Startup Success Series: Employment Law, JobKeeper and Rent Relief


As discussed in the last two Startup Success Series events (Cashflow Forecasting and Raising Capital in a Crisis), startup founders need to focus on extending their runway to between 18 – 24 months. As a founder, you have likely spent the last month assessing all available levers to cut your costs and bring cash into the bank to extend your runway.

Alongside technology costs, employment costs and rent are typically the three top expenses for any startup. Managing redundancies, standing staff down, dropping people to .8 or .6 time or leveraging leave without pay have become a necessary strategies for survival. The Australian Government’s JobKeeper and Rent Relief initiatives may offer relief for some in the coming weeks.

To help you understand your rights and responsibilities, we’ve invited some of Australia’s best startup legal practices to share their advice on the topic.

Specifically we will cover:

  • Important legal considerations when reducing staff from full time.
  • JobKeeper eligibility, and advice for founders who don’t pass the basic 30% revenue drop test.
  • Update on the Rent Relief program and how it applies to startups who work in a co-working space.
  • Preparing for the bounce-back, legal considerations when bringing employees back to full-time.


The session will be run as a virtual fireside chat with expert panelists; John Coghlan, Director at Coghlan Duffy & Co and Rick Catanzariti, Partner at DLA Piper. The panel discussion will be moderated by Startup Victoria CEO, Judy Anderson.

There will be time allocated for participant Q&A and resources will be shared on the Startup Victoria website after the event.