Australian Government support
The Federal Government has announced a number of measures to assist individuals and businesses manage the economic effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
- Australian Government measures to support individuals and households
- Australian Government measures to support businesses and employers
Stay up to date with the latest official coronavirus news, updates and advice from the Australian Government here.
Melbourne stage 4 restrictions and Victoria
The Victorian Government has announced an extension of stage 4 restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne until at least 28 September 2020.
VICTORIA’S ROADMAP TO REOPENING
The Victorian Government has announced a Roadmap of staged easing of restrictions across Victoria.
Information relevant to financial planners is in the ‘Offices and professional services’ category in both the metropolitan and regional Victoria sections of the Roadmap summary.
Financial planners will continue to be asked to work from home for the foreseeable future.
BUSINESS STAGE 4 RESTRICTIONS
The business and industry stage 4 restrictions information released by the Government is updated regularly.
The FPA encourages members to use our dedicated FPA Community thread for Melbourne stage 4 restrictions to keep in touch with each other, and to provide feedback on how you are and any issues you are facing that we may be able to help with.
The FPA will post any information and clarification we receive from Government in this thread.
The Victorian Government has announced support measures for businesses, including the Business Support Fund – Expansion Program offering one-off grants for eligible businesses under stage 4 and stage 3 restrictions.
The Australian Government has announced changes to its JobKeeper payment to help Victorian businesses.
PANDEMIC LEAVE AND TEST ISOLATION PAYMENT
The Australian Government has announced a Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment for Victoria. The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment replaces the Victorian Government’s $1500 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Worker Support payment.
Victorian workers can apply for a $300 Coronavirus Test Isolation Payment that provides financial support (from the Victorian Government) while they self-isolate to wait for the results of a coronavirus (COVID-19) test.
Additional allowable absences for Stage 4 restricted areas
The Federal Department of Education has announced an additional 30 days of allowable absences will be granted to families with children in eligible services experiencing Stage 4 restrictions. These 30 days are in addition to the existing 42 days.
This means there will be no cost to keep children enrolled in this period of restrictions in Victoria, and providers can waive those gap fees. This will help families keep children enrolled in services for when restrictions in Victoria are eased.
Additional allowable absences for Stage 3 restricted areas
An additional 30 days of allowable absences will be granted to families with children in eligible services in regional Victoria. These 30 days are in addition to the existing 42 days.
Helping you prepare your business
Considering the level of human interaction in the financial planning profession, whether that be within a licensee, related business or in a practice dealing directly with its clients, our profession is particularly exposed to the risks of COVID-19 and we encourage you to be on the front foot to address the circumstances.
It is timely now to have ready a business continuity plan, as well as an immediate response plan for your business and staff in the event of escalating circumstances.
Here are some tips for financial planning related businesses to prepare for the business implications of COVID-19:
- Accurate information is paramount. The government has COVID-19 information resources.
- Take immediate steps to reduce the risk of you, your staff and your clients being exposed to someone that may be infected, including being ultra-vigilant about personal hygiene and adhering to government health advice on social distancing and isolation as required.
- Assess how your business may be impacted operationally and financially and develop some mitigation strategies – Are you prepared to work from home and continue serving your clients? What challenges have you addressed in your business continuity planning? Consider revising budgets, business plans, IT infrastructure and travel plans may be necessary and having a plan in place for employees to work remotely.Some basics on business continuity planning are on the business.gov.au website here.
- Talk with all of your stakeholders and suppliers who are most likely wanting to collaborate and work together with you to get through this issue.
- Make the most of available government support programs and stimulus packages that will focus on keeping small businesses operating in this difficult time.
- Seek professional help where required, including from the FPA Wellbeing.
More information is available on the Australian Department of Health website.
Supporting your health and wellbeing
Given the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak, we understand many of you may be experiencing feelings of increased anxiety and distress. While it’s reasonable to be concerned, there are simple and effective steps you can take to help take care of yourself, and the people around you.
Through the FPA Wellbeing program, you can access free, confidential support and resources. We’ve partnered with Benestar to offer FPA members this program. Benestar has also developed resources to help you and your employees during this challenging time. Access the resources below.
- Steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19
- Understanding health anxiety
- Managing teams working remotely
- Preventing fatigue
- Building resilience
- Keeping fit whilst working from home
- Supporting children during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Supporting customers during the COVID-19 pandemic
For more information
Please access the latest information on COVID-19 from the Australian Government Department of Health.
Regulatory relief for financial planners and licensees
The provision of financial advice is subject to the requirements set by multiple regulators. Each of these regulators have announced relevant relief measures to assist business to adapt to the current social distancing requirements while still providing vital services to clients, and to reduce the regulatory burden during the COVID-19 crisis.
The FPA encourages members to use FPA Community to keep in touch with the FPA and to provide feedback on how you are and any issues you are facing, particularly from a regulatory perspective that we may be able to help with.
Record of advice template for early access to super advice
To support members giving client advice on early access to super under ASIC’s regulatory relief summarised below, the FPA has developed a Record of Advice (ROA) template. It can be customised with your own practice branding and tailored to your client’s financial position and goals. The template, sample ROA and how-to video are available now.
Midwinter has made the ROA template available in Advice OS to all users and Financial Mappers has made the ROA available as a digital ROA including interactive and voice-over elements. If you have any questions, please access FPA Community.
Meeting your CPD requirements
Make use of FPA My CPD, your online education platform to plan, access and track your CPD requirements. FPA My CPD aggregates hundreds of hours of CPD from a wide range of partners allowing easy and convenient access to online CPD options including webinars, courses, articles and quizzes.
FASEA has announced that any financial planner with a CPD year which has been affected by COVID-19 will have an additional three months to meet their CPD requirements.
CFP® Certification Program and Webinars
The CFP® Certification Program and our webinar program will be running as normal.
If you are currently residing in a country severely affected by COVID-19 and have had difficulty accessing any FPA online content, please contact us directly and we will discuss alternatives to enable you to continue with the program or view a webinar at another time.