge of your financial wellbeing: Review your financial position. Understand and be realistic about what your income will be during this time. Adjust your expenditure if required so that you can sustain your financial position. Think about what parts of your expenditure are essential expenses that you need, versus discretionary expenses that you want. It can be important to set a budget that helps you manage this over the next 6-12 months if required.

 

Things you should know

As this information has been prepared without having regard for your individual and/or business objectives, financial situation or needs, you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances. This information is current as at 15 May 2020 and is prepared without taking into account your individual and/or business needs and objectives. CommBank has the right to change or cancel this offer at any time without notice. The statements and content of this fact sheet have been sourced from various government publications and summarised. CommBank disclaims, to the extent permitted by law, all warranties, representations or endorsements, express or implied, with regard to the material and does not accept any liability in relation to the quality, operability or accuracy of the material.

1 There are implications associated with repayment deferrals including that interest and any fees will be added to the outstanding balance in accordance with the contract and capitalised over the remaining term of the facility. This may mean that the total amount of interest payable will be more than it would have been under the original contract term if payments are deferred.

2 These products are for a maximum loan term of three years and are only available to approved business customers for working capital purposes only (not asset purchases or refinancing of existing debt). Applications for finance are subject to the Bank's eligibility and suitability criteria and normal credit approval processes. View our current Terms and Conditions for Business Finance and consider them before making any decision about these products. Rates are current as at 31 March 2020 and are subject to change. For current interest rates, visit Business banking rates and fees.

3 Comparison rate calculated on a $150,000 secured loan over a 25-year term. WARNING: Comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate

Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL and Australian credit licence 234945.