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COVID-19: Important Information About the Shutdown of Workplaces

The entire retail industry continues to be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and this includes stores and companies shutting down.

We understand this is an incredibly difficult time for you and the SDA is here to support you if this happens.

If you are stood down, check with your employer or the SDA about when it is taking effect, what you are entitled to and what your rights are.

It is essential for you to access important Government Assistance during this difficult period, and for that you must get a stand down notice.

Following calls from the SDA, unions and business, the Federal Government announced wage subsidies and other payments, including the JobKeeper Scheme to keep you in your job.

The SDA will be working with the Government and employers on how this will be implemented and to ensure fair access to this payment.

Below is useful information about the next steps to take to access help.

The Australian Government is currently providing a wage subsidy for employers and employees impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

This is a payment made to employers to continue to pay wages to employees.

If you have been stood down, your employer may be eligible to apply for the JobKeeper scheme.

Read more about the JobKeeper wage subsidy here.

The Federal Government has announced payments and streamlined claims for people affected by coronavirus. There has been a supplement to those on any payments, one off payments to jobseekers, and crisis payments. The Government has also waived some documentation requirements, waiting periods, asset tests, and mutual obligations. What is available will depend on your personal circumstances.

Your Stand Down notice is the key piece of information for Centrelink.

You can apply for Centrelink payments at Services Australia Online.

You do not need to attend in person.

If you don’t have a Centrelink number, you can use the payment guide online or call them on 132 850.
If you have a Centrelink number, go to


You may be considering accessing your superannuation or early retirement.

Your super fund will have information and options for advice about your super.

The fund for Retail and Fast Food workers is Rest.

To access your super early, contact the Australian Taxation Office.

For renters, the Government has announced a moratorium on evictions that are due to Covid-19 (the coronavirus). Contact your state-based fair trading / consumer affairs / residential tenancy authority.

For those with a mortgage, major banks have announced the option for deferral of repayments for 6 months. Contact your personal bank for further information, click here for details of the banking responses.

For those with credit card and personal loan debt, banks may be able to help with waiving fees, restructuring loans or other things to help get you through the pandemic. Contact your personal bank for further information, click here for details of the banking responses.

There is also support including financial counselling available from:


You may have many immediate needs – food, a place to stay, to escape violence, treatment for a mental health incident, or to prevent the abuse of a child. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these, there are services available in your local community.

To access them, call a service provider and they can help you find out who is in your local region.

  • Find a local General Practice (GP) here
  • Find Federal Government funded services here
  • Find Victorian Government funded services here

To speak with someone immediately, call:

Other helplines include:


We will suspend your fees from the time when your employer stops paying you.

Your union membership will continue and you will not have to pay any fees until you return to work.

You can still call us, message us, and access all of our SDA services.

This is the time when you need your union the most, and we are here to support you.

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