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The entire retail industry continues to be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic which is forcing stores and companies to temporarily shutdown.

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

Check with your employer or the SDA if you are stood down 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.

Following calls from the SDA, unions and business, the Federal Government announced wage subsidies through a JobKeeper Payment. 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 has announced payments and streamlined claims for people affected by coronavirus.

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 complete an ‘intent to claim online or call them on 132 850.
  • If you have a Centrelink number, you can lodge a claim online here.

In addition to payments that are usually available, the government is providing

  • a temporary fortnightly $550 Coronavirus Supplement if you are receiving an eligible payment.
  • a $750 Economic Support Payments to those getting an eligible payment.
  • a second $750 Economic Support Payment is for those who are not getting the Coronavirus Supplement.
  • a one-off Crisis Payment of one week of your base income if you’re in severe financial hardship and either:
    • need to self-isolate
    • are caring for someone self-isolating.

The government has also waived documentation requirements, waiting periods, asset tests and mutual obligations for some payments.

Your stand down notice is a key piece of information for Centrelink.


You may be considering accessing your superannuation or early retirement. To discuss this, contact your super fund or the Australian Tax Office. The super fund for retail and fast food workers is Rest.


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.


If you require professional assistance, the following resources are free:

Beyond Blue for mental health support and counselling:

National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence counselling service:

National Debt Helpline for free financial guidance and counselling:

Health alerts and Government information in relation to the Coronavirus:

Government support initiatives:

What happens to your SDA membership if you are stood down?

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.

To get in touch with your local SDA Branch, please visit