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Why the Federal Government has given Aussie contact centres a fillip

This year has been a disruptive and challenging one for thousands of Australian businesses and business owners. COVID-19 has created an overnight recession, the likes of which we haven’t seen for decades, and when times will improve remains anyone’s guess.

Handed down in October, the federal government’s 2020-21 Budget included a laundry list of initiatives designed to stimulate the economy by making it more attractive for businesses to hire and invest.

Some of its headline incentives may encourage them to do just that, on the local contact centre front.

Bringing the contact centre home

We’ve already seen some of the country’s biggest businesses, including Westpac, Datacom and Telstra, perform a decisive about-face when it comes to offshoring. Earlier in the year, all three announced plans to close overseas operations and build teams in Australia.

Disruption to their operations this year highlighted the fragility of the offshoring model and made repatriation a safe, if not unavoidable, course of action. As Deloitte’s 2020 report, The Contact Centre of 2030 Can’t Wait It’s Now, noted, shutdowns in popular offshore locales, and the absence of infrastructure to enable agents to work from home, left many large organisations unable to field basic customer enquiries.

A helping hand from the federal government

Businesses interested in bringing contact centre operations and jobs home may be further encouraged to do so by two federal budget programs.

The first is the instant asset write-off initiative, which allows eligible businesses to receive an immediate tax deduction for newly acquired, eligible assets up to the value of $150,000. That makes investing in an omni-channel contact centre platform for on-shore use significantly more attractive financially.

The second is the wage subsidy the government is offering to businesses which hire unemployed Australians under the age of 35 who’ve been in receipt of a Centrelink benefit. The sum is not sufficient to make local labour costs commensurate with those in developing countries but it does make setting up shop at home that bit more attractive.

A stronger future

Establishing a local contact centre can make it easier for your business to keep on keeping on, when disruption or disaster strikes. Recent Budget initiatives which make doing so that bit more attractive are an added bonus.

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