Service NSW – Alexandra Geddes
Service NSW is the front door to government support – connecting you with the grants, services and programs relevant to your small business.
DESCRIPTION: On a white background, red petals emerge and unfold to form a stylised red waratah. Logo: NSW Government. Slide title: Overview. Text: Alexandra Geddes, Service NSW for Business. NSW Small Business COVID 19 Session. NSW Treasury. A woman in a blue top sits in a room and speaks to camera.
ALEXANDRA GEDDES: Hello. My name is Alexandra Geddes, and I'm the Director of Strategy in Service NSW for Business, which is part of Service NSW. I'm really looking forward to chatting with you today to talk through the support that's available through Service NSW to support you and your small business through these difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
DESCRIPTION: A slide appears onscreen beside Alexandra’s video feed. Slide title: Business Support. Text: One front door for small business support. Local, state and federal government. 13 77 88. service.nsw.gov.au. Business Concierges can assist you with: understanding and connecting you to Commonwealth, State and Local government support; applying for NSW Small Business Support Grant; licence, registration and permit fee waivers; connecting you with free local business advisors; mediation and advisory services where necessary to help landlords and tenants reach agreement.
ALEXANDRA GEDDES: Service NSW should be your first port of call for information and guidance on government support for your small business during these difficult times. On the Service NSW portal, we have an information hub, and that provides information to you on guidance and support available across all the levels of government. We have information that is changing regularly, and to keep you up-to-date with the latest information that is available. There is information on the hub about training and education, the financial assistance that's available to you, information on online events that are being run, as well as information on employees and apprentices. So this is really great information that we hope that you will find useful as well. You can access this information at service.nsw.gov.au. We also supplement this online hub with the ability to speak to one of our Business Concierges. So that's talking to a real person, for you to ask any of those niggling questions that you might have and that you would like a real-time answer for. Our Business Concierge hotline, 13 77 88, is open from 7am to 7pm, Monday to Friday, and the service is there for you. The Business Concierge can help you with any questions you have about support and guidance on offer. We can help you in your application for the Small Business Support Grant, we can point you in the direction of advice from our colleagues at Business Connect and the Small Business Commissioner, and we can provide information to you about fee waivers and changes to commercial leasing. So I'd encourage you to speak to a Business Concierge if you have any questions that you'd like answers to.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: What assistance is available? Text: For Small Businesses and Not Profit Organisations affected by COVID-19. Two items are listed. The first: NSW Small Business Support Grant of up to $10,000. A grant of up to $10,000 to assist NSW small business owners and not for profit organisations highly impacted by COVID-19. To be eligible, businesses must have experienced at least a 75% decline in turnover compared to the same two-week period in 2019. The second: Fee Waivers. Licence, registration and permit fees will be automatically waived for 12-months on new applications and renewals lodged by eligible businesses and individuals.
ALEXANDRA GEDDES: One of the biggest questions that we are facing at the moment from small businesses is what financial assistance is there out there for me? The Small Business Support Grant is a key initiative that the NSW Government has launched. This is a grant of up to $10,000 for small business owners to keep their business operating during these difficult times. All the details about who is eligible, the information that you need and how you can apply is available on our website, but I'll step through some of the key pieces of information to help you apply. To be eligible, you must be a small business that has a registered ABN. You need to be based in New South Wales, and you need to employ between 1 and 19 staff. You will need an annual turnover of more than $75,000, and a payroll under the $900,000 threshold. In addition, you'll need to have experienced a decline in turnover of at least 75%. The applications for this grant are open until 1 June, and some tips in terms of the application process. The application process doesn't allow you to save as you progress through the application, so I'd encourage you to ensure you've got all the documentation handy at the start and before you commence the application process. Businesses will need to upload a BAS, and some businesses in certain industries will also need a letter from their accountant explaining the meeting of the eligibility criteria for that business. If you have any questions at all about the Small Business Grant, our Business Concierge are on the line to help you work through your application and answer any questions you might have about criteria, so please don't hesitate to give them a call. We want to see all eligible businesses be able to access this grant as quickly and easily as they can. Fee waivers are another important support mechanism that the government has put in place. So this allows for a variety of waivers of renewal fees, application fees, for licenses, registrations and permits. These apply to liquor licenses for cafés, restaurants, bars and hotels, and many other licensed venues. It relates to building contractor licenses, motor vehicle repairer licenses and some home building certificates. There is also a range of other waivers, so please check our website to see if any do relate to your business. Many of these waivers will be processed automatically, which means that there's nothing for you to do other than check that the fee waiver has gone through. But if you've got any questions, please don't hesitate to contact our Business Concierge and check our website to see what might apply to you.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: What assistance is available? Text: For Small Businesses and Not Profit Organisations affected by COVID-19. Two items are listed. The first: Tenancy Leasing. Effective 13 April 2020, the NSW Government has given effect to a mandatory Code of Conduct, which will operate for a temporary period during the pandemic. The NSW Government will deliver mediation and advisory services where necessary to help landlords and tenants reach agreement. The second: Business Connect. Access free business advice and webinars including: developing a customised recovery strategy; managing your cashflow; marketing your business to reach new customers. All advice is now free advice – the client contribution has been waived. The cap on hours is also waived.
ALEXANDRA GEDDES: Changes to commercial tenancies and leases are critical issues for small businesses, and our Business Concierge are very happy to work through these changes for you on what they might mean for your business. So you might be aware that there have been freezes on rent increases, bans on lease terminations and a new land tax relief package released. These should go some of the way to relieve financial pressures on small businesses, but there are obviously details in there that businesses need to work through for themselves, and we are happy to help. There's also a wonderful service that we do provide, which is to assist with mediations between landlords and tenants. So if you find yourself in a situation where you'd need additional support, please contact our Business Concierge on 13 77 88, and we will put you in touch with the right people to ensure that those negotiations and discussions can proceed well and can meet the needs of all the parties and be done in the most appropriate way. Here at Service NSW, we also work very collaboratively with other support services across government. Business Connect is a free business advisory service in operation, and the good news is that at the moment, small businesses are able to access their sessions for free. So Business Connect advisors can have telephone or teleconference sessions with small businesses. They can provide great advice about cash flow, marketing, employees and many of the issues that small businesses are facing at the moment, and I'd encourage you to call through our number so that we can put you in touch with a Business Connect advisor who will sit down with you and take the time to talk through and get to know the real issues that you're facing in your business and how to work through those. Similarly, we can put you in touch with the Small Business Commissioner's office, who provide advocacy services and other services as well that you might wish to take advantage of, so for any of those types of services, contact us, and we'll make sure we put you in touch with the right people.
I hope this information has been useful to you. There's a lot of information on our website, and there's information that you can also access through our Business Concierge through 13 77 88. Please don't hesitate to give us a call. We're here to give you all the information that you need, and we wish you all the best. Thank you.
DESCRIPTION: On a white background, red petals emerge and unfold to form a stylised red waratah. Logo: NSW Government.
Revenue NSW – John Ayres
Revenue NSW explains payroll tax relief measures, eligibility and how reductions are applied.
DESCRIPTION: On a white background, red petals emerge and unfold to form a stylised red waratah. Logo: NSW Government. Slide title: Payroll Tax. Text: COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Package. Logo: NSW Government. Revenue NSW. The slide features a photo of a man looking at his smartphone in an office. A video feed of a man in a white shirt appears next to the slide.
JOHN AYRES: Welcome, everyone. My name is John. Today's webinar will be going through the payroll tax relief measures that the government has introduced as part of the COVID-19 economic stimulus package.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: COVID-19 payroll tax assistance. Text: The NSW Government's payroll tax relief package contains two measures. 1. Six (6) months deferral of payments until October 2020 for all payroll tax customers. 2. 25% reduction of the 2019/20 payroll tax liability for customers with payrolls of no more than $10 million.
JOHN AYRES: So the two main measures that they've introduced is one, a six month deferral, so there's no need to make any payments for six months up until October 2020. The second is a 25% reduction on the 19/20 payroll tax liability, and this is only available to customers who have a payroll under $10 million.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: COVID-19 payroll tax assistance. Text: Six (6) months deferral of payments until October 2020. Bullet points: Available to all payroll tax customers. Current Financial Year – No payments required for March, April and May 2020 returns. Still required to lodge 2020 Annual Reconciliation. Due date has been extended to 30 October 2020 for this year only (last four words in red). Next financial year – payments for July, August, September 2020 returns not required until 30 October 2020.
JOHN AYRES: So the first measure which is the six months deferral, so this is a measure that is available to all payroll tax customers. And essentially, it's a six months deferral across the current financial year, and the next three months of the following financial year. So for the current financial year, no payments are required for the March, April and May 2020 returns. The June return is the annual reconciliation, so that is still required. However, the due date for the annual return has been moved from 28 July to 30 October. Now, that is only for this current financial year. It will revert back to 28 July in the following financial year. So also the next three months of the following financial year, so the 2021 financial year, those first three monthly returns for July, August and September will also be deferred until 30 October 2020.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: COVID-19 payroll tax assistance. Text: Six (6) months deferral of payments until October 2020. Bullet points: You are not required to register or apply for the deferral. You are not required to provide Revenue NSW your liability amounts for the deferred months. Or advise us of any nil returns. After lodging your Annual Reconciliation in October you have difficulty in paying the deferred amounts you can apply to pay by instalments on-line.
JOHN AYRES: For the six months deferral period, you do not need to register or apply. It's automatically applied to all payroll tax customers. You also do not need to advise us of your payroll tax liability for any of those months or whether you had a nil return. You can still make payments. You are still allowed to do that if you choose to. You can still also use our online services, our online monthly calculator, to input your wage figures to work out what your payroll tax liability is. If you do use the online calculator to transfer your monthly payments into the annual reconciliation, you can still continue to do this. After you've lodged your annual returns on 30 October, you would have lodged your annual return, so you'll know what your 19/20 liability is. You'll also know what your July, August and September monthly returns are for the following financial year, so all those deferred payments for those six months are required on 30 October 2020. If you are having difficulty in making those payments, you can apply for an instalment plan. We do have an online instalment plan application that you can use. We also have some tax debt teams that you can call if you need to talk about negotiating any instalment plans to pay off that deferred debt.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: COVID-19 payroll tax assistance. Text: 25% reduction of the 2019/20 payroll tax liability. Bullet points: Available to customers whose total grouped Australian wages for the 2019/20 financial year are $10 million or less. The reduction will be automatically applied to your tax liability when you lodge your 2020 Annual Reconciliation. If you are a member of a payroll tax group you will need to provide the total Australian wages of all group members in year 2020 Annual Reconciliation.
JOHN AYRES: So the next measure is the 25% reduction on the 19/20 payroll tax liability. So this is only available to payroll tax customers who have a payroll tax wage bill of under $10 million. So if your total Australian wages are 10 million or less, you will be eligible. If you are a member of a group, we're looking at the group's total Australian wages. The reduction will be automatically applied when you lodge your annual return, so the key is you must lodge your annual return to receive the 25% reduction. So that will need to be done by 30 October 2020. If you are a member of a payroll tax group, you need to be aware that you will need to enter in your other group members' payroll tax wages so that we ensure that you are meeting that 10 million cap.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: COVID-19 (coronavirus) payroll tax assistance. Text: 25% reduction of the 2019/20 payroll tax liability. Bullet points: Where there are changes in circumstances such as entering/leaving a group or employing for only part of the 2019/20 financial year, the $10 million will be calculated on a pro-rata basis. Any reductions that result in a refund will be processed once the 2020 Annual Reconciliation is lodged.
JOHN AYRES: Please also be aware that the 10 million cap, it will be prorated on if there's any changes to your circumstances. So if you're entering or leaving a group and you need to do a part period return, or if you only employed for part of the year, the 10 million will be prorated based on the number of days you've employed during the financial year, so for example, if you only employed for six months of the year, that 10 million cap will be prorated down to 5 million. So you must ensure that your total Australian wages – or if you're a member of a group, your total group Australian wages – are under that prorated reduced amount. We also, when you lodge your annual return, as a result of the 25% reduction, if you are entitled to a refund, then that refund will be processed as normal when you lodge your annual returns.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: COVID-19 payroll tax assistance. Text: Further Information and Contact details. Bullet points: Frequently Asked Questions – Available at COVID-19 and payroll tax. Further information about payroll tax – www.revenue.nsw.gov.au. Contacts: Payroll tax, 1300 139 815, email@example.com; Tax Debt, 1300 368 710, firstname.lastname@example.org, Online instalment plan.
JOHN AYRES: So that's pretty much it for the two measures. There is a lot of information on our website. There are lots of frequently asked questions, FAQs, that are available there as part of the COVID-19 stimulus package, so please go to our website and have a look at those. There is also further information regarding payroll tax there as well. We also have some contact numbers there for the payroll tax teams, so if you need to ask any more questions around the stimulus package, give that number a call. We also have an email address there, so send us through. Also, when you lodge your return, if you require any assistance with a payment plan, you can give that number a call but we also have the online instalment plan available for you as well, so you can use our online services. So that's it for the day. Thank you very much. Goodbye.
DESCRIPTION: On a white background, red petals emerge and unfold to form a stylised red waratah. Logo: NSW Government.
SafeWork NSW – Jim Kelly
SafeWork NSW provides information and guidance on creating a safe work environment, employer obligations, safe work practices and what to do if one of your employees contracts COVID-19.
DESCRIPTION: On a white background, red petals emerge and unfold to form a stylised red waratah. Logo: NSW Government. Slide title: SAFEWORK NSW, COVID-19 ADVICE FOR SMALL BUSINESS. Text: JIM KELLY – DIRECTOR HEALTH & SAFE DESIGN, APRIL 2020. In the bottom right corner is an icon that reads Let’s Talk Safety. The background of the slide is a photo of pallets in a warehouse. A man in a dark shirt speaks to camera.
JIM KELLY: Hi, I'm Jim Kelly, Director for Health and Safe Design from SafeWork NSW. I'm here to talk to you today about SafeWork NSW and our role, and how we can help you with managing the COVID-19 crisis.
DESCRIPTION: A slide appears onscreen beside Jim’s video feed. Slide title: Who is SafeWork NSW (SWNSW)? Text: The workplace health and safety regulator for NSW. We offer: advice on improving work health and safety; provide licenses and registration for potentially dangerous work; investigate work incidents and enforce work health and safety laws in NSW; injury prevention. Work Health and Safety Roadmap for NSW 2022. At the bottom of the slide is the NSW Government logo.
JIM KELLY: SafeWork NSW is the work health and safety regulator for New South Wales. We offer a range of services, including advice on work health and safety, and we provide licenses and registrations, particularly for dangerous work. We investigate workplace incidents and enforce work health and safety laws as a regulator. We also do a lot of work in terms of injury prevention and assisting businesses with preventing injuries in the workplace.
DESCRIPTION: The next slide features an illustration of the COVID-19 virus ultrastructure, depicted as a grey sphere with red spines emerging from its surface. Text: NSW businesses must (this word bold and underlined) take action to prepare and manage the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for workers and others at their workplace so far as is reasonably practicable consistent with statutory requirements.
JIM KELLY: So SafeWork NSW is obviously the work health and safety regulator, and has a key role to play in managing the COVID-19 pandemic crisis when it comes to workplace health and safety. All businesses have an obligation to provide a safe workplace, and during a pandemic, with (inaudible) as contagious as COVID-19 is, workplaces must take steps to control the risk to their workers and others in the workplace. Whilst we appreciate this is extremely challenging times, SafeWork NSW has modified our response to ensure it is reasonable and proportionate to the challenges that small business and other businesses face. We have outlined our statement of regulatory intent on our website. That essentially outlines how we will take a proportionate approach to our compliance and regulatory response functions to ensure that we consider the demands that are placed on businesses at present. Whilst businesses may be responding to public health orders, they have a significant impact on your ability to trade or operate your business at present. SafeWork NSW will be reducing our regulatory burden through online and telephone means, wherever practicable. However, we will respond to serious incidents and fatalities as they arise in the normal regulatory manner. We will take a supportive and educative approach when it comes to assisting businesses with their obligations to control the risk of COVID-19. We recognise this is a unique time, and businesses need assistance to create a safe and healthy work environment. This slideshow today will outline some of our expectations in relation to COVID-19 and how we can support and assist you.
DESCRIPTION: Slide text: A number of NSW Public Health orders are in force, placing restrictions on gatherings and movement in general, and specific restrictions to certain workplaces or activities (e.g. air and maritime transportation, aged care). Visit: nsw.gov.au. Under NSW WHS laws, employers must do everything that is reasonably practicable to eliminate the risk of a worker contracting COVID-19 at the workplace.
JIM KELLY: So a number of Public Health orders are in place, issued by the New South Wales Minister for Health, that place restrictions on gatherings and movement in general, and specific restrictions on certain activities, such as air and maritime transportation, or those who operate in aged care facilities, for example. I urge all of you to familiarise yourself with the Public Health orders, and the best place to go is the nsw.gov.au website. These are changing, and these orders may have a direct impact on your business. The orders do direct certain businesses to close, such as food and drink premises, pubs and entertainment facilities. However, special exemptions do apply, and businesses are encouraged to review the orders on the website as I mentioned. As of 21 April, travel for the purpose of work and gatherings essential for work were exempt from the two-person limit ruling in a public place. A number of other scenarios are identified as essential gatherings, and therefore exempt from the orders in relation to limitations to persons on a premises. These include gatherings at an office building, a farm or a factory or a construction site that is necessary for the normal operation of the business. Again, I would encourage you to refer to the Public Health orders for these specific guidelines. An example would be for road workers on a local government work site maintaining a road. They may need to gather in groups of more than two. That may not be practicable to always maintain social distancing. However, where essential, workers are required to do their task. This can be accommodated, both within the Public Health orders and work health and safety directions. SafeWork NSW is not responsible for the New South Wales Public Health orders. The New South Wales Police will enforce this on behalf of the government. SafeWork NSW, as the work health and safety regulator, is responsible for the work health and safety laws that apply to all businesses permitted to operate during this time. Employers must do everything that is reasonably practicable to eliminate the risk of a worker contracting COVID-19 at the workplace, and where not reasonably practical, they must minimise the risk to ensure COVID-19 is managed. In practical terms, this means that the business must do whatever is practicable to ensure physical distancing is maintained between workers, customers and members of the public. They must provide suitable amenities to control the risk of exposure to infected surfaces, including regular cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces, and where physical distancing is not practicable, consider alternative methods of control, such as physical barriers or protective equipment, where practicable. SafeWork NSW recognises it is not always reasonable to conduct the day-to-day operations of your business under the circumstances. In addition, supplies of key equipment may be difficult to obtain. These factors will be taken into consideration by our inspectors in determining what is reasonable and practicable on a case-by-case basis. Employers are expected to consult with their workers to identify the risk of exposure and to put in place controls to manage those risks, as far as is reasonable and practicable. Particular attention should be taken to workers who may be identified as vulnerable, so those workers who are elderly, over the age of 60 years of age, or the immunosuppressed. Specific control should be in place to ensure that those workers can work isolated from others and maintain physical distancing.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: Obligations of small businesses during COVID-19. Text: Businesses and workers must: Comply with national and state public health directions; Promote the simple but effective social distancing and hygiene measures. Stay at home if you are sick even with mild symptoms; Raise any concerns about the risk of contracting COVID-19 immediately with the employer and work with them to identify solutions; Monitor the extent of COVID-19 in your community and share advice from the state and federal authorities regularly; If you have any concerns, contact SafeWork NSW on 13 10 50 or via our SpeakUp app.
JIM KELLY: So all businesses and workers must comply with New South Wales Public Health directions, as mentioned earlier. When it comes to workplace, the controls are simple but effective. Workers should maintain effective physical distancing or social distancing of at least 1.5m between workers wherever possible, and they should ensure they maintain good personal hygiene measures and cleaning measures to avoid spreading the illness and disease in the workplace. Workers should raise any concerns they have in relation to contracting COVID-19 with their employers, and employers are expected to consult with their workers in identifying those risks and control measures. Workers must work with their employer to monitor the extent of the COVID-19 in the community to ensure that they are breast of the risk and take steps to respond to those as they arise. If workers or managers require assistance and support, they can reach out to SafeWork NSW as the work health and safety regulator via telephone number 13 10 50, via our online website, or via our SpeakUp app.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: Simple measures to follow during COVID-19. Text: Hygiene practices; Social distancing; Workforce screening.
JIM KELLY: Regardless of the workplace, SafeWork NSW advises three simple measures. Firstly, hygiene practices. COVID-19 spreads through coughs and sneezes, as well as contact with contaminated hands, surfaces or objects. It is vital all workplaces provide for and maintain increased hygiene and cleaning practices. This may include providing safe access to soap, fresh water and hand sanitiser; requiring and reminding everyone to wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially before and after eating, and after going to the toilet or touching your face; reminding workers to cough into their elbow, not their hands; if they use a tissue, they must put it in the bin immediately; reducing the number of people handling the same pieces of equipment and regularly clean all surfaces where multiple workers must be using them; increasing the frequency of cleaning in work amenities; and reducing the use of hard copy documents, e.g. plans by multiple workers. In relation to social distancing, sites should accommodate the government's health directions and guidance on social distancing, wherever practicable; that is, 1.5m between persons, and 1 person per 4 square metres. Persons, including construction workers, must not participate in a gathering in a public place of more than two persons, unless this is required for the work you are undertaking. To do this, the business should consider arrangements such as reducing the number of personnel on site at any one time. This may include rescheduling non-essential tasks, requiring workers not directly involved with building work to work from home; utilise off-site prefabrication where practicable; reduction in toolbox talks in smaller groups, in a larger space, or where practicable online via FaceTime, Zoom or Skype means; staggering the start and finish and break times for your staff to reduce the number of workers on site at any specific location at any given time; rearranging or scheduling works to reduce the number of trades or working staff who have to work together in a particular area of the site on any particular task; and reducing unnecessary contact with members of the public or suppliers and restricting site access to approved personnel only, reducing the number of public and customer contact. And thirdly, workforce screening. We encourage workers or businesses to consider screening workers who are particularly high-risk before they start work. This may include asking workers about their age. Older workers, or workers who are chronically with medical issues or immunosuppressed workers, such as those suffering from cancer, should be isolated from other workers. Questions along the lines of: "Have the workers been overseas in the last two weeks? Have they been in contact with people with a confirmed case of COVID-19?" should be asked as part of a screening regime. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, daily screening questions can be considered as workers enter the site, such as: Have they experienced cold or flu-like symptoms? Have they had a temperature? Or have they been in contact with others, as I mentioned earlier? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, the worker should not be permitted into the workplace and should be encouraged to either work from home or seek medical attention as required.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: Working from home. Text: Workers are still covered under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. Employees should: consult with workers and other relevant persons; keep up to date with information; seek advice specific to the circumstances; visit SafeWork NSW and download the working from home checklist.
JIM KELLY: If workers are permitted to work from home, they are still covered under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. This means employers have another guest to make sure the health and safety of their work is maintained when they work from home. Workers also have a duty to take reasonable care for their own health and safety, and to not adversely affect the health and safety of others. When making decisions about workers working from home, employers should consider firstly consulting with the worker, ensuring the relevant persons that are working from home is appropriate, and does each individual worker have appropriate workspace? Can they maintain and keep up-to-date with relevant COVID-19 risks and appropriate control measures? And are they seeking advice and support, should they be exposed to the risk? During consultation, employers should consider a range of factors, including the communication requirements to stay in touch with their workers, how they will manage the workflow of work, what equipment do they require to work from home, and any specific workers' compensation requirements the worker may need. Reasonable steps should be taken to ensure a worker's home area is safe and meets reasonable work health and safety requirements. Assessment of the work area should be carried out where possible to enable the worker to work from home safely. This can be done through either a self-assessment checklist or perhaps a video assessment of the person's workspace at home. Risks should be considered, including slips and trips and falls, workstation ergonomics, manual tasks if they are undertaking any, electrical safety risks need to be considered, and also the psychological or mental health risk of the worker working remotely if they are isolated and doing high-risk, high-demand work, and any other environmental factors that need to be considered. In some circumstances, working from home may not be appropriate, because of the person's individual setup or because of the risks identified through the consultation.
DESCRIPTION: Slide text: If a worker is suspected of having COVID-19: You must make sure they stay away from the workplace and encourage them to seek medical advice. If a worker is confirmed of having COVID-19: You must ensure they do not return to work while they are infectious and seek advice from health authorities immediately.
JIM KELLY: If a worker is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 virus, you as the employer must make sure they stay away from the workplace. You should encourage them to seek medical advice or contact their general practitioner as soon as possible. Employers or PCBUs, persons conducting a business or undertaking, have an obligation to notify SafeWork NSW of a case of COVID-19 that arises out of the conduct of the business or undertaking. So should a person be identified as a possible COVID-19 case from their work exposure, then there is obligations under the work health and safety legislation for you to notify SafeWork NSW. You can notify us by calling 13 10 50, and you should notify if you know a worker has been confirmed, as well as you should also contact the COVID-19 national hotline on 1800 020 080 for advice on how to respond to cleaning and disinfecting the workplace and to make contact with your public health unit, who will assist with contact tracing.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: If the suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 is at work. Bullet points: Isolate, Inform, Transport, Clean, Identify, Clean, Review, Recover.
JIM KELLY: Some simple steps to take when you suspect a person is confirmed with COVID-19 and they are attending the workplace. Firstly, you must isolate the person from others and provide a disposable surgical mask if available for the person to wear whilst they make themselves exit the workplace in seeking medical attention. You should, as an employer, bring the National COVID-19 hotline as I mentioned earlier, 1800 020 080, for advice from the health officials on contact tracing and cleaning and disinfecting the work environment. You should identify who at the workplace has been in close contact with the infected person in the previous 24 hours prior to them showing symptoms. This will assist the public health unit with contact tracing as required. Those in direct contact should be sent home and isolated until further notice. You should ensure the person has transport to their home or to a medical facility, ideally travelling by their own means in personal transport, or, if necessary, being escorted by someone from the workplace. You should clean the area where the person was working in all places that they have been in direct contact with. This may mean evacuating those areas until appropriate cleaning can be conducted. Cleaning should involve high-grade disinfectant as part of the cleaning process, and the cleaning staff should wear appropriate personal protective equipment. Cleaning the area where the close contact people were in common areas, such as amenities, toilet facilities or their immediate workspace is a priority. You should review your risk management and control measures in relation to COVID-19 to ensure whether their work activity needs to change to reduce further exposure to other workers. It is important as part of the recovery for work process and the workers' compensation process that you stay in touch with your workers, to assist them through their treatment, recovery and return to work eventually.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: Mental health and COVID-19. Text: The COVID-19 pandemic can cause heightened anxiety and stress for workers. Some action small businesses can take include: Manage risks; Lead change; connect workers to support; Stay connected when working remotely; Access free mental health training run by Black Dog. Visit www.mentalhealthatwork.nsw.gov.au.
JIM KELLY: The current COVID-19 pandemic can cause heightened anxiety and stress for workers and the general public. Small business owners have an important role to play in ensuring the support for workers, and the risk factors that lead to mental health is managed as far as is reasonable and practicable. A mentally healthy work environment is good for the worker and good for the business, both physically and mentally at this time. Some actions that workers and businesses can take include managing the risk of mental health in the workplace – SafeWork NSW and NSW Health provide extensive advice on mental health in the workplace, and we encourage you to look at our website; identifying and supporting workers in your business that may be more vulnerable to psychological injury – these could be front-line workers exposed to customer demands, or they could be workers working in isolation from home for long periods of time; recognise the signs that your workers may be experiencing difficulties from a mental health perspective – they may be struggling or their behaviour may change due to lack of communication or the inability to have support and assistance from the workplace on a day-to-day basis. Don't forget to ask, "Are you OK?", and offer help with support and assistance on a regular basis. Employers, managers and businesses need to lead the change, consulting with workers regularly on how their work will be conducted and supporting them through the social distancing change and the modified work conditions. Enable flexibility and consider how good work design can lead to better support and better workflow for workers, and assisting those workers who are juggling family demands of home-based schooling and work from home simultaneously, which can be a very challenging time for many. Ensure clarity around the entitlements that can be accessed during this time for caring responsibilities, for those themselves or their family members who may be experiencing ill health, or potentially contracting the virus and needing to work from home or support others who have contracted the virus. Remember, workers who may be on extended leave or workers' compensation still need to be kept informed of the change in work environments and assisted in terms of their return to work. It's really important to connect with workers to support functions that are out there, that may include those in your workplace or other not-for-profit organisations such as Beyond Blue or the Black Dog Institute or Heads Up programs. They have a wealth of resources and telephone support to assist. If workers are required to work remotely, whether it be from home or in the field, remote regional locations, please keep them in contact on a regular basis and make sure they are supported. SafeWork NSW is partnered with the Black Dog Institute to provide a wealth of resources for both workers, managers and businesses, including free online mental health training delivered by experts from the Black Dog Institute. I would encourage you to have a look at our website and reach out to the Mental Healthy Workplaces program to sign up for some of these free programs. If you have workers who have time or capacity whilst working from home, these are great opportunities for them to tap into these online resources to ensure their productivity before returning back to normal in the future.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: Next Steps. A numbered series of steps. 1. Review the resources available to you... nsw.gov.au, SafeWork NSW, NSW Health, SafeWork Australia. 2. Consult with your workers. 3. Review your controls. 4. Plan how you might respond to a positive case in your workplace. 5. Plan how your business will gradually scale up as the community recovers from the pandemic.
JIM KELLY: So to wrap up, SafeWork NSW, as the work health and safety regulator, has a wealth of information and resources available to small businesses to assist them to manage through the COVID-19 crisis. Your business may be experiencing extremely difficult times due to reduced customer demand, or due to increased customer demand and unique working environments. Either way, it's an important time for you to support your workers through this difficult time. It's also a very important time for you to proactively manage the work health and safety risk presented by COVID-19. You can use this time to tap into resources available for running business once it returns to normal, or for assisting business through this very difficult time. Resources include the nsw.gov.au website for everything to do with COVID-19 and the government support for you, SafeWork NSW for both COVID-19 resources and for others that may be suitable for work health and safety in general, a great opportunity to tap into training and development for your workers at this time, again, NSW Health has all sorts of information in relation to the Public Health orders and how they impact on your business, and SafeWork Australia has industry specific tailored information for businesses that work across borders and may also be useful for your needs. As I mentioned throughout this presentation, it is vital that you consult with your workers, both when they are working remotely or when they are in the office or in the work environment. You should consult with the workers about the issues associated with COVID-19, the potential risk of exposure, and the methods for controlling that risk. You should regularly review your controls as circumstances change. As the virus and the pandemic progresses, you may need to increase or reduce your controls proportionate to the Public Health orders and the type of business that you undertake. You must plan now for how you will respond to a positive case in your workplace should it arise. So put in place a system at work that yourself and your managers know how to respond should someone identify with the symptoms related to COVID-19. You should also commence planning for how your business will return to normal, gradually scaling up as the community recovers from this pandemic. This will be a prolonged process that will require a staged approach to returning to business as usual, and it's vitally important that your business can respond promptly, whilst managing the risk of COVID-19. I encourage you all to look up those resources to put in place proactive steps to manage COVID-19 risk in your business and I wish you all the best in providing a safe, healthy and productive workplace over the next six months. Thank you.
DESCRIPTION: On a white background, red petals emerge and unfold to form a stylised red waratah. Logo: NSW Government.
Training Services NSW – Craig Preston
Training Services NSW manages all apprenticeships and traineeships in NSW and provides fee-free short courses to support those impacted by COVID-19.
DESCRIPTION: On a white background, red petals emerge and unfold to form a stylised red waratah. Logo: NSW Government. Slide title: Apprenticeships and Traineeships. Text: Training Services NSW, Department of Education. A man in a checked shirt sits in a room and speaks to camera.
CRAIG PRESTON: Hi. My name's Craig Preston. I'm the relieving manager at the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Unit, which is part of Training Services NSW and the Department of Education. We are responsible for administering apprenticeships and traineeships in New South Wales. What this means is that we develop all the policy and processes around apprenticeships and traineeships, we approve apprenticeships and traineeships, we support apprenticeships and traineeships, which includes mediation, dispute resolution, having a bit of a chat to apprentices and trainees, employers as necessary, we process any variations to apprenticeship and traineeship arrangements, and at the end of the day, we complete apprenticeships and traineeships and issue certificates in proficiency.
DESCRIPTION: A slide appears onscreen beside Craig’s video feed. Slide title: Apprenticeships and Traineeships. A series of bullet points: Introduction; A changing environment; What we've done to help; Support for employers; Support for apprentices and trainees; For further information go to training.nsw.gov.au; Contact us on 13 28 11.
CRAIG PRESTON: Apprenticeships and traineeships have had a bit of a rough run lately. First, we had the drought in regional New South Wales. Then we had bushfires at the beginning of this year, and now we've got COVID-19. What that's meant is that probably since around June last year, the number of apprentices and trainees that have been approved in New South Wales that the employers have been taking on, those numbers have been reducing. The more significant reductions that we're seeing have occurred since January. January, February and March we've been seeing a reduction in newer apprenticeships and traineeships being taken on by employers of about 20 to 30%. We're expecting April probably to be a similar situation.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: A changing environment. Bullet points: First drought, then bushfires, and now COVID 19. Impact on apprentices, trainees and their employers. Our goals are to: encourage industries that have not been negatively impacted by COVID 19 to continue to take on apprentices and trainees; and for those employers of apprentices and trainees who are struggling as a result of COVID 19, to support them as best we can to help them keep their apprentices and trainees employed and in training.
CRAIG PRESTON: The goals of the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Unit in this current environment is to one, still encourage employers to take on apprentices and trainees. Some industries haven't been negatively impacted by COVID-19, so what we'd like to see is that they continue to take on apprentices and trainees. In fact, some industries are actually busier than they were before all this happened. So we're hoping to see some increased numbers there, and we'd encourage employers to keep complying and taking on apprentices and trainees. For those employers who are struggling because of COVID-19, who have either had to close businesses or who have had a significant downturn in business, what we're trying to do is support them with trying to maintain the apprentices and trainees that they've currently got. So they're our main two objectives at the moment, so we're trying to help.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: What we've done to help. Bullet points: We've relaxed requirements around signing up new apprentices and trainees. We've revisited all of our policies and procedures and made changes to increase flexibility. We've made it easier for employers and their apprentices/trainees to make necessary short-term changes.
CRAIG PRESTON: So keeping these goals in mind, what we've tried to do is with respect to new approvals, we've tried to relax requirements around signing up new apprentices and trainees. We've tried to reduce red tape, make it easier, make it quicker, so it's one less thing that businesses have to worry too much about. For those people, for those employers who are struggling to maintain their existing apprentices and trainees, what we've done is we've relaxed a lot of our policies and procedures, with a view to increasing flexibility for employers at this time. So a lot of those things that we've changed will allow you to make changes to how you employ and manage your apprentices and trainees, with a view to you and your apprentices and trainees working out how you can keep them employed, how you can keep them in their apprenticeships and traineeships. So we've relaxed things like you don't have to tell us if you are having to move your apprentice or trainee from full-time to part-time. You don't have to tell us if for some reason you've had to temporarily suspend the formal training side of things. You don't have to tell us if you are temporarily suspending your apprenticeship or traineeship. If there's more significant changes or more permanent changes, then, you know, of course we want you to tell us about those things, but if you are just making changes in consultation with your apprentice or trainee and it's all about helping you manage the current circumstances that you're dealing with better, then we've relaxed rules around those things.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: Support for employers. Bullet points: Fee free apprenticeships and traineeships; Workers' Compensation Insurance – Apprenticeship Incentive Scheme; Payroll Tax Rebate Scheme; Part qualifications – training needs.
CRAIG PRESTON: So in addition to the policy and process changes that we've made to help employers, there is also a number of other programs and services that the New South Wales government provides to assist employers, to encourage employers, to help employers with the employment of apprentices and trainees. These include fee free apprenticeships and traineeships. Fee free apprenticeships came in on 1 July, 2018, and under that program, employers no longer have to pay the $2,000 administration fee. The other one that we actually introduced on 1 January this year was fee free traineeships. So same again, if you employ a trainee from 1 January this year, the trainee and/or you don't have to pay the course costs for those. So for both apprenticeships and traineeships, everything is free, for both the learner and the employer. Workers' Compensation Insurance – Apprenticeship Incentive Scheme: that's a scheme that's available to assist employers employing apprentices, and it reduces what they're required to pay. Payroll Tax Rebate Scheme: another scheme that allows the employers to claim rebates for new apprentices that they've employed. And something else which isn't really apprenticeships and traineeships but it is something significant that Training Services does is we provide funded part qualifications and full qualifications. So, if at this time you do have some short-term emerging training needs that you need to implement for your staff in order to meet some of the challenges that COVID-19 is throwing up, we also do help in that particular area as well.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: Support for apprentices and trainees. Bullet points: Fee free apprenticeships and traineeships; Cancelled apprentices/trainees can continue funded training while looking for a new employer; Transport Concessions; Travel, Accommodation and Relocation Assistance; $100 Rebate on Car Registrations for Apprentices.
CRAIG PRESTON: Now, it's not just that we provide support for employers. We also provide support for apprentices and trainees in this space. The fee free apprenticeships and traineeships that I mentioned before. Obviously fee free apprenticeships, most of that the employers are required to pay. However, traineeships, often the trainees were required to pay, if the employer didn't meet those costs. So no-one pays now for traineeships commencing after 1 January this year. One of the changes that we've made in response to COVID-19 is we're allowing apprentices and trainees who have had their training arrangement cancelled to continue with their formal training whilst they're looking for another employer. This is important. It keeps them engaged in something useful whilst they're looking for another employer. It demonstrates their commitment to their trade or their vocation for prospective new employers, but it also means that when they do find another employer, they're ready to go, and there's been no gaps in their training. We also – the New South Wales government provides transport concessions for apprentices and trainees, particularly with respect to Opal cards and transport in the metropolitan area. Honestly, that mightn't be a big issue at the moment, but it's another area of support that we provide. For those in rural New South Wales, we also have travel, accommodation and relocation assistance that's available. That's where apprentices and trainees can claim for travelling to training, where they may need to do some, you know, bulk training, a week at a time, that sort of stuff. So that's available. And for apprentices, the NSW Government also provides a $100 rebate on car registrations for apprentices. So as you can see, we do provide a fair bit of support. We're trying to do better at this time when COVID-19 is on.
If you would like further information with respect to anything that I've covered today, I would encourage you to go to our website, training.nsw.gov.au, or call us on 13 28 11. Thank you.
NSW Small Business Commission – Michael Miller
The NSW Small Business Commission provides information on COVID-19 related leasing regulations, your rights and obligations, and options to negotiate your tenancy agreement.
DESCRIPTION: On a white background, red petals emerge and unfold to form a stylised red waratah. Logo: NSW Government. Slide title: NSW implementation of the National Cabinet Code for Commercial Leases. Text: Michael Miller, Director Mediation Services. 5 May 2020.
MICHAEL MILLER: Hi, everyone. Michael Miller, Director of Mediation Services with the Office of the NSW Small Business Commission. I'd like to talk to you a little bit today about the New South Wales implementation of the National Cabinet Code for Commercial Leases.
DESCRIPTION: A slide appears onscreen beside Michael's video feed. Slide title: Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2020. Bullet points: Temporary measures; Effective for 6 months from 24 April 2020; Maximise the number of businesses that can resume after public health orders are lifted.
MICHAEL MILLER: First thing to note would be that we have to go back to the regulation that was made. The code's been out for a little while, and each state has done an implementation of that code according to whatever laws that they might have already existing. So in New South Wales, we had the Retail Leases Act, which covered retail leases and not commercial, industrial, other sort of non-retail but still commercial leases. So the regulation that's been introduced adds to the existing regulation, the legislation, as it is surrounding retail leases and has been for a long time. But it also incorporates the non-retail commercial leases. So the name of the regulation, which you'd need to go back as your source of truth, is the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation for 2020. Essentially, these are temporary measures effective six months from 24 April 2020. And the whole idea is that we try to maximise the number of businesses that can resume after the public health orders have been lifted.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: Eligible tenants. Bullet points: Retail, office, industrial. At least 30% decline in turnover compared to prior year, month or quarter. Annual turnover less than $50M in 2018-19. Same tests for JobKeeper. Note – even if not eligible, negotiation is still possible.
MICHAEL MILLER: One important question is going to be who are the eligible tenants, and the regulation talks about impacted lessees. In summary, it does include retail, office and industrial. The tenant should have had at least a 30% decline in turnover compared to a prior year, month or quarter. The annual turnover should have been less than 50 million in 2018-19, and you would note that these are the same tests as for the JobKeeper program. I do want to make a point, though, that just because the regulation may not apply in a particular circumstance doesn't mean that negotiation of an outcome is impossible. If there are some impacts that perhaps don't meet the thresholds or there might be businesses that don't quite fit, that doesn't mean that negotiation of a deal going forward is not possible. It just depends on the circumstances and the underlying motivators for the parties to that lease. And my office, Mediation Services, we can still assist with general negotiation and also mediation.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: What do the regulations provide for? Bullet points: Eligible tenants can seek a rent reduction. Proportional to decline in turnover. At lest half is waived. The rest is deferred over the balance of the lease. No less than 24 months. Can't evict a tenant for arrears. Can't evict for not staying open. Can't call on security bond or bank guarantee.
MICHAEL MILLER: The regulations, in giving some force to the national code that was agreed, they are trying to provide for eligible tenants to be able to seek a rent reduction. That rent reduction is to be proportional to their decline in turnover, and at least half is waived. I see I've made a spelling error there, but that's intended to say "at least half is waived". The rest that is not waived, so it's going to probably be half that's not waived, is going to be deferred, and it's over the balance of the lease term. Now, commercial leases can vary in the fixed term of their lease. It could be that you've got something as small as a one year lease. You might have a 5, 10, even a 15 year lease. So the idea is that whatever the balance of the term is, that the deferred amount of any rent reduction is spread out, and the regulation also says no less than 24 months, but it could be a longer period as well. And the regulations also provide that a tenant can't be evicted for arrears, if they fall into these categories. They can't be evicted for not staying open, so some leases have core trading hours, for example, where tenants are supposed to stay open at least for those hours. But the tenants impacted under this regulation, there wouldn't be an eviction for that. And that the lessors can't call on security bonds or bank guarantees for that period.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: What if we can't get an agreement? Bullet points: Many matters can be resolved through private negotiation between landlord / agent and tenant. Mediation is still required for retail matters that cannot be resolved (under Retail Leases Act 1994). Mediation is also required for the non-retail leases that are subject to regulation. Mediation can ALSO be conducted for commercial leases not covered by the regulations.
MICHAEL MILLER: What if you do attempt to try to negotiate something and you can't get an agreement, or perhaps you don't even really know how to start that? Many matters can be resolved just through private negotiation, and we are hearing stories of them every day, where they really don't need a third party. The parties are quite comfortable in their own negotiations and they've managed to settle something, usually a short term arrangement. There's plenty of uncertainty around at the moment about what comes next, but to resolve that uncertainty, parties are able to come to their own agreements. Mediation, though, is still required for retail matters that can't be resolved, and that's under the Retail Leases Act. So you'll find that just in normal times, you get matters that can't be resolved through private negotiation. May or may not be eligible or impacted tenants under the code, but mediation is still something that is there as it always has been under the Retail Leases Act. For impacted lessees and landlords that are subject to the regulation, then mediation is now also required for that during this COVID-19 period. And just a reminder that mediation can be conducted for commercial leases that are not covered by the current regulations as well. There may be pre-existing issues, or the parties may not meet the particular thresholds, but it is still available to try to help people come to the best possible commercial outcome.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: What if that doesn't work? Bullet points: Chances are, it will! You can still pursue claims through the usual court systems. For urgent orders, the courts can also hear those applications as usual. The court has to have regard to the Code of Conduct principles.
MICHAEL MILLER: What if mediation doesn't work? Well, I'm happy to say that there is a very high chance that you will make some good progress through the mediation. If you haven't had any success through your own private negotiations, or you have felt there are barriers that won't allow you to make progress, you should get it into the mediation system that we have. We'll file an application. We'll assign a case manager, and of all of the matters that get filed with us, history has shown, going back a few years now, that more than 90% of the matters filed will resolve prior to a court needing to make a determination for the parties. You can still pursue claims through the normal court systems, but there is this requirement that mediation be attempted, and so for the commercial leasing matters, mediation should be attempted through our office. You should also be aware that there are certain cases which might require urgent orders to be made, and the courts can still hear those urgent orders, but I would note that you may be subject to restrictions on what you can do because of these regulations if you are a landlord. So it would be sensible, even when something quite urgent needs to happen, it would be sensible to try and make contact with our office, consider an application for mediation, consider negotiations, but the courts still function to take urgent applications as well. And the court has to have regard to the Code of Conduct principles, and that's enshrined in the regulation.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: Principles 1, 11 and 14. Bullet points: Landlords must not terminate leases due to non-payment of rent... Landlords must not draw on a tenant's security for the non-payment of rent... Landlords may not apply any prohibition or levy any penalties if tenants reduce opening hours or cease to trade due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
MICHAEL MILLER: I thought I'd touch on some of the principles now. The regulations, as New South Wales has set them out, group them in a different way to just the 1 through to 14, so that's why the numbers aren't consecutive. Number 1: Landlords must not terminate leases due to non-payment of rent, so that's an idea that is meant to try and put the brakes on a little bit, not make any hasty decisions without trying to refer back through negotiation and mediation services. The other one connected to that is that landlords aren't to draw on security for non-payment of rent if they are subject to the regulation. And the landlords aren't to apply any prohibition or any penalties, in inverted commas, if tenants reduce opening hours or cease to trade during COVID-19. So there are obviously a lot of different factors. Depends on the business on a case-by-case basis, but the essential idea is that there aren't to be any landlord prohibitions, penalties, consequences if they're closing or reducing hours because of COVID-19.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: Rental waivers, extension. Bullet points: Rental waivers must constitute no less than 50% of the total production in rent payable... Payment of rental deferrals by the tenant must be amortised over the balance of the lease term and for a period of no less than 24 months, whichever is the greater... The tenant should be provided with an opportunity to extend its lease for an equivalent period of the rent waiver and/or deferral period...
MICHAEL MILLER: Rental waivers and extensions are another important part of the code that's referred to in the regulations. So it says rental waivers must constitute no less than 50% of the total reduction in rent. Where you do find a downturn, and then there is to be a proportional reduction in rent, then waivers no less than 50%, and deferrals should be spread out over the balance of the lease, and for a period of no less than 24 months. The tenant should also be provided with an opportunity to extend its lease for an equivalent period of the rent waiver and deferral period. That can work in both parties' interests. Things are dealt with on a case-by-case basis, and certainly if you're able to resolve an outcome that works for both the landlord and the tenant in the longer term and ensures that the business can get back to doing what it does well and the tenancy can continue successfully and complete as we return to some more normal type of operations, then the variations on the term of the lease can be something that becomes very important to both parties as well, to have that security of tenure and also the guaranteed yield for the landlord.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: Principles 3, 13 and 6. Bullet points: Landlords must offer tenants proportionate reductions in rent... based on the reduction in the tenant's trade. Landlords agree to a freeze on rent increases... Any reduction in statutory charges (e.g. land tax, council rates) or insurance will be passed on to the tenant...
MICHAEL MILLER: Principle 3: Landlords must offer tenants proportionate reductions in rent based on the reduction in trade. There is to be a freeze on rent increases, and that any reduction in statutory charges are to be passed on to the tenant as well. So under the regulation, if they are impacted lessees, then all of those things are to apply. Again, we are quite open to helping people to negotiate these things either between themselves, if we can help to empower that or give some guidance if there's some concerns about it, or if you do need a third party involved to help with the compliance in this regard, then, well, we do have mediators that are prepared to do that.
I think that concludes the presentation, so we'd be looking forward to hearing any questions, whether they be now as part of this presentation or certainly following up the channels to ask our team more about what is required, what can be done, what can't be done, and what we can do to help in the negotiations. Ultimately, what we're looking for is to support landlords and tenants of commercial leases to come to arrangements that work for both of them. So, look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.
Procurement specialists come together to share information on current and future opportunities for government contracts, how businesses can get involved, and tips on getting your business procurement ready.
DESCRIPTION: On a white background, red petals emerge and unfold to form a stylised red waratah. Logo: NSW Government. A blue slide with the NSW Government logo appears. Title: Small Business COVID-19 Information Session. Slide change, title: Introduction. Text: Ben Lees, Small Business Commission, NSW Small Business COVID-19 Information Session. NSW Treasury. A man in a blue Small Business Commissioner shirt speaks to camera.
BEN LEES: Hi, everyone, and welcome to this NSW Government Small Business COVID-19 information session. My name is Ben Lees, from the New South Wales Small Business Commission. Now, today we've got some fantastic speakers to talk to you about how to survive and thrive during COVID, particularly how to gain extra contracts and extra customers.
DESCRIPTION: A slide appears onscreen beside Ben's video feed. Slide title: Agenda. Text: Procurement opportunities, NSW Procurement. Cleaning contracts, NSW Procurement. Get connected, Industry Capability Network. Procurement ready, NSW Indigenous Business Chamber/Business Connect. Audience Q&A.
BEN LEES: Today, we'll be hearing from a range of speakers, including Rudi Pircher from NSW Procurement around procurement opportunities, Michael Wilson from NSW Procurement will talk about cleaning contracts, Ian Hudson from Industry Capability Network will talk about getting connected, and Deb Barwick from the NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce will talk about being procurement ready. Now, I'd like to kick off these presentations by introducing Rudi Pircher from NSW Procurement.
DESCRIPTION: The video feed changes to show Rudi, who sits in a room and speaks to camera.
RUDI PIRCHER: Hello, my name is Rudi Pircher. I work for NSW Procurement, a whole of government procurement organisation. We look after whole of government contracts, we look after certain categories, and my particular section looks after the customer services area, so we run a service centre, we run a sourcing team, and we run a digital communication team. My aim in the next few minutes is to show you some of our digital channels, where you can look for opportunities to deliver services to government and how to connect with government and how you can operate with them.
DESCRIPTION: A screen share appears onscreen beside Rudi's video feed. It shows the homepage of the eTendering website, which features a photo of a man and woman in an office, and text: Australia’s largest provider of state government tenders.
RUDI PIRCHER: I'd like to introduce you to the whole of government eTendering website. This is where government publishes opportunities, in excess of 7,000 opportunities per year. There's over 100,000 suppliers registered. And I will walk you through some of the components of the site that allow you for an opportunity.
DESCRIPTION: The screen changes to the New User Registration page, which has a series of fields for inputting user information. A menu bar at the top of the page has ‘New user’ in red text at the right-hand end.
RUDI PIRCHER: So if you look at New User Registration, this is on the top right of the site, where you can click and enter your name, your organisation, and this is where you can say, hey, I'm in the delivery of furniture, therefore you select the furniture category, and any time government advertises an opportunity about delivery of furniture or buying furniture, you will get an alert. You don't have to register. You can go to the site on a regular basis and look for opportunities, but getting an email alert is definitely the way to go forward.
DESCRIPTION: The screen changes to the Current Schemes List page, which lists information about different schemes along with buttons to apply or see further information.
RUDI PIRCHER: NSW Government runs prequalification schemes in categories where there is a large volume of suppliers, or new intake on a regular basis. On this site, you can look for schemes and you can register, and the registration for these schemes has two levels, a lower level for work usually up to $150,000 and low risk that requires less due diligence by the buyer. It allows a supplier to provide less detail to get on and find opportunities for government.
DESCRIPTION: The screen changes to the Contracts Register Search page, which has a series of search fields such as Publish Date and Agency.
RUDI PIRCHER: I'd like to point out there is also a Contract Register page. Now, this is quite interesting for small organisations where this is how you can find out if government has awarded a contract to a larger organisation that you then can contact to look for subcontracting opportunities. Government in general tends to run larger scale contracts, and this is a real good opportunity for you to find out who has won these opportunities, and who you can talk to. Usually provides contact details and phone numbers.
DESCRIPTION: The screen changes to the Procurement Plan List page, which has Agency and Last Updated search fields at the top, and a list of plans and information below.
RUDI PIRCHER: Government is required to publish lists of procurement coming up in the next year or two years. These are lists that are under Procurement Plans. Again, this is a place where you can go and have a look at what government is planning on doing for the next 12 months. They may talk about refurbishing 10 or 20 schools, therefore they might need computers, furniture, construction or anything related to the service of delivering a school. So this is a good place to go and look for upcoming opportunities as well.
DESCRIPTION: The screen changes to the buy.nsw homepage, with text: Welcome to buy.nsw, Your new gateway to NSW Government procurement resources and services. The page has links to register as a supplier, bushfire rebuild services and a PPE supplies portal, as well as information for buyers and suppliers.
RUDI PIRCHER: Another website I'd like to share with you is the buy.nsw website. This is a site for all of government procurement, both from a buyer's and a supplier's point of view. This is where we publish policies, guidelines, board directions. This is where we publish all the prequalification lists, all whole of government contracts, their start, end dates, possible extensions, and the suppliers listed in those agreements. Again, this is something for you to look through and see if there is a list that you would like to get onto, and offer or share your services and offer to government agencies what servicing you can provide. Again, feel free to go here and scan through the site, and almost every page has an opportunity for you to register for alerts, therefore if a change happens you will get an email that says, hey, we're doing something in this particular category.
DESCRIPTION: The screen changes to the Supply page, which provides links to "Guidance on how to supply to the NSW Government".
RUDI PIRCHER: This component of the buy.nsw website is really for you as a supplier. This is where you can find out about policies, opportunities for small and medium enterprises, Aboriginal procurement policies, and anything general to do with suppliers and how you need to engage with NSW Government.
DESCRIPTION: The screen changes to the Small and Medium Enterprises and Regional Procurement Policy page, which lists the full text of the policy, starting with its objectives.
RUDI PIRCHER: As I mentioned before, this is where we publish our policies, and this is where you can read how agencies will engage with you as a supplier through these policies. This shows you thresholds on spend, what agencies can do, and it's a good article for you to understand to know when you speak to a buyer or a possible buyer what their thresholds are and how they can pay you and how much money they can spend with you, without spending a lot of time on tendering processes.
DESCRIPTION: The screen changes to the Aboriginal Participation in Construction Policy page, which lists the full text of the policy, starting with its context.
RUDI PIRCHER: I'll just skip through. There is an Aboriginal Participation in Construction Policy. Again, agencies are required to have Aboriginal organisations engaged in the construction space. There are targets, so the agencies are keen to find suppliers that can provide these services for them.
DESCRIPTION: The screen changes to the Faster Payment Terms page, which provides a link for small businesses to register.
RUDI PIRCHER: The other thing that a lot of people don't know – if you're a small and medium enterprise, you can actually register on the government, on the Small Business Commissioner's website. Put your ABN and your details in there, and that requires an agency to pay you within five days of you handing them a perfectly rendered invoice. Again, a lot of these information components are on this website for you to find out not only how to do business with government, but also how to get paid quicker and how to, yeah, just engage with government in general.
BEN LEES: Thanks, Rudi, that was terrific. Now I'm going to hand over to Michael Wilson from NSW Procurement to talk about cleaning contracts.
DESCRIPTION: A blue slide with the NSW Government logo appears. Title: Emergency Cleaning Stimulus Scheme. Text: Michael Wilson, Engagement Manager, NSW Procurement, May 2020. A man in a blue shirt speaks to camera.
MICHAEL WILSON: Hi, my name's Michael Wilson. I'm an Engagement Manager with NSW Procurement, and I'd like to talk to about the Emergency Cleaning Stimulus Scheme which has been established on behalf of the NSW Government, and it was released on 16 April this year.
DESCRIPTION: A slide appears onscreen beside Michael's video feed. Slide title: Introduction, Why has Government created a prequalification scheme for cleaning services? Text: The NSW Government announced on 17 March 2020 a $2.3 billion health boost and stimulus package in response to COVID-19 that will support jobs, healthcare, small business and the community. As part of the stimulus package the Government committed $250 million to support employment of extra cleaners of public infrastructure in NSW. In addition to scaling up cleaning services supplied by current cleaning supply arrangements including the Whole of Government Cleaning Services Contract, the Government is scaling up cleaning services by seeking capable cleaning companies to prequalify to the Emergency Cleaning Stimulus Scheme.
MICHAEL WILSON: As an introduction to the scheme, I'd like to talk about why the government has created this prequalification scheme for cleaning services. So as you may be aware, the NSW Government announced on 17 March a $2.3 billion health boost stimulus package in response to COVID-19 to support jobs, healthcare, small business and community. As part of the stimulus package, the government committed $250 million to support employment of extra cleaners to clean public infrastructure across all of New South Wales. So in addition to scaling up cleaning services supplied by our current arrangements, including the whole of government cleaning contract, we are scaling up services by seeking capable cleaning companies to prequalify to the Emergency Cleaning Stimulus Scheme.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: Work categories of cleaning on the scheme, Applicants can apply for prequalification for the following work categories. The slide lists three different cleaning categories: general cleaning, environment cleaning and cleaning auditing services. Under the heading general cleaning: A1 - Routine cleaning, A2 - Periodical carpet cleaning, A3 - Emergency cleaning (24 hour call out), A4 - External window cleaning (from the ground), A5 - Graffiti removal, A6 - Enhanced cleaning. Under the heading environment cleaning: B1 - Environmental cleaning. Under the heading cleaning auditing services: C1 - Third-party auditing services. A bracket labelled 'Registered service providers' encompasses all items in the general cleaning category, while a bracket labelled 'Certified service providers' encompasses all items in all three categories.
MICHAEL WILSON: Work categories of cleaning on the scheme are varied, so there are three major categories: general cleaning, environmental cleaning, and cleaning auditing services. General cleaning includes routine clearing, carpet cleaning, emergency cleaning, external window cleaning from the ground, graffiti removal and also enhanced cleaning, which is cleaning to help prevent infection from COVID-19. So the general cleaning category is what registered service providers can apply for, and we'll cover that a little bit more later in the presentation. Environmental cleaning is deep cleaning in a response to a COVID-19 suspected diagnosis at a facility, and third-party auditing services is a service where a supplier can provide auditing services to check that the work has been done by a cleaning company and check that all the requirements of the scope have been delivered and also make sure that the payments have been made correctly for cleaners if need be. So environmental cleaning and cleaning auditing services will be limited to certified service providers, and we'll cover that off soon.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: Emergency Cleaning Stimulus Scheme, Scheme applicant guidelines summary. Two tables outline the scope and requirements of the scheme. The left-hand table is titled 'Scope', and lists the three cleaning categories: general cleaning, environmental cleaning and cleaning auditing. Under general cleaning: A1 - Routine cleaning, A2 - Periodical carpet cleaning, A3 - Emergency cleaning (24 hour call out), A4 - External window cleaning (from the ground), A5 - Graffiti removal, A6 - Enhanced cleaning. Under environmental cleaning: B1 - Environmental cleaning of facilities after a coronavirus diagnosis (or suspected). Under the heading cleaning auditing: C1 - Third-party auditing services. The right-hand table lists the conditions for registered and certified service providers in two rows, under the headings: Service provider options, Regions and What you need to apply. The first service provider option is: Registered service provider (orders of work up to $100k – General Cleaning only). Regions: Only select regions, where you have capacity to supply services. What you need to apply: evidence of legal entity and business operations being established 6 months prior to commencement of the scheme; information about relevant experience each relevant work category in the last 2 years; full disclosure of any fines, prosecutions and convictions in the last two years; evidence of current public and products liability insurance cover which complies with the Scheme Conditions ($10m cover); evidence of current Worker compensation insurance including number of employees covered. The second service provider option is: Certified service provider (no limit on value – All work categories). Regions: Only select regions, where you have capacity to supply services. What you need to apply: evidence of legal entity and business operations being established 2 years prior to commencement of the scheme; current Quality Management System certified to AS/NZS ISO 9001:2015 or AS/NZS ISO 9001:2016; current Safety Management System certified to AS/NZS ISO 4801:2001 or ISO 45001:2018; current Environmental Management System certified to ISO 14001:2015 or equivalent; evidence of current public and products liability insurance cover which complies with the Scheme Conditions ($20m cover). The final column is headed 'How to apply?'. Text: 1. Read the full Scheme Conditions. 2. Register or be registered on e-Tenders. 3. Collect all required documents and attachments. 4. Complete online application via NSW eTenders (Register if not already). You will then be notified within three business days if your application is approved. Approved service providers will be published on buy.nsw.gov.au for buyers to contact.
MICHAEL WILSON: So here, I'll provide a summary of the applicant guidelines to help small business understand how they apply for the scheme. So as I mentioned previously, there's three areas of cleaning: general cleaning, environmental cleaning and cleaning auditing services. So the service provider options there, as an application, can be registered or certified. So a registered service provider can provide orders of work up to $100,000 to general cleaning categories only, so categories A1 to A6, and certified service providers can provide orders up to no limit in value, and can apply for all of the work categories you see there, including environmental cleaning and cleaning auditing. So there's eight regions across New South Wales which you can apply, and we ask that suppliers only request to be prequalified in the regions where they have the capacity to supply those services, so they are ready to go for government agencies when they are engaged through the scheme.
So what you need to be able to apply. For registered applicants, you'll need evidence that you've been a legal entity and a business operating for at least six months prior to the commencement of the Scheme on 16 April. You'll need to provide information about relevant experience for each relevant work category that you will apply for that has occurred in the last two years, and those references will be checked by the vetting team here in NSW Procurement. We'll ask for full disclosure of any fines and prosecutions and convictions in the last two years, evidence of public and products liability insurance up to $10 million of cover, and also evidence of a workers' compensation insurance, including providing the number of employees covered under the certificate of currency. So for certified providers, on top of those requirements, you'll need to provide evidence that you've been a legal entity for at least two years prior to the scheme, so we're looking for well-established, experienced providers to provide those higher risk levels of work, and we're also asking for certification to ISO and Australian standards where applicable for quality management systems, safety management systems and environmental management systems. So if you don't have those certifications, then we suggest that you apply for the registered service provider application. The public and products liability insurance cover is at a 20 million cover, whereas the registered was 10 million. So once you have that information ready, so we would say, how do you apply? So read the full scheme conditions, which are available on buy.nsw.gov.au, and then you can register on eTenders. Have all those documents ready, and then you can complete the online application via the New South Wales eTenders website. You'll then be assessed and notified within approximately three business days whether you've been approved. If there are areas where you haven't met the criteria, we will advise those areas of shortfall and provide suggestions on how you could provide a compliant application. Approved service providers will then be published on the buy.nsw.gov.au website, so buying agencies, eligible buyers, will be able to see the list and see you as a prequalified supplier, and engage you for those additional cleaning services as required.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: Frequently asked questions, Answers to some common questions we have received so far. Text: Who can apply? Any cleaning company that has a valid ABN and has been operating for at least six months prior to the Scheme commencing can apply. How long does it take for an application to be approved? After an application is received the assessment process is expected to take up to three business days for a compliant application to be approved (could vary slightly if large number of applications received at one time). What happens once an application is approved? Once an application is approved the cleaning service provider will be added to a list of providers that can be used by NSW Government agencies or other eligible buyers which may include non-profit NGOs, councils, universities, and charities, for cleaning of public infrastructure including transport assets, public schools and state-owned building during COVID-19. How much work is available? We are still working with agencies to confirm how much additional cleaning, outside of their current supply arrangements, will be required.
MICHAEL WILSON: So to help small business understand what common questions we've received so far, some questions we've got here are, for example, who can apply? So any cleaning company that has a valid ABN and has been operating for at least six months prior to the Scheme commencing on 16 April. How long does it take for an application to be approved? So as I mentioned, it's expected to take three business days for a compliant application to be approved. This could vary slightly if a large number of applications are received at any one time, but we seem to be meeting that three-day turnaround at this stage. So what happens once an application is approved? So once an application is approved, the cleaning service provider will be added to the list of providers that can be used by the agencies and other eligible buyers – that includes non-profits, NGOs, councils, universities, charities – for cleaning public infrastructure or infrastructure for those other entities. How much work is available? Look, we're still working with agencies to confirm how much additional cleaning is required, and we continue to advocate the Scheme on top of their current supply arrangements, and we'll continue to do that to provide opportunities in particular for small business, medium enterprises, Indigenous enterprises and also disability enterprises, regional suppliers as well.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: More information is available. Text: Go to the buy.nsw website. Contact the NSW Procurement Service Centre: Telephone: 1800 NSW BUY, Email: email@example.com. Contact the NSW Procurement scheme management team: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
MICHAEL WILSON: More information is available, so you can go to buy.nsw.gov.au website, where the Scheme page is live and all that information is available. There, you will find the Scheme conditions, and how to apply. You can also contact the NSW Procurement Service Centre on 1800 NSW BUY, or email email@example.com. For more technical questions regarding the Scheme itself, you can also contact the scheme management team directly on firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for listening, and I do encourage all small businesses to apply and try to provide some really good cleaning services to government during this trying time.
BEN LEES: Thank you, Michael. Now, we're going to hear from Ian Hudson from the Industry Capability Network about Get Connected.
DESCRIPTION: The video feed changes to show Ian, who sits in a room and speaks to camera.
IAN HUDSON: I'm Ian Hudson. I'm with Industry Capability Network. I just want to give you a bit of a rundown on what we do and how you can benefit from our service. ICN is a not-for-profit company. We were established about 35 years ago, so I think we're probably the best kept secret in the business world in that we've been here so long. A lot of people know us but still a lot of people have not heard of ICN in the past. We get involved a lot, and our main purpose is, in helping business to access new supply chain opportunities. So, you know, when you're trying to develop your business, increase sales, it's always a problem of how do you get through the door, who do you speak to, all those sorts of things. Well, the good news is that despite the fact you can't get past the receptionist, the buyers are also looking for people just like you. So we're there as the intermediary to help you be put in touch with buyers. So if you think about the buyers, what have they got? They've got Yellow Pages, which is a list of companies with very little information about them except a phone number, they've got Google, and they've got call a friend. So none of those are really good ways of them being able to ascertain quickly and efficiently who the potential suppliers are for their current need. So that's where ICN comes into it. We're involved in a lot of major projects, but we're also involved in some ongoing requirements as well. So if I can just talk a bit about some major projects first. Construction of hospitals is something we get a lot involved in. We've currently got two hospital projects and more on the way. One of those is in Tweed Valley Hospital, and the other is Goulburn Hospital. We do a lot of transport infrastructure, so things like the Sydney Metro City and Southwest, the Northern Road Upgrade in Sydney and, in Dubbo, the Regional Fleet Program, which is where the new regional trains are going to be finished and then maintained in a new purpose-built centre there for the next 15 or so years. And ICN has helped in all of those cases to bring local suppliers to those projects. We also get involved in construction of mines. Out at Parkes, there's a Sunrise nickel, cobalt, scandium mine that's underway, or in progress. And then a lot of clean energy projects. Bango Wind Farm, lots of solar farms, some waste to energy projects, where people need to know who's who in the zoo, and they come to ICN to find out who they can procure from. And then electrical infrastructure, things like the EnergyConnect project, which is about increasing the grid so that there'll be a connection between South Australia and Southern New South Wales, and that will complement another one that's coming from northern Victoria. Then ongoing requirements. So we get a lot involved in defence projects, where people are looking for local manufacturers that can help with producing items required by defence. CASG, which is the procurement arm of defence, is very keen to have sovereign capability, obviously, for two reasons. One is strategic, to make sure that they can continue to receive supply throughout whatever circumstances might arise, and the other is because, well, if you're spending all that money, why not leave some of it in Australia as much as you can, and put that in the pockets of Australians so that they can stimulate the economy? So we help with a lot of the defence projects, and then things like infrastructure maintenance, so the Country Regional Network, which is the railway line that services regional New South Wales and the regional trains, we've been working with the contractor who looks after the maintenance of that for coming up to ten years, and we've helped them to identify all of the potential suppliers up and down the line who can participate with them to keep that maintained. And then there's things like the emergency remediation, I'm calling it, which is things like the bushfires, where we work with the contractor to put them in touch with local businesses, especially in bushfire-affected areas, that can help with the clean-up process. And of course COVID-19, so I'll come to that in a second.
So the way we operate is that we have a small number of staff located in Sydney and in regional New South Wales. The staff are aware of the local businesses, and they have a lot of information about them that can be put to good use about not just what they do, but also what their aspirations are. So we complement them with a tool which we call ICN Gateway, which is on the net. ICN Gateway has two purposes. One is as a place for gathering information about suppliers, so suppliers can go to ICN Gateway, put in information about their company capabilities, their facilities, products and services, locations and contacts, of course, and then that information becomes available to ICN staff around the country, so if they're looking for somebody that can do something, whatever that might be, then they're able to find that in Gateway. The other thing ICN Gateway is used for is a place for opportunities to be published. So things like the hospital projects which I mentioned, they'll be on there. There'll be a list of all the work packages that are required, and then companies who have a company profile can put in an expression of interest. Following the submission of an EOI, we send through some of the information from your company profile, plus the answers to the questions that are specific to that project, through to the project proponent, the buyer, and that gives them some real information that they can then use to do all their capability assessment for their project or other need.
Now, remember, ICN is funded by NSW Government, so we're not motivated by profit. Our motivation is to assist businesses in improving their supply chains and to keep the money in the country. Now, under COVID-19, so we've been involved heavily in the COVID-19 recovery efforts. The initial need from the virus infection itself triggered a lot of need for ventilators and gowns and sanitisers and those sorts of things. So we obviously have connections there, but then those things are made up of other things, so sanitiser, for example, is a combination of different chemicals. Some of those very quickly came into short supply, so we've been able to assist some of the manufacturers that are already in sanitiser manufacturing to find alternate sources of those chemicals. Also companies that are pivoting into that area that need suppliers, we've been able to put them in touch with potential suppliers. So then we have things like the ventilators, where a company was pivoting into ventilators, and we helped them with things like screws, decals, gaskets, glues, O-rings, washers, pneumatic filters, fittings and pneumatic valves, tooling and HEPA filters. So for each of those items, we were able to provide them with a short list of companies that can provide each of those.
Now, in the medium term, we're expecting that there'll be a bit of a trend back towards buying Australian sovereign capability. So we think there that there'll be a lot of companies coming to us, saying, well, how do I buy what I need from Australian suppliers? The panacea would be they'll buy everything, but of course they're not going to, so what they can buy from Australia, we'd like them to at least give it a go and see if they can buy here. There's going to be some supply chain interruptions caused by the illnesses and lockdowns that have been in other countries, so all those things are going to contribute to an increased need for Australian capability, and we're there to assist. In the long term, we'll see that there is more desire for Australian made products, and we can assist with companies getting into manufacturing locally whereas previously they may have manufactured overseas or sourced from overseas.
Now, to be there, to be part of that and to be seen, you need to invest a bit of time in creating a company profile on ICN Gateway. There's a few tips. There's some documentation available on the website. You can call us for assistance. We've got a 1300 number which you'll see there on the site when I get to it. And you can receive notifications so that when a new opportunity is published, you'll receive an email that tells you that this meets the capabilities that you've put into your profile.
DESCRIPTION: A screen share appears onscreen beside Ian's video feed. It shows the homepage of the ICN Gateway website, which features a photo of two men in high-visibility clothing, and text: Join the networking platform that's helping Australian businesses grow. Below this photo is a series of links to information for businesses.
IAN HUDSON: So this is the homepage for ICN Gateway. The URL is gateway.icn.org.au, and it's a source of information as well as a place for you to start when you're creating your company profile. As you can see here, there's 'Find new work', 'Promote your business' and 'Connect with other businesses'.
DESCRIPTION: The website scrolls down to show two blocks, one titled ‘Looking for suppliers?’ and the other titled ‘Looking for work?’. Each of them has a number of search fields for keywords, state and region.
IAN HUDSON: These two elements here, one is about looking for suppliers, or people can come to us if they're looking for suppliers and we'll help them, or looking for work, so if you are looking to develop your business, then that's the place to go, and I'll come back to that in a sec.
DESCRIPTION: The website scrolls down further to show a blow titled ‘What is ICN?’. Below introductory text is a ‘Join Now’ button.
IAN HUDSON: To actually create a company profile, you start with 'Join Now', and just by clicking on that, you'll be taken through a step-by-step process where you simply complete the fields. Now, at stage 4, there's an option to increase exposure by taking out a paid subscription. That's totally optional. What you'll get with the basic free option is you can create your company profile, thereby making yourself visible to the ICN consultants around the country, you can see all the opportunities that are being published on ICN Gateway, and you can submit expressions of interest, so it's well and truly worth going through the process of creating a good profile which is part of your presentation to the market, and some people would liken it to a resume.
DESCRIPTION: The screen returns to the two search field blocks. Ian interacts with the ‘Looking for work?’ block.
IAN HUDSON: OK. So if you're looking for work and you just want to scroll through everything that's available, you can click here, select your state, and go to 'Find Work'.
DESCRIPTION: Ian selects New South Wales in the state field. The ‘Find Work’ button goes through to a Search Results page, which has the search fields in a left-hand column, then a list of results in the main body of the page. The top of the results reads ‘Projects (53)’ and has a ‘See all’ button on the right-hand side.
IAN HUDSON: And you can see here, it's saying that there's 53 projects currently available. It shows the top three, and then if you want the rest, you can go to 'See all'. That will show you all of them.
DESCRIPTION: Ian clicks into the top result, which is titled ‘Inland Rail’. The page has the project name at the top, and in the top-right corner are left and right arrows and a 'Back to results' link. Below is core project information including location, value, status and owner, then the Project Details are underneath. On the right-hand side of the page is the project logo and Contact Details.
IAN HUDSON: Select any one, and then using this arrow here, you can scroll through them. So at the moment, there's 53. As I said, some of them have more work packages available than others, but there's always some information about the project, and then at the bottom, down here, this project has some documents.
DESCRIPTION: The page scrolls down past the Project Details to Associated Opportunities, where there are links to other projects, and Project Documents, which has links to attachments. At the bottom of the page is Work Packages, which lists work details and links to submit an EOI.
IAN HUDSON: It's got other associated opportunities, and down here is the list of work packages. There's only one there at the moment. And if you want to put in an expression of interest, you simply click on this box and answer the questions from there.
Hopefully you find that of interest. If we know you're there, you can hear about the opportunities and we can find you as you need to be found. The first step is create a company profile, so I recommend you do that now, and give us a call or communicate in some way if you wish to know more.
BEN LEES: Thank you, Ian. Now, we're going to hear from Deb Barwick from the NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce, is going to be talking about Procurement Ready.
DESCRIPTION: A white slide with the Business Connect logo appears. Title: Welcome to Business Connect. In the top-right corner of the slide is the New South Wales Indigenous Chamber of Commerce logo, which features a stylised red eagle soaring in front of a yellow sun. A woman in a striped shirt speaks to camera.
DEB BARWICK: Hi, my name's Deb Barwick. I'm a procurement specialist advisor for the NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce, contracted by the Business Connect program New South Wales.
DESCRIPTION: A slide appears onscreen beside Deb's video feed. The left side is titled: Small and Medium Enterprise and Regional Procurement Policy. Text: Increasing SME participation in supplying to government. A series of icons represent each of four aims: Supporting local businesses, start-ups and innovation in primary industries; Building SME capability to supply to government; Making supplying to government easy for SMEs; Listening to local businesses and measuring participation. The NSW Government is committed to supporting SMEs and local businesses to supply to government. The underlying principle of value for money is maintained in this policy. The right side is titled: Aboriginal Procurement Policy (APP). Text: Key objectives of the APP are to: support employment opportunities for Aboriginal people within Aboriginal owned businesses; support employment opportunities for Aboriginal people within non-Aboriginal owned businesses; support sustainable growth of Aboriginal owned businesses by driving demand via government procurement of goods and services.
DEB BARWICK: A key component of supporting small business, small to medium businesses in New South Wales, are the Small and Medium Enterprise and Regional Procurement Policy and the Aboriginal Procurement Policy. Both of these policies aim to provide SMEs with participation into supply chains of government.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: Procurement Specialist Advisors – Winning government business. Text: The NSW Government spends around $20 billion each year, offering great opportunities for small businesses to grow and create local jobs. Do you want to supply goods or services to the government? Find out how through the Business Connect Procurement Specialist Advisory Service. The procurement specialist advisor service delivered by the NSW Indigenous Chamber Of Commerce for Business Connect offers tailored advice and events focused on helping small businesses to: get ready to sell goods and services to government; develop a capability statement; find out about opportunities including supplier lists, schemes, tenders and exceptions; understand how to submit a great response and learn from an unsuccessful bid; understand risks and satisfy government requirements; work with a lead contractor or sub-contractor; develop a plan to market to government customers. You can get expert advice to help build your capability to win government business by booking a session with a Specialist Business Connect procurement advisor or attend a webinar or event. You can also check out the resources on Grow your business and visit NSW ProcurePoint or call the NSW Procurement Service Centre on 1800 679 289 for information about NSW Government procurement opportunities.
DEB BARWICK: The NSW Government spends around $20 billion each year on products and services. This offers great opportunities for small businesses to grow and create local jobs. If you want to supply goods or services to the government, or find out how through the Business Connect procurement specialist advisory service, it's as simple as picking up the phone and contacting us or booking a session online. The procurement specialist advisory service is delivered by the NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce for Business Connect, and offers tailored advice and events focused on helping small businesses to get ready to sell goods and services to government. It also helps you to develop a capability statement, find out about opportunities, including supplier lists, schemes, tenders and exemptions, understand how to submit a great response and learn from an unsuccessful bid. They help you understand risks and satisfying government requirements, how to work with a lead contractor or subcontractor to government, and how to develop a plan to market to government customers. You can get expert advice to help built your capability to win government business by booking a session with a specialist Business Connect procurement advisor or by attending a webinar or event. You can also check out the resources on 'Grow your business' and visit NSW ProcurePoint, or you can call the NSW Procurement Service Centre on 1800 679 289 for information about NSW Government procurement opportunities.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: Register with Business Connect Today, its Simple. Text: Visit Us: business.nsw.gov.au/businessconnect and navigate your way. Email Us: email@example.com to connect to an Advisor. Or Phone Us: 1300 134 359.
DEB BARWICK: So register with Business Connect today. It's simple. You can visit us at business.nsw.gov.au/businessconnect and navigate your way, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to connect to an advisor, or you can simply phone us on 1300 134 359.
BEN LEES: Thank you, Deb. Well, that brings us to the end of our presentations this evening.
DESCRIPTION: Slide title: Small business support. NSW Procurement: 1800 679 289, buy.nsw, eTendering. Industry Capability Network: 9927 3100, ICN Gateway. Business Connect: 1300 134 359, Business Connect.
BEN LEES: On the screen you'll see some contact information for the different presentation agencies. Please do feel free to get in contact with them if you have any further questions. You can also get all of your COVID information from Service NSW. I encourage you to go onto their website or give them a call: 13 77 88, for dedicated business support around COVID. Now, as I say, I hope that was useful and thank you very much for joining this webinar.