The pandemic reached Australia will have far reaching social and commercial side-effects that will present new legal issues. We have some experts recommending that the legal fallout from the government restrictions on commerce and businesses will last for years to come. The ‘Coronavirus Covid-19 Law’ that will evolve, we now predict, will become a fast evolving and important area of legal practice.

As businesses fail due to income loss and this, in turn, cascades throughout the entire Australian economy, Cogent Legal will assist their clients with advice and assistance that includes:

  • Applications to the ATO for deferral of payment or other relief from tax;
  • Advice on new loan programs that may develop to assist businesses in need – for instance stream 1 and stream 2 of the Victorian Government’s economic stimulus package for businesses in the Business Support Fund;
  • Advice and assistance on Employment Law, unfair dismissal, redundancy and job loss – a question important for both employers and employees;
  • Breach of Contract and Contract Law in Australia in the context of the Coronavirus Covid-19 isolation or shutdown as the reason for the breach;
  • Debt collection and the handling of debt – including Bankruptcy and Winding up;
  • Assistance with banks and financial institutions to request loan repayment deferral or other relief.
  • Advice and assistance on economic stimulus packages and programs as they may be offered in the future.
  • Advice on potential liability of companies that do not allow remote working conditions.

While not a novel legal area per se [as employment law, contract law, etc are not novel] any litigation in ‘Coronavirus Covid-19 Law’ matters will require analysis of the above issues in the light of government direction and mandates, federal, state and territory reactions and what may be a ‘domino-like’ effect of business failures and closures due the the disturbance that first the bush fires in Australia and now COVID-19 present to businesses.

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  • Employee attendance and employment changes.
  • Risk management.
  • Transport and logistical breakdowns.
  • Disruption in product and material availability.
  • Government intervention, regulation and stimulus.
  • Breach of contract and failures of others to perform.

Do you have ‘Force Majeure’ clause in your agreement that, due to COVID-19 someone is attempting to keep your deposit or otherwise not provide the promised services?

The Coronavirus Economic Response Package Omnibus Act 2020(Cth) has made many temporary changes such as changes to Statutory Demands and Bankruptcy Notices. Read Cogent Legal’s description of the debt collection changes – read about this here.

The Federal Government’s:

  • Jobkeeper Program;
  • Cashflow payments;
  • Traineeships;
  • Instant write off thresholds; and
  • SME Loans.

are best reviewed on the Treasury Website.

Give us a call for assistance or legal advice. We will provide an outline of next steps with you before the call ends. (03) 7022 6707