It is amazing to realise it is already 5 months since we started with this whole new world of JobKeeper. None of us knew anything like this existed – the government giving churches and organisations (as well as businesses) large “cash boost donations” and then paying these same organisations to employ staff.

It’s been a bit like “manna from heaven” – as the saying goes.

Unfortunately, there is a limit to this “manna” – the government is not the same as our all sufficient God.

Now the government has developed a follow-on JobKeeper package (being called JobKeeper-2).

Our notice to you today is not to publish a full explanation, because the full details are still being developed for implementation by the government and implementers – the ATO, financial advisors and accounting professional bodies. The latter provide the lead for our team as we work with you our clients.

There will be JobKeeper financial subsidies beyond the end of September

    • The subsidies will be less in value
    • The method of calculation and eligibility criteria will be the same
    • There maybe harsher impacts on churches, organisations and the community than we have witnessed so far, because of the extended time this COVID season is going

At this stage there are some practical things for church finance people to do to prepare. These same points apply for people and families as well.

    • be ready to update and review your budgets
    • setup a ‘forecast style’ process that allows you to flex income and expense items and review the outcomes at short notice and make alternative decisions
    • identify areas of income and expense that must be under review all the time
    • if you are on either side of leasing/renting property, be prepared to negotiate:
      • for renters:
        • how long can you sustain the rent expense as it is
        • have you discussed your ongoing occupancy possibilities with your landlord
        • be aware of the requirements for rent abatement and relief
      • for landlords (and many churches are landlords):
        • what are you doing to mitigate the impact of rent expense for your tenants
        • be aware that if rent is the cause of a tenant leaving it maybe very very difficult to find a new tenant

Some preliminary questions, that are particularly relevant for churches and NFP organisations, to be addressing now

    • what is the situation for members of your congregations – care and financial needs
    • what will be the impact on the tithes and offerings during this next season
    • what do you need to do about your properties – rented or renting
    • what do you need to do about staffing – salaries, terms of employment
    • is more care support needed in your community – what can your church do

We will provide a more technical briefing about JobKeeper-2 next week, especially for our church and NFP clients.

In the meantime let’s remember God’s faithfulness and how He can provide for use in the midst of our trials and difficulties – just like He did with the “manna” for the desert pilgrims.