27 March 2020 Update - Incolink COVID 19 Payment and Changes to Incolink Accounts

Posted on Mar 27, 2020

Effective 23 April 2020 - Genuine redundancy claims can now be made without tax taken out via our streamlined Incolink Redundancy Account. These claims are available to eligible workers and can be made via WorkerLink and the Incolink App.

30 MARCH 2020 - FAQs INCOLINK ACCOUNT UPDATES AND INCOLINK COVID-19 PAYMENTS

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28 MARCH 2020 - CLARIFICATION OF CHANGES TO INCOLINK ACCOUNTS:

We'd like to clarify the changes made to Incolink Accounts. We understand this is a difficult time and we apologise for the timing of implementing these changes.

1. Incolink now has one account type, the Incolink Redundancy Account. Previously we had a severance account and a GRA (General Redundancy Account). These are now combined. You do not need to reapply for the GRA and there is no cooling off period.

2. Genuine Redundancy Claims can still be made at 0% tax rate after 24 April when our system updates are finalised. This applies to the CLAIM DATE not the END EMPLOYMENT date. Incolink is simply moving to one account to make it easier for workers. We had to do this as part of making the Incolink COVID-19 payments. The tax a worker ultimately pays doesn’t change, genuine redundancies are not taxed. However, due to the system change, until the 24 April Incolink have to withhold tax at severance rates of 32%. After the 24 April all genuine redundancies will continue to have no tax withheld. For workers who need to make a Genuine Redundancy Claim before 24 April and 32% tax is withheld, Incolink will provide support and information at tax time.

3. If you were previously in the GRA, you could only access your funds if you were made genuinely redundant. Now, you can claim your funds no matter how your employment ends at the applicable tax rate.

4. If you were previously in the Severance Account, there was no option to claim with zero tax withheld. Now you have that option in the event you are made genuinely redundant. Also, Initial Claims were capped at $5,654 and this has been increased to $8,000. Eligibility criteria apply, see our full statement below.

The timing has been necessary in order to allow us to quickly make Incolink COVID-19 payments available to all eligible workers, regardless of which account they were in previously. The impact COVID-19 may have on jobs may result in employers standing down workers instead of ending their employment permanently. Previously, any worker member stood down (not terminated) by their employer would have no way to access their Incolink funds. We've acted swiftly and now, if you are stood down (not terminated) by your employer as a result of COVID-19, these payments enable eligible worker members with an available balance access to $2,000 every 28 days from their account. Eligibility criteria apply, see our full statement below

For the vast majority of our members, these changes create more avenues to access your entitlements. We ask members concerned by these changes to email us with their Incolink number and contact number for us to get in touch or call us when our Customer Support opens on Monday at 9am.

Our 24/7 counselling continues to be available to members on 1300 000 129. Financial counselling is also available.

27 MARCH 2020 STATEMENT - INCOLINK COVID-19 PAYMENT AND CHANGES TO INCOLINK ACCOUNTS

We are here for you whenever you need us through this uncertain period, as your safety net.

The Incolink COVID-19 payment is available from today:

  • It will be taxed at 32%. We acted to lessen your tax burden.
  • Further payments can be requested every 28 days after the initial payment if the worker continues to be eligible.

Incolink COVID-19 Payment Updated Details

Eligible Incolink worker members with an available balance will be able to access Incolink COVID-19 payments of $2,000 (or the balance of their account whichever amount is lower).

We have acted to make this as simple as possible. There are some important changes to the eligibility criteria.

When do you qualify for the Incolink COVID-19 Payment?

If you are not earning an income from your employer (including leave entitlements) because:

  • of site closures by your employer due to COVID-19; or
  • you are required by a medical professional to self-isolate due to exposure to COVID-19 for any period prescribed by federal or state governments

then you can claim the Incolink COVID-19 Payment.

Your employer must also complete a declaration via EmployerLink to confirm the conditions above.

Disclaimer: If you are receiving PSLi payments you cannot claim the Incolink COVID-19 Payment.

Incolink COVID-19 Payments will be accessible via WorkerLink ONLY. For those who have not registered, simply head to WorkerLink, or visit this how-to register on our website.

For eligible worker members, here’s how to claim.

Changes in the way your redundancy payments will be made

Incolink is your safety net and will always be there when you need to access your redundancy.

Changes are being made to streamline payments.

  1. There will no longer be 2 different Incolink accounts for workers. Your funds will be kept in a single account and how your employment ends will determine what tax rate is applied.
  2. This means you no longer have to apply to be in the GRA account, and allows greater ability to access your funds when your employment ends.
  3. Under current COVID-19 circumstances, you can now claim whatever is in your account but only up to $8,000 in monthly instalments. Monthly instalments will continue to be available until the funds in your account are exhausted, you re-enter the industry or you choose to stop claiming. You will not be able to take a lump sum amount of more than $8,000 in the one transaction.

We’ve put together a summary which highlights the differences compared to the old accounts.

For any questions regarding Incolink COVID-19 Payments or the changes to Incolink Accounts, email us at redund@incolink.org.au or call us on (03) 9639 3000

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