How Your Business May be Affected by Changes to the Law

3 min read
Business May be Affected by Changes to the Law

How Your Business May be Affected by Changes to the Law from 1 July 2018

You may not be aware of them, but there are a number of changes to the law that came into effect from 1 July this year which may have an impact on your business. 

National minimum wage and penalty rate increases

From 1 July 2018, the national minimum wage increased by 3.5%. The new national minimum wage is $719.20 per week for a 38-hour week, or $18.93 per hour.

This increase applies from the first full pay period starting on or after 1 July 2018, for employees on the National Minimum Wage or a Modern Award. Please note that this will not have any impact on employees who are paid more than the new minimum wage.

Also, it is worth noting that there will be further changes to Sunday penalty rates in some hospitality and retail Awards from 1 July 2018, following a decision by the Fair Work Commission last year, which will in many cases represent a small saving to business of somewhere between 10% and 15%, which is good news. 

Single Touch Payroll

From 1 July 2018, the Australian Taxation Office will introduce Single Touch Payroll (STP). If you employ 20 or more employees, you will need to report to the ATO each time you pay them. The information you need to send to the ATO includes your employees’ salaries and wages, allowances, deductions (for example, workplace giving) and other payments, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding, and superannuation.

From 1 July next year the STP will be expanded to include employers with fewer than19 employees, subject to legislation getting through the Parliament. You can access the ATO website to get ready for Single Touch Payroll. 

Country of origin food labelling

From 1 July 2018, if your business grows, produces, manufactures, distributes, imports, or sells food in retail stores in Australia, you will need to comply with the new Country of Origin Labelling laws. These new laws are now mandatory after a two-year transition period. This means food products sold in Australian supermarkets or retail outlets must display the new food labels.

Hopefully this will result in a better disclosure regime for all of us, as businesses or consumers, but this remains to be seen. If you need help to comply, have a look at the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission website for assistance.

Changes to gift card expiry dates and fees in NSW

From 31 March 2018, gift cards and gift vouchers purchased in NSW will have a three-year life. NSW businesses that issue gift cards or gift vouchers will need to honour the purchase if it’s within that period. Gift cards or gift vouchers issued prior to this date are not affected by the changes.

Updates to the national Privacy Act – data breach changes

As you may be aware, from 22 February 2018 businesses with an annual turnover of more than $3 million are required to comply with the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme under the Privacy Act 1988. A data breach occurs when personal information is accessed or released without authority. If the breach is likely to cause serious harm to an individual, businesses must notify both the individual involved and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).

The Commissioner has a number of roles under the NDB scheme –

  • receiving notifications of eligible data breaches,
  • encouraging compliance with the scheme, including by handling complaints, conducting investigations, or taking other regulatory action in response to breaches, and
  • offering advice and guidance to regulated organisations and providing information to the community about the operation of the scheme.

A review of the Privacy Regulations did not extend to laying down penalties for breaches of the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme, but this loophole may be closed at any time. 

Changes to casual & part-time entitlements in some Awards

From 1 January 2018, the Fair Work Commission made changes to some Award rates and minimum shift entitlements for casual and part-time employees. This means business owners need to pay affected staff the updated rate from the first full pay period after 1 January 2018.

If any of these changes triggers any concerns for you, we are happy to assist your business to address any issues.

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Picture of Authored By<br>David Prior

Authored By
David Prior

Director Lawyer, PBL Law Group

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Anita Bradley has been an absolute dream to deal with. Anita's conveyancing skills and knowledge knows absolutely no boundaries along with her effective communication skills which has made selling and buying a completely stress free exchange for us. We recommend PBL Law to everyone looking for outstanding service. We will definitely be returning clients.
Kushlan Aluwihare
PBL Law Group were fantastic. Anita from PBL worked with us closely during our property search and made the exchange and settlement process smooth and stress free. Highly recommended.
Gail Whitford
PBL handled my late mothers estate, they were very obliging and patient with any and all questions that we had, thank you to David , Sharon and the other staff that we dealt with, everyone was so easy to talk to and friendly .David came to the home where my Mother was living and helped her to get her will in order, Sharon helped us through the process of executing her wishes when the time came even doing a house call which was so much easier, thank you all so much
S M
I have experienced an excellent service from PBL (especially from Anita) during the sale of my recent property on Central Coast, and during the purchase of our current property in Sydney. Throughout many challengers, especially with the sale, Anita presented her very professional and knowledgeable conveyancer, positively solving all obstacles. "Above and Beyond" Award going to Anita!!! :-)
Amanda Reitzin
The five-star reviews are well-deserved. I needed a motion and a bylaw drawn up for urgent repairs of my strata unit and the AGM was in two weeks' time. My solicitor was friendly, efficient, knew what documents to ask for, and had all the paperwork prepared well within the timeframe. She also took the time to run through all the legalese and the different possible scenarios with me to make sure I understood. I am so glad to have found this firm and I will not hesitate to use their services again in future if the need arises.
Ricky Cooper
Anita is amazing! So attentive, approachable and communicates everything every step of the way. I have now bought and sold property with Anita and I cannot recommend her highly enough.
Ron Thomsen
Our Commercial Property conveyancing was handled very professionally. Anita’s experience and responsiveness was an asset in this transaction.
Trace M
I am so grateful for Anita Bradley from PBL Law Group helped me with this property settlement, she has went above beyond to ensure I understand everything because of our deafness. I will recommended Anita or their team. Thank you so much for all the hard work you have done for us.
Tricia Wheatstone
For almost 18 months I have been a client of Alex Ilkin. Alex is very knowledgeable and professional and has consistently provided me with thorough, honest and well set out advice, including steering my case through appeal proceedings. He always worked for my best interests with integrity and compassion. I recommend Alex and his team at PBL.