Startup Success Series: Employment Law: JobKeeper & Rent Relief

The Startup Success Series is designed to provide insight and education on the topics that matter most to the founder community right now.

Each week Startup Victoria hosts a 1-hour webinar for the community, focussing on a specific topic. There’s only so much we can squeeze into 60 minutes, so following each webinar you can access further resources in our Startup Success Series articles.

The Startup Success Series is supported by LaunchVic.

LaunchVic is Victoria’s startup development agency. LaunchVic invests in organisations and projects that empower entrepreneurs to scale innovative companies and deliver new industry benefits to the Victorian economy.

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.

Virtual Event Recording

About: Watch the webinar recording below for a discussion where our panellists share their expert insight and advice on legal considerations for reducing staff hours; JobKeeper eligibility; an update on the Rent Relief program and preparation for bounce back. Expert panellists include: John Coghlan, Director at Coghlan Duffy & Co; Rick Catanzariti, Partner at DLA Piper; and Byrony Binns, labour lawyer practicing within PwC Australia’s People & Organisation and Legal teams.


3:39 – Introductions
8:11 – Options for paying wages in an economic crisis
27:14 – Alternative tests to the drop in revenue test
34:30 – Final comments on JobKeeper
35:54 – What is Rent Relief and how does it work?
42:14 – Rent Relief and co-working spaces
46:20 – Returning to full-time work
54:02 – Q&A

LawSquared Legal Resources and Tools

About: A collection of legal resources and tools from LawSquared that are free to use and re-purpose for your own needs.

COVID-19 Employment Guide – This simple guide can assist businesses in understanding the current case law and Fair Work position to ensure that they do not run into any issues forcing staff to take leave without pay or sick leave.

Epidemic/Pandemic Policy – This policy outlines the strategies and actions that your business can/should take to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases that are epidemics/pandemics.

Letter to Landlords – This letter should form the basis of your discussion with your landlord who must comply with the Code. We have a series of input fields and comments throughout the letter to assist you in customising the letter for your business/leasing needs.

Rental Relief Calculator – The Code outlines an equation for how the rent waiver and rent deferral is calculated. Law Squared have created a simple excel calculator for you to input information into, to assist you in completing that component of the letter.