While (almost) everyone seemed to get COVID for Christmas, the New Year has bought more than just a rush for Rapid Antigen Tests, it has also meant the commencement of new laws.  From State based Slavery legislation, to plastics bans, to Directors changes, the new laws are important for all business operators to understand now….

 NEW Modern Slavery Laws for NSW Businesses

Following a long hiatus the NSW Modern Slavery laws were passed late last year and came into effect on 1 January 2022…though the Act ended up looking significantly different from the initial draft.  The reporting requirements have been removed. 

 “While the formal reporting requirements were removed from the NSW Modern Slavery Act, all businesses with a consolidated revenue of $100m or more are still required to report to the National Modern Slavery Register” explains ACAPMAs Elisha Radwanowski.

 “It must also be understood that just because the reporting requirement has been removed, does not mean that there is nothing for businesses to do.  The Act requires all business to take all reasonable steps to prevent and irradicate modern slavery from its supply chains.  The first step to achieving this is understanding what Modern Slavery is…and it is much more than indentured labour.  ACAPMA recommends all businesses, of all sizes, familiarise themselves with the nature of Modern Slavery and start a real dialogue with their suppliers about their supply chains.  This open dialogue and education is a massive step towards addressing Modern Slavery” added Elisha.

 “There are great resources, including free online training about what Modern Slavery is and why businesses should take the time to understand it and do their bit to address and irradicate it such as – https://antislavery.org.au/training-advisory/” concluded Elisha.

For more information:  https://www.nsw.gov.au/media-releases/nsw-government-secures-landmark-laws-against-modern-slavery

For a copy of the law see;  https://legislation.nsw.gov.au/view/whole/html/inforce/current/act-2018-030

NEW Mental Health Levy for VIC Businesses

 From 1 January 2022 the Mental Health Levy will be applied to all businesses with an annual payroll of $100m or more pro rataed for part year employers.

 “Businesses that are grouped for Payroll Tax will be grouped for the purposes of the Mental Health Levy threshold too – so it is $100m or more across the total of the grouped payrolls” explains ACAPMAs Elisha Radwanowski.

 Businesses (or grouped businesses) that have an a total annual payroll of $100m or more must pay is 0.5% of the Victorian taxable wages over $10 million and an additional 0.5% of the Victorian taxable wages over $100 million.

 For more information:  https://www.sro.vic.gov.au/mentalhealthsurcharge

 NEW Plastics Bans coming for NSW, SA, ACT

 This year also sees the commencement of planned plastics bans that will commence as follows; 

SA

From 1 March 2022 the ban on single use plastics (straws, stirrers and cutlery) expanded to include polystyrene and oxo-degradable plastics.  

Penalties apply to retailers and manufactures for non compliance.

For more see; https://www.replacethewaste.sa.gov.au/

 NSW

From 1 June 2022 ban on single use lightweight plastic Bags is in effect.

From 1 November 2022 ban on single use plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates/bowls, expanded polystyrene, cotton bud sticks and microbeads is in effect.

Penalties apply to retailers and manufactures for non compliance.

For more see;  https://www.dpie.nsw.gov.au/our-work/environment-energy-and-science/plastics-action-plan

 ACT

From 1 July 2022 the ban on single use plastic cutlery, stirrers and polystyrene food and drink containers has been expanded to include straws, fruit and vegi bags.

Penalties apply to retailers and manufactures for non compliance.

For more see; https://www.cityservices.act.gov.au/recycling-and-waste/single-use-plastics

 

Directors Changes

 In June 2021 changes were made that required all Australian Company Directors to register for a Director Identification Number (DIN).  These changes resulted in a need for Directors to apply for a DIN within 28 days of being appointed.

 From 1 April 2022 Directors will have to have a DIN BEFORE they are appointed as a Director.

For more information and to apply for a DIN see; https://www.abrs.gov.au/director-identification-number/apply-director-identification-number

Learnings for all Businesses

 It is easy to get swept up in the busy summer season, but it is important to pause and digest the changes that come into effect as we ring in the New Year.

“As is expected there will be more changes that will come throughout the year.  ACAPMA will continue to keep Members informed of the changes and supported with achieving compliance” noted ACAPMAs Elisha Radwanowski.

 Here to Help

 HR Highlights are things to consider, implement and watch out for in your business.  They are provided as general information for you to consider and do not constitute advice.  You should seek further advice on your situation by contacting your legal advisor.  ACAPMA members can access resources and receive advice, guidance and support from the ACAPMA employment professionals via employment@acapma.com.au , it is free for members.  ACAPMA Membership delivers this and more benefits, see; https://acapma.com.au/membership/  for more information.

Elisha Radwanowski BCom(HRM&IR)

ACAPMA

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