If you have lost your job, been stood down, or had your income significantly reduced you are likely to be experiencing some level of shock and concern. There are however a number of options to consider that may help you manage your finances.
(Being stood down is a temporary measure that means you remain employed but are unpaid for the period of time that you do not perform your job, though you continue to accrue annual leave during this period).
Lenders are offering a range of hardship variations including deferring mortgage repayments for 6 months. Please refer to our Mortgage Options section for more information.
If you have lost your job, been stood down or your income has fallen below a certain level, you may be eligible for support from the Government via the JobSeeker support package. Alternatively, if you were a full time, part time or long-term casual (over 12 months) employee, contact your employer to check whether they have registered, or intend to register, for the JobKeeper payment. If they are registered or intending to register, then they will be able to keep you employed and continue paying you a wage of at least $1,500 per fortnight. Please refer to our Government Assistance section for more information.
Once the appropriate legislation is in place you may have the option of accessing up to $20,000 of your super. We urge you to seek financial advice if you are considering this option. You can read more about the possible implications in our Accessing funds in your super section.
The States and Territories have agreed to a 6- month moratorium on the eviction of commercial and residential tenants if they can’t pay their rent due to the ongoing crisis. Please refer to our Rent Hardship for Tenants & Landlords section for more information. Many utility providers have also launched relief measures. Please speak to your specific provider about temporary relief.
As a general rule, an Income Protection policy covers you if you are “unable to work due to illness or injury” not because work has stopped due to COVID-19 or other reasons. There are a limited number of policies in the market that may have a redundancy clause which may pay you an amount of cover for up to 3 months.
Some polices have “Involuntary Unemployment” clauses that will either stop the insurance premiums for 3 – 6 months (so you can retain the cover without the cost) or some help you cover mortgage payments in certain circumstances.
You can check the Product Disclosure Statement for your policy and search for “Unemployment” or “Redundancy” to find out more.
There may be an option to “freeze” your insurance premiums. Please refer to our section on Managing expenses as this is one of the options discussed.
Reducing costs is a step that many Australians are taking as a common-sense measure but it’s also important to be aware of the options and potential impacts of the choices you make. Please see our section on Managing Expenses for more information.
If you have been stood down or had your hours reduced you can seek additional work through another employer. As long as your additional employment is not on a full-time permanent basis, you will not be required to resign from your original job. Any applicable Government support you receive will be adjusted based on the income you receive.
The Government has also launched a new website to help you find advertised vacancies in areas where there is currently increased demand.