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COVID-19: member update #11

May 21, 2020

HIA Home Building Recovery Plan: COVID 19

As restrictions begin to ease in our daily lives, there remains a long journey ahead of us before we see the Australian economy return to a new version of business as usual.

HIA has been working tirelessly to support you in your business and engaging with Governments to promote the measures our industry needs to move through the economic challenges ahead.

When the crisis began in mid-March, HIA’s focus was on keeping the industry open for business and with your help, we have succeeded. But that doesn’t overlook the pain that so many members are now experiencing as the crisis continues to impact consumer sentiment and home building activity.

Since March, HIA has been actively engaged with all governments and working to identify members concerns, provide support and prosecute our call to action to stabilise home building activity.

HIA’s ‘Making Space on Site’ toolkit, which began with our Guide for new home building sites, has grown to include six industry guides, two consumer guides and an online site induction tool, all supported by a social media campaign to help members share the message.

HIA has worked to keep members up to date on government actions and business support measures through our member alerts, nationally and in your region. The phone calls and member enquiries to HIA have more than doubled and access to our online information (available 24/7 through HIA’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage) has reached new highs. There are now over 30 information sheets and 10 webinars available on the webpage.

HIA successfully advocated for the re-opening of display homes in every state and territory, and supported this change with the ‘Making Space on Site’ display homes guides.

During the early weeks of COVID-19, HIA acknowledged the pressure on governments to manage the health crisis as their first priority. As Australians were losing their jobs, facing financial uncertainty and managing different working arrangements, attention was rightly on how we would individually, and as a nation, navigate the crisis.

During this period, HIA worked with governments at all levels preparing for the time when their attention would turn to the economy and the recovery plan.

Wednesday's release of the HIA National Outlook triggered our formal call to action, highlighting to government the dire situation now facing our industry - up to 500,000 jobs are at risk.

HIA’s Home Building Recovery Plan, presented to the Federal Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer, and to State and Territory Premiers and Treasurers, some weeks ago, sets out the call to action.

It doesn’t end here.

HIA will continue to work with all levels of government to secure a meaningful, targeted and timely residential building industry recovery plan. A plan that supports housing activity now, for new homes and renovations, and a plan to keep our industry working over the coming months as Australia re-opens for business.

Returning to work COVID safe

With restrictions easing it will be vital that members take all the necessary steps to remain vigilant and to keep your workplaces COVID safe.

Identifying the steps necessary to protect your workers and support them to safely return to the office, the sales room or the show room is the next challenge.

HIA has developed a new Making space on site Guide for a COVID-19 safe workplace to assist you to manage your staff as they begin to return to the workplace.

HIA also recommends members:

Making space on site guides updated

Given the change to minimum gathering rules in all states, HIA has updated the Guide to new home building sites, the Guide to renovation and repair sites and the Guide to Kitchens and Bathrooms, along with the HIA Safescan COVID-19 Site Induction tool to remove the limit of 6 people per home site. The Guides also now include a recommendation to download the COVIDSafe app. All other requirements in the Guides remain the same.

Download your new copies today.

Don’t miss the JobKeeper enrolment deadline

If you intend to claim the JobKeeper wage subsidy for April and May you must enrol before Sunday 31 May and have already paid your employees at least $1,500 per fortnight (before tax) for April. If you miss these deadlines you may still be eligible for Jobkeeper payments in the future.

HIA has released a new information sheet to assist members understand how they may apply the projected turnover approach and meet the basic turnover test based on their current business practices.

HIA’s suite of information sheets and webinars on JobKeeper also provide more details of how to navigate the Scheme.

The process can be complex and members requiring assistance can contact HIA’s Workplace Services team on 1300 650 620 or enquiry@hia.com.au.