LINX CCG employee updates
We continue to keep you updated on LINX CCG’s response to COVID-19 through this portal.
Come back regularly for our latest Group news and the important resources and tools we’re making available to best support you during this period.
It’s clear from current media updates we are now experiencing a resurgence in the community spread of COVID-19 in Australia – primarily in Melbourne, some regions in Victoria and also in Sydney and regional NSW.
Remain vigilant, use caution
This is a critical time for us to remain vigilant and continue to strictly adhere to social distancing and health and hygiene measures, at work and when we go visit public places like the shopping centre. Community spread can occur quickly, easily and invisibly. We are seeing that the risk of COVID-19 exposure and spread is still very high and real across our whole country.
Please keep being cautious and careful with your actions and especially if you’re in Victoria or NSW, you must follow your state government’s directions, and also those of our Group, when working onsite or from home. Your health and safety is our priority and we all play our role in containing this second wave of the virus outbreak.
As of midnight tonight in Melbourne, it will be mandated that everyone wear protective masks when in public. As such, and due to some small community transmission of the virus near our regional C3 Australia sites in Portland and LINX Port Services Geelong site, we direct all our Victorian-based staff to wear protective masks now when working. Disposable, surgical masks will be made available at all sites for you to use until otherwise directed. We also have masks on hand ready to distribute across our NSW sites if we deem it necessary to direct their use in NSW also.
Masks (and other social distancing and hygiene measures) are very important to uphold as upwards of 70% of people are infectious prior to showing any symptoms.
JobKeeper – phase two
The Australian Government has announced its intention to release a second phase of the JobKeeper wage subsidy package from October 2020, to assist employers manage through the remaining economic impacts of the pandemic.
LINX CCG is aware of this development and to determine our eligibility, is awaiting further details to be released once this proposed package is passed through parliament.
In the meantime, we continue to receive the current JobKeeper payments for our Autocare Services, LINX Port Services and C3 Australia businesses. We will share more information as it comes to hand.
These fluctuating changes to the way we work continue to be unsettling and we know, when combined with the recent developments in Melbourne, are causing additional challenges for many of our people.
We are focused on protecting your health and wellbeing and as a result, must continue to be flexible and align our Group’s pandemic response with the evolving directions given by Government and Health authorities. We will continue to monitor the pandemic, as well as any other developments.
COVID-19 restrictions are easing throughout our states and territories, however the recent spike of cases in Melbourne is now sadly seeing our people there returning to Level 3 restrictions across Metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire, effective from midnight tonight.
What does this mean for our teams?
- Stage 3 ‘Stay At Home’ restrictions limit travel and activities outside of the home.
- Our Melbourne-based operational teams still attend your workplace as necessary and, our services exempt from state border and suburb closures, will continue to operate.
- As a Group, we are well placed to deal with this current phase of the pandemic, but these tighter restrictions will affect our Melbourne-based teams in different ways. You’re strongly encouraged to use the support resources available.
Your health and wellbeing is the priority
- The circumstances relating to the virus in Melbourne remind us we cannot become complacent or shift our focus.
- Along with our people in Melbourne, we must all continue to adhere to the protective measures and operational adjustments in our current operations, to prioritise protecting the health and wellbeing of our people, customers and communities for the months to come.
- Across Australia, we are well placed to again navigate through this recent increase in Melbourne, or in any other location, should another spike occur.
Market impacts continue to be felt
- To a large extent, external market conditions are outside of our control. However, what we have managed well so far and must focus on, is the health and safety of our people and keep critically managing costs.
- Each Australian market we operate in continues to be impacted in many different, frequently changing ways. We expect uncertainty to be part of our everyday approach to business for the foreseeable future. Our services need to be flexible to meet the challenges presented to us.
- Thank you for living our Company Values while maintaining our essential service delivery through COVID-19. It is timely to uphold We Are One and extend extra thoughts and support to our Melbourne-based colleagues as they return to facing additional pressures and challenges.
- Everyone’s support and willingness to help our Group ‘do what needs to be done’ has not gone unnoticed.
- We deeply appreciate you all rallying behind our Group on a daily basis, especially during such an uncertain time.
If you have any concerns relating to attending site or have ideas to further strengthen our hygiene and safety practices, please reach out to your immediate supervisor.
LINX Cargo Care Group has completed the assessment of our eligibility for JobKeeper. We have successfully enrolled for Autocare Services, C3 Australia and most recently, LINX Port Services.
We are now receiving the subsidy payments for employees in Autocare and C3 Australia.
Enrolment for LINX Port Services has just been completed, with the subsidy payments coming into effect from May.
LINX Logistics not eligible
The LINX Logistics business continues to experience strong volumes and is not eligible.
In addition, our Group employees (support functions e.g. HR, Finance) have also been deemed ineligible.
Continuing cash management focus across the Group
While JobKeeper and the NZ Government’s Wage Subsidy package were never going to completely replace our Group’s revenue losses due to the impacts of COVID-19, our successful applications have provided wages subsidisation for more than 2,500 employees across Australia and New Zealand. This is a comforting achievement amidst such an unsettling and uncertain time.
The LINX CCG Senior Leadership Team continues our focus on sound cash management across the Group and, together with our ongoing sustainability planning and strong support from major shareholder Brookfield, will position our Group to emerge from the other side of this pandemic in a robust position to deliver on our strategic priorities, including business growth.
If you have any queries, please reach out to your manager or LINX CCG HR BP.
Please read below for the latest status of LINX CCG’s enrolments for the JobKeeper wages subsidy.
As mentioned in previous updates, LINX CCG’s eligibility is grouped in with our major shareholder Brookfield’s broader asset portfolio, whose turnover means that each of our separate businesses needs to be able to demonstrate a 50% decline in turnover to be eligible.
The Finance team have been assessing each business unit against the eligibility criteria and completing an enrolment for the JobKeeper wages subsidy when we consider that the criteria has been achieved.
Below summarises the current enrolment status for all parts of LINX CCG:
An enrolment for Autocare Services was completed on 29 April 2020. The wages subsidy was backdated to 30 March, and funds will be paid monthly in arrears from the Australian Tax Office (ATO). We have completed all required backdated top-up payments for eligible employees, and will now assess the ordinary earnings of all eligible Autocare employees on an ongoing basis, with any required top-up payments to be made within the relevant JobKeeper fortnight.
The enrolment for C3 Australia was completed on 7 May 2020. The date of effect for the wages subsidy will be 30 March. Funds will be paid monthly in arrears from the Australian Tax Office (ATO). We have completed all required backdated top-up payments for eligible employees, and will now assess the ordinary earnings of all eligible C3 Australia employees on an ongoing basis, with any required top-up payments to be made within the relevant JobKeeper fortnight.
LINX Port Services
The enrolment for Port Services was completed on 14 May 2020. Eligible employees are currently in the process of completing their nomination forms. We intend to complete the required top-up payments a week from today, and will now assess the ordinary earnings of all eligible Port Services employees on an ongoing basis.
Given current volumes are in part driven by the consumer response to COVID-19, LINX Logistics has not experienced the reduction in revenue that has affected most other parts of LINX CCG. In fact, some parts of this business have been operating beyond their usual capacity. For this reason, LINX Logistics is not currently eligible for JobKeeper. We will continue to review and assess eligibility, should the situation change over the coming months.
The Australian Pedersen Group operations has not experienced the required reduction in revenue that has affected most other parts of LINX CCG. We will continue to review and assess eligibility, should the situation change over the coming months.
LINX Executive Services
LINX Executive Services is a non-revenue generating employee entity, that employs most of our Group employees and a number of CLC employees that report into our operational teams.The eligibility for this group is assessed against the overall performance of LINX CCG.
Once the enrolment for LINX Port Services is complete, in addition to Autocare Services and C3 Australia, we believe this will trigger eligibility for LINX Executive Services. We are now preparing for this enrolment, with the wages subsidy likely coming into effect from May. Further information will be issued to eligible employees shortly.
Access to the JobKeeper wages subsidy for the majority of our Australian-based LINX CCG employees will in part assist with the revenue loss we are currently seeing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It does not however, mean that we can be complacent. We must continue to manage our cost base carefully, as per the robust process we already have in place.
If you have any questions regarding the JobKeeper wages subsidy, the eligibility of your business unit or your individual eligibility, please reach out to your manager or LINX CCG HR BP Alternatively, you can access JobKeeper resources located in in the Resources section of this portal.
Please find a below a link to the current wellbeing check-in. LINX CCG’s Health and Wellbeing team will regularly provide you a link to Wellbeing Check-ins via text or this portal, to help you self-assess and understand how you are feeling. You can always find the current link to this survey under the Key Information section.
Completing these Check-ins regularly will help you to identify how things are changing for you between each check-in.
We understand this is a difficult time for some and that you are all working under different conditions and arrangements than you ever have before. Understanding how your own responses and behaviours could be affecting your mental health and wellbeing will assist you to identify areas you may need to focus on.
This Check-in is completely confidential, unidentifiable and your personal information is not collected nor shared within the business.
It also contains tips on how you can continue to look after yourself, ideas on how to stay well, regain balance or how to connect with some further guidance or support.
Complete your Wellbeing Check-in here.
If you request at the end of the Check-in, a member of the Health and Wellbeing team will reach out to assist you further and, if appropriate, connect you with the right resources or services for alternative support. Please be assured that should you reach out, your responses will be held in confidence.
If you have any queries, email the LINX CCG Health and Wellbeing team on email@example.com or phone Kylie Gannon on 0428 641 345.
Group CEO, Anthony Jones
Many of our teams are now engaging in discussions regarding a shift to new, short-term working arrangements in support of the future sustainability of the Group, post COVID-19.
I thank each of you for your continued understanding that during this unprecedented time it is a necessity to ask our teams to agree to some short-term changes which will have a personal impact. I don’t take these requests lightly, and I have been humbled by the willingness of our people to make personal sacrifices in support of the longevity of our business.
The coming months will deliver new and different challenges as we work to uphold our customer service commitments and deliver required output, with many of our teams working reduced hours and taking periods of annual leave. We will all need to adapt and be flexible in the way that we work together. I encourage you to keep living our Values, continue working collaboratively, and importantly, supporting each other.
We are one…even when we’re apart: Connecting and supporting you through COVID-19
COVID-19 has required us all to adjust the way that we live and work. These adjustments can affect us all differently, so it’s crucial that we are looking after our health and wellbeing. In addition, we need to ensure that we are staying connected and preserving our culture in what is a very different way of operating.
We are one…even when we’re apart will be rolled out across the Group from 4 May. This is a COVID-19 specific Wellbeing and Culture Program, which will support and connect you with your colleagues and wider businesses groups during our period of changed working conditions.
The Program comprises different initiatives including resources, portals, networks and campaigns, specifically designed to provide inspiration, engagement, motivation and importantly, support, for both our staff working from home and our operational workforce who may also be working under different arrangements.
LINX CCG Chief Operating Officer Andrew Simpson will officially launch We are one…even when we’re apart next week, with details on what’s available and how you’ll be able to connect and participate.
JobKeeper update – LINX CCG eligibility
As you are likely aware, business eligibility for the subsidy is assessed on the basis of a reduction in turnover. Businesses with turnover of less than $1bn per year must have experienced a reduction in turnover of 30%, while businesses with turnover of more than $1bn per year, need to have lost 50% of turnover.
For the purposes of JobKeeper eligibility, at this stage, LINX CCG is grouped in with our major shareholder Brookfield’s broader asset portfolio, whose turnover exceeds $1bn per year.
This means that each of our separate businesses needs to be able to demonstrate a 50% decline in turnover to be eligible for the JobKeeper payments.
On this basis, an application for the JobKeeper payment was submitted this week for Autocare Services. We will continue to assess the performance of our other businesses over the course of the next several months and make further applications if the eligibility criteria has been met.
I understand that it would be comforting to have all of our businesses immediately eligible to receive the JobKeeper subsidy. It’s important to remember that although additional support to financially subsidise employee earnings would contribute to helping our businesses with revenue loss during the pandemic, our Group’s future sustainability does not rely on our JobKeeper eligibility. JobKeeper is only one potential way for our Group to manage our sustainability during this time. Please be assured that we have robust plans in place to protect our longevity, regardless of our eligibility for this subsidy.
Keep focused and safe
As federal, state and territory governments talk about the ‘suppression’ phase of our country’s pandemic response, and relaxing some protective measures, these actions are not to be mistaken for an easy jog to the finish line. While it appears that we are through the worst of the health-related impacts of COVID-19, we cannot be complacent, and the economic impacts will continue to be felt for some time.
It is extremely important that we remain committed to our safety practices, both COVID-19 related as well as our safe work practices, which keep you and your work mates safe, and ensure you Go Home Safely Everyday. Remember, the most important job you have is your safety, ensuring you go home in the same condition you came to work. If it’s not safe – stop, assess, and make it safe.
Our new normal will leverage the innovations in processes, systems and services, that our teams are creating due to the pandemic, to evolve LINX Cargo Care Group into an organisation well positioned to deliver strongly for our customers for many more years to come.
Group CFO, Andrew Batch
As you would be aware, late last month the Australian Government announced a $130bn wages subsidy package, known as the ’JobKeeper Payment’ in response to COVID-19.
Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses significantly impacted by COVID-19 are able to access a financial benefit from the Government to subsidise employee wages. Eligible businesses are those with turnover of less than $1bn per year whose turnover has reduced by 30%. Businesses with turnover of more than $1bn per year need to have lost 50% of turnover.
Given the diverse nature of our operations across the Group, the immediate impact of COVID-19 has been felt differently. Whilst it is clear in some parts of our business that we will already meet the eligibility criteria, such as Autocare Services, we are still completing our forecasts and analysis to determine eligibility across the entire Group.
On this basis, we will be submitting our formal application for Autocare Services by the end of this month. We are continuing to review our forecasts and volumes across our other operations, with a view to submitting our formal application if we determine that we meet the eligibility requirements, specifically the required reduction in turnover.
Over the coming days, we will work closely with our Autocare Services managers and employees to complete all actions required for our application. We will keep you updated as we receive more information regarding this application, as well as the outcomes of our ongoing assessment of wider Group eligibility.
Group CEO, Anthony Jones
Across Australia, there are positive signs related to the spread of COVID-19. New infection rates are declining, mainly due to the community’s adherence to the Government’s enforced measures and restrictions. This is positive news and evidence the adjustments we’ve made as a society are working. It remains pleasing that LINX CCG still has no confirmed cases of COVID-19 to date. Again, I’d like to thank each of you for your contributions to our business and broader communities to adjust your ways of living and working to support these restrictions.
Coupled with the manufacturing impact globally, these same measures and restrictions are, however, also having an adverse impact on our customers, volumes, and ultimately our revenue. As we look towards the impacts this pandemic will continue to have on our business and the wider economy in the coming months, one of our major focuses is on exploring all opportunities to offset this loss of revenue in the interest of achieving our ultimate goal across the Group – to protect and sustain employment while ensuring LINX CCG’s longevity.
Our established Senior Leadership COVID-19 forums continue to explore all possible strategies and opportunities that can help us to achieve this goal.
One element of our approach that will be critical, is the prudent management of our cost base, working closely with our suppliers such as landlords, sub-contractors, equipment suppliers and also you, our employees, to enable the control of our labour costs in line with the decreased workloads.
Managing labour cost
It is important that we manage our labour in the context of the current climate. We must reduce our labour cost where possible, while maintaining required service delivery levels. We also need to position the organisation to be able to ramp back up once the pandemic eases.
This will mean that there will be some temporary personal sacrifices we all need to make in support of this effort.
Over the coming days, each business unit and Group functional support executive leader will communicate directly with their employees about requested changes to individual and collective working arrangements, such as requiring people to take leave and other proposed amendments. Our people leaders will then consult with regards to these proposed changes and to consider any specific queries or considerations.
As part of the Group’s collective cost reduction efforts, each member of LINX CCG’s Senior Leadership Team (SLT) will take a 20% salary reduction effective 1 May 2020 for a period of six months, whilst continuing at full time hours. This structure ensures the SLT can contribute to our cost reduction efforts while continuing to develop and execute the Group’s strategic and tactical response to COVID-19 and provide consistent and clear leadership for our people during this uncertain time. While the time period is for six months, this structure will be regularly reviewed and adjusted if required, and the SLT will also be reducing personal leave balances to assist.
We’re all in this together
While the devastating business impacts of this pandemic are felt far and wide throughout Australia and the world, at LINX CCG, we’re focused on how to get through it – what adjustments we must make so we can emerge on the other side, positioned to deliver for our customers and communities whilst continuing our focus on strategic priorities, including business growth. Our guides for how to respond during this time are our Culture Code and living our Values. #weareone
I understand that this is an unsettling message. I thank you in advance for your ongoing support and commitment to help us deliver a resilient LINX Cargo Care Group, post COVID-19.
Group CEO, Anthony Jones
As I’m sure most of you are across the rolling Government updates, I’d like to focus this update on our Group’s business continuity planning.
On 18 March, LINX CCG Executive GM, HSE, Peter Seaman, announced we had established a Group Pandemic Management Team to lead our Group’s ongoing tactical response to COVID-19, including managing the Group Pandemic Management Plan (PMP) and its implementation across our organisation. The PMP details how we aim to limit any exposure or spread of COVID-19 in our business, and how we respond should there be any potential or confirmed exposure or diagnosis.
To date, we have no recorded cases of a LINX CCG employee confirmed with COVID-19 and I thank everyone for upholding your responsibility to advise our Group HSE team of any concerns with employee symptoms or illness.
The SLT has also formed strategic forums with an extended group of leaders, which meet several times a week and are collectively focused on accelerating the Group’s decision-making process during COVID-19.
To ensure LINX CCG’s short and long-term sustainability it’s now more than ever, the time for agile thinking and responsive action to uphold our customer commitments today, and to prepare for how those requirements could change in the future. These forums receive operational, health and safety, government and financial performance updates, to facilitate rapid decision making in order to respond to the swiftly evolving pandemic situation.
In addition, the SLT continues our heavy focus on potential Government support and how we can best leverage any opportunities for which we are eligible. As I understand there is much employee interest in the Government’s JobKeeper package, I wish to share that we submitted LINX CCG’s official expression of interest prior to the package being passed by parliament yesterday and now await further details to emerge so we can continue our eligibility investigation. We will share further information with you shortly.
We Are One
An important element of managing our business continuity to date, has been the specific measures our teams have actioned in response to Government directives. From stronger engagement with unions and customers, to increasing access to personal hygiene and sanitisation supplies on site, to executing working from home plans where practicable, I’m exceptionally proud of the way you’ve all worked together to help our Group respond to ensure we keep our organisation operational.
As we navigate the unforeseen changes that COVID-19 will continue to bring in the short-term, we appreciate your support as we make decisions and implement initiatives in the interest of protecting the sustainability of the Group.
These are challenging times, and we understand that the coming weeks and months will be difficult for all of us as we face having to make various levels of personal sacrifice as a direct result of the pandemic. The SLT will be working with their teams over the next few weeks to discuss how we work together to protect the sustainability of our organisation and I would like to thank you for your commitment to our Group. I understand these can be unsettling times, so please be assured we are well progressed in our planning and have great support from our shareholders, such as Brookfield.