AusBiotech will seek a class ruling on the Jobkeeper payment scheme from the Tax Commissioner, formally requesting that biotech companies be included due to their unique business model and their contributions to society and the economy.
AusBiotech is advocating on behalf of industry, and a class ruling will provide the certainty companies need to continue to advance, and avoids the need for individuals to seek private rulings.
The majority of biotech companies are pre-revenue, and have a unique business model that enables them to translate research into lifesaving and enhancing products for patients, but leaves them in a pre-revenue phase for up to decade. Therefore, regardless of their fierce need for cash flow, they do not have revenue to reduce by 30 per cent.
Legislation was passed by the Australian Government on 8 April for the JobKeeper Payment, however, the majority of biotech companies are still excluded from the scheme.
Speaking to The Australian last week, Lorraine Chiroiu, CEO, said, “Excluding the majority of biotech companies from accessing the JobKeeper payment puts at risk the very industry who are working to diagnose and treat COVID-19, and other illnesses. Life sciences works in a unique environment, and the Government is urged to ensure that that they look after the full healthcare pipeline so we remain strong throughout this period and able to recover.”
With 86 per cent of the Australian biotechnology sector in the start-up or SME category, more than 65,000 highly-skilled individuals are employed and that we need to retain.
Members can stay up to date on AusBiotech’s COVID-19 leadership, and share their own news and questions, on AusBiotech’s new LinkedIn group AusBiotech: Communicating during COVID-19. Join the discussion now.