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Small business reform gains momentum

Saturday, January 18, 2014

It’s great to start off the New Year with a reform bang. Fortunately, that’s what we’re seeing under the Abbott government on the small business front.

Here are some of the things going on.

Under Small Business Minister Bruce Billson:
  • The small business ombudsman is set to be appointed. This is the person who’ll be charged to settle commercial disputes between the government and small business people.
  • The big competition law review is set to start. The draft terms of reference have been released and big business is annoyed that small business people are given special attention. 
  • Fair contract laws for small business people will proceed—regardless of the competition law review.
  • Franchisors are going to receive a shake-up.
  • First steps have been taken to enable small businesses to pay superannuation to the Australian Taxation Office who’ll then pay the superannuation funds. This will significantly reduce small business superannuation administration problems.
Under Industrial Relations Minister Senator Eric Abetz:
  • The Fair Work Ombudsman has been told to give reliable advice to small business people on employee pay rates. If the small business people follow the advice, they can’t be prosecuted. That fixes the outrage where people have been prosecuted after they paid employees the rates they were advised by the FWO.

These first reform steps are impressive and it will be interesting to see how the reforms are received.

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