State Budgets

NSW

The New South Wales Government has published the State Budget.

Highlights for our members

  • $520 million over two years toll relief for non-business and small business customers
  • $3.5 billion committed for flood response and recovery (including Commonwealth Government contribution)
  • NSW Government will be investing in Western Sydney to include road upgrades and light rail to improve quality of life for people living in Western Sydney
  • Regional support – $175 million for economic activation and $100 million for the Regional Job Creation Fund

For further information please click here

https://www.budget.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/2022-06/20220620_01_2022-23-Budget-Paper-Overview-Glossy.pdf

 

QLD

The Queensland Government has published the State Budget.

Highlights for our members

  • Budget will drive the creation of more jobs in more industries including $50 million towards Queensland manufacturing
  • $39.1 million to support small business growth
  • $19.6 billion for education and training

For further information on the highlights of the budget please click here

https://budget.qld.gov.au/files/Budget_2022-23_Highlights.pdf

 

SA

The South Australian Government has published the State Budget.

Highlights for our members

  • $100 million economic recovery fund over four years
  • $10 million over four years Manufacturing innovation grants
  • $6.2 million over four years Brand SA re-establishment
  • $11.9 million over four years in skills and training

For further information please click here

https://www.statebudget.sa.gov.au/our-budget

 

VIC

The Victorian Government has published the State Budget.

Highlights for our members

  • Investment in skills and training
  • Focussed on building jobs in industries of the future, in areas such as advanced manufacturing
  • Australia’s first Sick Pay Guarantee
  • $30 million for Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund
  • $10million to deliver the Business Acceleration Fund to cut re-tape and streamline regulations

For further information please click here

https://www.budget.vic.gov.au/

 

WA

The Western Australian Government has published the State Budget.

Highlights for our members

  • $505 million increase in spending on education and training
  • Investment in mental health systems

For further information please click here

https://www.ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au/2022-23/budget-papers/bp3/2022-23-wa-state-budget-bp3.pdf

 

TAS

The Tasmanian Government has published the State Budget.

Highlights for our members

  • $18 million to provide low or no fee training for job seekers
  • $7.9 million to operate new Local Jobs Hubs
  • Extension of the Payroll Tax Rebate scheme
  • $1 million for Skills Attraction
  • $200,000 to achieve long-term wood resource security to support the sustainable Tasmanian forest and wood products sector

For further information, please click here

https://www.treasury.tas.gov.au/Documents/2022-23-Tasmanian-Budget-Overview-Booklet.pdf

 

NT

The Northern Territory 22-23 budget has been published.

Please click here to view the budget

https://budget.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0014/1103027/2022-23-nt-economy-book.pdf

Top tips for small businesses to handle the sharp inflation

Top tips for small businesses to handle the sharp inflation

Article source: SmartCompany, written by David Adams.

The annual inflation rate is now 6.1%, as the cost of everyday essentials hits businesses and households.

Inflation skyrocketed at an annual rate of 6.1% in the June quarter, new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed, confirming a drastic increase in the cost of everyday essentials.

It is the highest annual uptick since the GST was introduced in July 2000.

In its new analysis, released Wednesday morning, the ABS confirmed the Consumer Price Index (CPI) not only surged over the year, but by 1.8% from the March quarter — where year-on-year inflation hit a bruising 5.1%.

Underlying inflation — otherwise known as trimmed mean inflation, which excludes the most volatile spending segments — also grew by 4.9%.

Cost increases were driven by housing, rising 9% over the year, transportation costs including petrol, climbing 13.1% annually, and furnishings, household equipment and services, with annual cost growth of 6.3%.

Those increases were driven by high demand and supply-side shortages, which have suppressed the availability of key building materials, fuel, and household goods through 2022.

Lingering supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic collided with flood disruptions to slow the movement of essential goods and services over the survey period.

High fuel prices contributed to the rising cost of heavy goods like furniture.

At the same time, labour shortages — a hangover from Australia’s closed-border policies earlier in the pandemic — are driving up the cost of some services.

Hospitality venues counting the cost of rising ingredient prices now have hard data to point to, with the cost of vegetables alone surging 7.3% in the year, in large part due to the impact of floods on farms across Australia’s east coast.

The figures fall slightly below broad market expectations, which suggested June’s data would show an even greater uptick of inflationary pressures.

Earlier on Wednesday, Westpac analysts predicted an annual CPI uptick of 6.1% and 1.7% over the quarter, a somewhat lower estimate than broader market expectations of a 6.3% annual lift and a 1.9% quarterly rise.

ANZ found its estimates slightly too aggressive, having predicted year-on-year inflation growth would hit 6.6%, and 2.3% quarter-on-quarter.

Tips for small business to help handle the sharpest inflation growth.

Focus on high-margin goods and services

Businesses should turn their focus to high-margin goods and services, Gavan Ord, Senior manager of business and investment policy at CPA Australia says.

“To improve your cash position, focus your promotional activity on high turnover items that have a good profit margin. Reduce or remove products or services that have low turnover and low profit margin.”

Such practices can be crucial in the hard-hit hospitality and service industries, Accountant Lisa Greig, founder of tax and business advice service Perigee Advisers added.

“My clients in the hospitality area, instead of offering 10 or 20 things on the menu, they’re cutting down to five,” she said.

“So they’re just trying to eliminate the waste and the additional costs.”

And as much as possible, firms should avoid shouldering the cost of rising input costs themselves, while keeping an eye on their bare minimum break-even point.

“Instead, look to pass these along to customers or add value in other ways,” Ord said.

Streamline invoicing and credit processes

To keep cashflow as stable as possible, small businesses should also keep a close eye on their invoicing habits.

“We’ve all found through the downturn, and now with inflation, that our debtor days are going out,” Greig said.

“Make sure you’re on top of debt collection,” Ord added.

“Credit checks are vital, and credit limits must be set, regularly reviewed and communicated to your employees. Send invoices as soon as work is completed, and document payment terms clearly on all invoices.”

Keep an eye on interest rates

Beyond the direct impacts of rising input costs, small businesses should also keep an eye on interest rates.

Earlier this year, Commonwealth Bank said financing for equipment and machinery was up 17% this financial year compared to 2021-2022, boosted by sweeteners like the instant asset write-off and the new “bonus” tax deduction on tech and digital upgrades.

Grant Cairns, the bank’s executive general manager for business lending, said such lending activity was likely to continue.

Raising the cash rate target would see lenders hike their own interest rates, effectively making it more expensive for business to borrow funds to expand or upgrade their operations.

The same goes for variable rate loans on commercial properties and business premises.

Training Makes a Positive Impact in Retail

Training Makes a Positive Impact in Retail

Barrow and Bench Mitre 10 in Malvern South Australia – a modern, award winning, family-owned hardware store and garden centre, saw the opportunity to upskill their staff in 2020 through the traineeship program. Adam Maitland commenced with Barrow and Bench Mitre 10 once he finished his year 12 schooling and was enrolled in a Certificate III in Retail and completed in 2021.

Barrow and Bench also enrolled Aiden Chaplin into a Certificate IV in Business which he successfully completed in 2021.

The advantages of a workplace traineeship were the integrated learning within the workplace, the TABMA trainer conducted learning via zoom and visited the workplace to observe practical components of each unit.

Adam says the course gave him a lot of useful information to use with his daily tasks and broadening his knowledge to undertake different situations. The biggest impact of the Certificate III in Retail course their specific needs.

Looking to the future, Adam is thinking about undertaking a Certificate IV in Leadership & Management or Business, he wants to be the best at whatever task, role and job he undertakes.

TABMA Australia are proud of what both Adam and Aiden have achieved and are excited to be a part of their journey.

Is your business in need of an apprentice or trainee or looking to upskill your current workforce? TABMA Australia can assist you through our Group Training Organisation (GTO) and our Registered Training Organisation (RTO). We take great pride in creating opportunities to allow young professionals to realise their potential through ongoing workplace support, and the delivery of quality training outcomes that lead to career pathways for our learners and a skilled and capable workforce for our customers across Australia.

Worker shortages, inflation, and climate: Here are the key small business concerns as Labor takes power

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was today sworn into office, kicking off the tenure of his Labor government.

After nine years of Coalition leadership, Labor’s ascendancy could offer a new take on small business policy.

Sensing the potential for a shake-up in Canberra, business groups including the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA), the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) have now outlined their policy priorities.

Worker shortages, inclusivity, and equality

The shortage of qualified labour across industry sectors remains a key concern

“The first priority must be ending the most acute labour and skill shortages in 48 years,” ACCI chief executive Andrew McKellar said.

“Small businesses cannot afford for the next federal government to drag its heels on growing Australia’s workforce.”

The ARA also circled labour and skills shortages as a top five priority, while COSBOA called for the incoming government to eliminate “barriers” between employers and their potential employees, “such as negative impacts on tax, access to benefits, and pension”.

Workplace and wage equality remain key issues too, with the ARA calling on Labor to “advance social and economic outcomes” alike.

The party pledged a broad reworking of the temporary visa system, opening another pathway for migrants to become permanent residents. It has also backed the Coalition’s 2022-23 federal budget pledge to provide bonus tax rebates to small businesses investing in tech training, a move warmly welcomed by employers.

However, the crux of its skills platform rests on its free-free TAFE plan, which will take years to come up to speed.

Inflation and supply chain certainty

The cost of doing business is surging, led by the price of materials, fuel, and power (plus some labour, as mentioned above).

The ARA has called for further supply chain resilience, to avoid the kind of shocks faced by local retailers battling delays caused by COVID-19 backlogs and natural disasters.

Recent data from Xero shows 23.7% of surveyed businesses considered supply chain constraints a key concern.

Likewise, COSBOA says the incoming government must “address the criticality of supply chain issues and the impact they are having on small business’ input costs”.

The small business sector is waiting for more detail on how Labor’s $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund and $1 billion advanced manufacturing scheme will operate, with an eye to how they could bolster Australia’s self-sufficiency.

Climate

The loss of key Liberal Party electorates to ‘teal’ independents — including the all-but-certain defeat of former treasurer Josh Frydenberg in Melbourne’s Kooyong — showed how seriously affluent, inner-city suburbs take the issue of climate change.

Meanwhile, regional centres are still recovering from devastating flooding across Queensland and northern New South Wales, to say nothing of businesses decimated by the 2019 bushfire season.

COSBOA ranked disaster preparedness as a key concern for small businesses, noting Labor’s $200 million per year pledge to boost disaster resilience, and simplify emergency payment schemes for impacted businesses.

As insurance premiums rise, COSBOA says Labor’s policy platform “recognises the role insurance plays in this policy area”.

“We are keen to advance collaboration with the new government around climate action,” ARA chief executive Paul Zahra said in a statement.

“Retailers are already well underway in their plans to address challenges within key areas such as energy use, food and textile waste, supply chain transparency and the circular economy. We need deeper and stronger integration with government plans in all these areas.”

Tax

Labor campaigned on a promise to ensure multinational corporations pay their fair share of tax, a move the party said would assist in “leveling the playing field for Australian businesses”.

However, the small business community is keen to find its own tax cuts, on top of the promise to crack down on the big end of town.

Approximately 17% of businesses with a turnover between $1 million and $5 million listed company tax cuts as an election priority, according to data compiled for business financier ScotPac.

Even more important for the sector: another extension of the instant asset write-off scheme. Around 22% of SMEs surveyed called the policy an election priority, before its expiration in mid-2023.

Small businesses are also keen to see simplified BAS reporting and compliance systems, minimising the time business owners spend on administrative duties.

Labor policy documents claim the party will “drive a genuine collaboration with small businesses and government to reduce the time small businesses spend doing taxes, cut paperwork and target support”.

While the Coalition’s ‘stage three’ tax cuts are supported by Labor, COSBOA described its overall tax policy as “very vague” for small businesses.

Competition, procurement, and payments reform

The small business sector wants to improve its dealings with big business and government alike.

COSBOA is crystal clear on its approach to competition regulation: the peak body wants enhanced powers for the ACCC, allowing it to “impose greater conditions on
acquisitions to protect competition in the market”.

Beyond shielding small business from the economic clout of multinationals, COSBOA wants to increase the proportion of government contracts held by SMEs.

Labor has pledged some support in this regard, with its Buy Australian Plan focused on “decoding and simplifying procurement processes” for small and medium enterprises.

Labor has presented its own plan to protect small businesses.

On top of its big business tax compliance agenda, Labor plans to institute a mechanism ensuring payments to SMEs are made within 30 days, improving cashflow to smaller enterprises.

As a bonus, Labor has also committed to least-cost routing, enabling small businesses to chose the cheapest payment processing option available when processing transactions.

Source: SmartCompany

Understanding the Difference Between Overtime VS Time in Lieu

Understanding different payment terms can be confusing. There’s ordinary time, overtime and time off in lieu to make sense of. 

Given the penalties for getting things wrong, it is important to understand when an employee is entitled to be paid overtime for the hours they have worked or whether providing time in lieu of paying overtime is available for you and an employee, and if so what rules apply.

WHEN WOULD AN EMPLOYEE BE ENTITLED TO OVERTIME?

If the employee is not covered by a modern award or enterprise agreement, then whether they can earn overtime is a matter for their employment contract. 

Very few employees not covered by a modern award or enterprise agreement get overtime in Australia. Some shift supervisors do in the heavy manufacturing sector, but this is rare.

If the employee is covered by a modern award or enterprise agreement, then whether they can earn overtime will be set out in the modern award or enterprise agreement.

When overtime applies can vary greatly between modern awards. It usually includes an employee working:

  • more than a certain number of hours each day or week
  • outside of a certain spread of hours
  • (for part-time employees) more than their usual hours each day or week.

HOW IS OVERTIME CALCULATED?

In modern awards (and most enterprise agreements) overtime payments are based on a multiple of an employee’s ordinary time hourly rate of pay. Modern awards that provide for overtime require overtime to be paid:

  • At 150% (time and a half) of an employee’s ordinary time hourly rate for the first two or three hours of overtime worked
  • At 200% (double time) of an employee’s ordinary time hourly rate after the two or three hours of overtime worked.

Some modern awards provide different overtime payment arrangements for:

  • shift workers
  • working overtime on Saturday
  • working overtime on Sunday
  • working overtime on a public holiday.

HOW IS OVERTIME CALCULATED?

The question is answered in the National Employment Standards. An employee does not have a right to work overtime unless you have created one through your employment contracts. Deciding that overtime is needed is a matter for the employer.

In simple terms, an employer can ask an employee to work “additional hours” each week as long as the request is reasonable. Keep in mind an employee can decline the request if it is unreasonable for them.

Additional hours are:

  • for a full-time employee: anything over 38 hours a week
  • for other than a full-time employee: the lesser of 38 a week or the employee’s ordinary weekly hours.

Clear as mud, right?

It’s a little unusual as it requires two very similar but not identical tests for the employer and employee:

  • the original request needs to be reasonable 
  • the right to refuse must be based on unreasonableness.

So it could be reasonable in the circumstances for the employer to request additional hours to be worked, but then in the circumstances of a given employee, the request could be unreasonable.

In considering what is reasonable or unreasonable in the circumstances, the legislation requires the following to be taken into account:

  • risk to health and safety
  • the employee’s personal circumstances such as family responsibilities
  • the needs of the business
  • whether the employee will be paid overtime, penalty rates or other compensation
  • whether the employee’s level of remuneration reflects an expectation of working additional hours
  • any notice given by the employer of the request
  • any notice given by the employee of their intention to refuse
  • the usual patterns of work in the industry or part of the industry the employee works in
  • the nature of the employee’s role and level of responsibility
  • whether the hours worked are in accordance with any applicable weekly averaging provisions found in all modern awards or under the Fair Work Act 2009
  • any other relevant matter.

TIME OFF IN LIEU OF OVERTIME

Time off in lieu of overtime applies when an employee works additional hours and instead of being paid overtime agrees to take paid time off work during their ordinary hours of work instead of being paid the overtime payment – called “time off in lieu” or “TOIL”.

For some employers, TOIL is valuable business flexibility as it allows them to substitute a form of leave for what would otherwise be an additional payment and therefore cost.

TOIL is used quite a lot in the public sector and also in sectors like health, social welfare and personal care as well as for many clerical office roles. It tends to suit jobs where the employee can be off for a short period without disrupting the usual workflow.  

You can see this in an office environment where a clerical worker might take an early-mark on a Friday afternoon at 2pm as TOIL rather than be paid overtime earned at another time. 

This may cause little disruption to the workflow of the office, save the business from paying the overtime and provide valuable work-life balance for the employee.

ARE THE TOIL RULES ALL THE SAME?

In a modern award, they are similar but not always the same. Most have the following features:

  • Taking TOIL is by agreement with the employee concerned (often in writing).
  • The time off usually needs to be taken within a set period (often six months).
  • The time off needs to be taken at a mutually agreed time.
  • The employee can elect to be paid the overtime as pay at any time.
  • If there is a time period in the modern award and time off has not been taken during that period, the employer must pay the employee for the overtime worked.
  • An employer cannot put an employee under pressure to take TOIL.
  • If the employee’s employment comes to an end, the TOIL/overtime must be paid out.

HOW IS TOIL CALCULATED?

One of the things you have to watch out for in modern awards is how the amount of time off is calculated. In some, it is an hour off for each hour of overtime worked and in others the hours off equal the paid hours.

For instance, if an employee worked two hours overtime to be paid at time and a half (150%) they would be entitled to three hours pay at their ordinary time hourly rate.

In this example, some modern awards will say that if the employee wants TOIL:

  • they can have two hours off (because they worked two hours of overtime), while others could say
  • they can have three hours off (because they were owed three hours pay).

Many but not all modern awards provide for time off in lieu of overtime.

Industries covered by modern awards that include time off in lieu include:

  • retail
  • restaurants, cafes
  • hospitality
  • transport
  • general manufacturing.

IF MY EMPLOYEE IS COVERED BY A MODERN AWARD AND ASKS FOR TOIL, MUST I GIVE IT TO THEM?

Remember its “by agreement”.

TOIL may sound like a good option for your business, but remember it can only be used by agreement under modern awards (and likely enterprise agreements). 

If your employee works overtime and asks for TOIL but it does not suit you, politely say no. Neither you nor your employee is under any obligation to agree to TOIL.

It is important to get this right so get in touch with our Workplace Advice Line today.