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Cyber security and your business article cover image
20 Jan 2023
As we increasingly use the internet to do business, it's important to make sure you have effective cyber security in place to protect your business from cyber-attacks. Cyber security Cyber security is about protecting your technology and information from: accidental or illegal access corruption theft damage You need to protect any digital information that your business creates and stores, plus any information you collect from your customers. Providing a secure system is critical to protect your business from cybercrime  and build and maintain customer trust in your business. To be effective, you need to make cyber security a part of your daily business processes. Who could be a cyber threat Cyber criminals may be an individual or a group of people. Threats to your technology or data might come from: criminals – out for money or information, to illegally access your hardware and data, or to disrupt your business clients you do business with – to compromise your information business competitors – looking to gain an advantage over your business current or former employees – who accidentally or intentionally compromise your information Ways cyber-attacks can happen Cyber criminals look for access to information and data on your business, employees and customers. They might do this by: theft or unauthorised access of hardware, computers and mobile devices infecting computers with malware (such as viruses, ransomware, and spyware) attacking your technology or website attacking third party systems spamming you with emails containing malware gaining access to your information through your employees or customers How a cyber-attack could affect your business A cyber-attack could cause you: financial loss – from theft of money, information, disruption to business business loss – damage to reputation, damage to other companies you rely on to do business costs – getting your affected systems up and running investment loss – time notifying the relevant authorities and institutions of the incident What is at risk Your money, information, technology and reputation could be at risk. This could include the destruction, exposure or corruption of the following: customer records and personal information email records financial records business plans new business ideas marketing plans intellectual property product design patent applications employee records (which could include sensitive personal identifiable information such as their date of birth) Types of online threats Some common online threats to watch out for include: phishing – fake messages to trick you into giving out your private personal, commercial or financial details. They can even pretend to be from an organisation you trust, such as a large business or government agency. malware - malicious software most commonly used by criminals to steal your confidential information, hold your system or device to ransom or install damaging programs onto your device without your knowledge. ransomware – a type of malicious software that makes your computer or files unusable unless you pay a fee to unlock them. Online scams Online scams can pretend to be from organisations, businesses or even individuals you trust to trick you into giving the scammers your money or your personal details to can steal your identity. Some common online scams to watch out for as a business include: Coronavirus (COVID-19) scams Unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage of COVID-19 to exploit and play on the fears of businesses and consumers across Australia. It is very difficult at times to know what communication is official. Cybercriminals are using websites, emails and text messages that claim to provide official information about COVID-19, but are attempts to get your personal or business information. Scammers are impersonating a range of official Australian and international organisations such as the Department of Health and the World Health Organisation, other government authorities and legitimate businesses including: financial institutions travel agents telecommunications companies Tax time scams Tax time is a popular period for scammers to target businesses. Stay one step ahead by being aware of these scams. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will not email you and ask for your bank details or tax file number (TFN). Watch out for scams targeting small businesses. Read about common scamming methods  on the ATO website. If you get an email, call or SMS from the ATO that asks for personal information or offers a tax refund, report it to the ATO and Scamwatch. Invoice email scam This involves scammers pretending to be legitimate suppliers advising you about changes to payment details. You may not realise until your business receives complaints from suppliers that your payments didn’t occur. Be aware of potential scamming and have checks in place to ensure you pay the right suppliers. Before paying, ensure the supplier verifies all major invoices using contact details you already have on record. Cyber security resources for small business Need more help understanding the basics of cyber security for your business? The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) leads the Australian Government’s efforts to improve cyber security. Their role is to help make Australia the safest place to connect online by providing advice and information about how to protect yourself and your business online. When there is a cyber security incident, the ACSC provides clear and timely advice to individuals, small to medium business, big business and critical infrastructure operators. See the Small Business Cyber Security Guide on the Australian Cyber Security Centre website. Find an Australian Small Business Advisory Services (ASBAS) provider for advice on a range of digital solutions including online security. For more information visit
Equal opportunity and diversity article cover image
05 Jan 2023
Understand how your business can provide equal opportunity employment and how to create flexible working arrangements. Equal opportunity and diversity overview Diversity in the workplace means that you employ people from a wide range of backgrounds. Working with a team of diverse employees will enhance your business through different perspectives, experience and knowledge. Research shows that diversity can be good for business. It promotes: better business performance and productivity from employees more creative and innovative thinking among staff improved staff health and wellbeing lower risk of discrimination and harassment in the workplace In Australia, national and state laws cover equal employment opportunity and anti-discrimination in the workplace. As an employer, you must understand your rights and responsibilities under human rights and anti-discrimination law. It's unlawful to disadvantage employees and job seekers in any way because of their: race colour gender sexual orientation gender identity intersex status age physical or mental disability marital status family or carer’s responsibilities pregnancy breastfeeding religion political opinion national extraction (place of birth or ancestry) social origin (class, caste or socio-occupational category) industrial activities (such as belonging to a trade union) Employing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples As an employer, you can increase your understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' experiences. Your understanding will help you provide appropriate and respectful opportunities for job seekers from these communities. Employing CALD people Australia is a multicultural society. Almost half of the population were born overseas or have at least one parent born overseas. A culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) workplace means having employees who: are from different countries have different cultural backgrounds can speak multiple languages are from different areas in Australia follow different religions CALD employees provide additional perspectives and experience, they can help you: understand Australia’s multicultural consumers provide better customer service by using their language and cultural skills provide access to new market segments and networks expand internationally to overseas markets CALD employees and your workplace Make sure your workplace is ready to embrace diversity. You can: develop workplace policies and training that promote cross-cultural awareness hold lunches and events that celebrate workplace diversity and encourage employees to share their cultures and experiences set up mentoring arrangements that match employees from different backgrounds, to encourage open communication find out when significant cultural and religious events and days are on, so you can anticipate leave requests and plan celebrations in the workplace Employing people with disability People with disability work in all industries, in many different roles, and bring a range of skills, qualifications, talents and experience to business. Evidence has shown that employees with disability tend to: take fewer days off, take less sick leave and stay in jobs for longer than other workers have fewer compensation incidents and accidents at work compared to other workers build strong relationships with customers boost workplace morale and enhance teamwork As an employer of people with disability, you must be aware of the special national minimum wages that could apply. Prepare your workplace If you employ or interview someone with disability, you may need to make changes to your workplace to ensure it's accessible. Most people with disability won't need changes to the workplace, so it's a good idea to chat with them first. Changes to your workplace could include: modifying the physical environment accessible car parking accessible sanitary facilities accessible room requirements in accommodation buildings making work arrangements more flexible Employer support As an employer, you can access a range of government programs to help you employ people with disability: Disabled Australian Apprentice Wage Support is an incentive paid to employers who employ an eligible Australian Apprentice with disability. Job Access can help you with free, confidential advice about employing people with disability and the financial help available to employers. Wage subsidies can help employers with paying wages and training costs in the first few months of employing a person with a disability. The Supported Wage System supports people with disability who are not able to perform jobs at the same capacity as any other employee Employee support Your employees with disability also have support available to help them adjust to their workplace: Employment Assistance Fund covers the costs of making workplace changes and buy equipment. Job Access has information for people with disability about finding work and being supported in the workplace. Disability Employment Services can help you with training, support, workplace adjustments and Auslan at work. Work Assist supports you to keep working if you’re experiencing significant challenges maintaining your job due to an injury, disability or health condition. Employing mature aged people Mature aged workers often have built up knowledge and skills during their time in the workforce, so they can help you to: look at your business operations from a different perspective improve your business processes fill any skill or knowledge gaps in your workplace provide mentoring to less experienced employees train up your employees by sharing skills There is evidence that mature aged workers can: save you money due to lower rates of absenteeism make your business more productive help you learn and adjust to new technologies in the workplace Working with new parents Employees may be entitled to unpaid parental leave when a new child is born or adopted. Australian Government Paid Parental Leave scheme Employees can also have extra entitlements, such as paid parental leave. This leave could occur under an award, agreement, company policy or law, such as the Australian Government Paid Parental Leave scheme. The Australian Government Parental Leave Pay provides eligible working parents who are the primary carer of a newborn or newly adopted child with a maximum of 18 weeks of Government-funded pay based on the national minimum wage. Working dads or partners are eligible to receive up to two weeks of Government-funded pay based on the national minimum wage, called Dad and Partner Pay. You can provide support to new parents by maintaining regular contact during parental leave. If both employee and employer agree, your employee can come to work for up to 10 paid Keeping in Touch days. These days won't affect your employees unpaid parental leave entitlements. Employing young people If you plan to hire young people under the age of 18, you will need to check with your local authority if you require a Working with Children check. The check may have a different title in your state or territory. You can contact your state or territory office responsible for the checks through the following links: ACT - Working with vulnerable people registration NSW - Working with Children Check Northern Territory - Working with children clearance Queensland - Working with Children Check (blue card) South Australia - Working with children check Tasmania - Work with vulnerable people registration Victoria - Working with Children Check Western Australia - Working with Children Bullying and harassment All employees have a right to work in a workplace free from discrimination and harassment. As an employer, you have a responsibility to ensure that your workplace meets these rights. Under Australian anti-discrimination law, an employer may be legally responsible for discrimination and harassment in the workplace. To minimise the risk of legal action as a result of this, employers can actively implement anti-discrimination policies and ensure they make staff aware of the consequences. As well as discrimination, bullying is a form of workplace harassment that employers must address. Bullying behaviour includes: unfair and excessive criticism publicly insulting victims constantly changing or setting unrealistic work targets undervaluing employees' efforts at work For more information visit
Unravelling ransomware article cover image
27 Dec 2022
Australian businesses are being targeted by cybercriminals. The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) urges all Australians to protect themselves against one of the most significant cybercrimes – ransomware. In the ACSC Annual Cyber Threat Report 21-22, ransomware was assessed to be the most destructive cybercrime threat, which had impacted all sectors of the Australian economy. Ransomware is malicious software that makes data or computer systems unusable until the victim makes a payment, often in the form of hard-to-trace cryptocurrencies. However, victims don’t just face the financial costs associated with recovery, they also experience business downtime, potential data loss and reputational damage. What signs of ransomware should I watch out for? Cybercriminals often encrypt data after gaining illegal access to a system. This can happen in the same way as other computer viruses, for example, by opening or downloading malicious software. Avoid visiting unsafe websites, opening emails or files from unknown sources, and be cautious when clicking on links from emails or social media. Stay alert to common signs of ransomware. These signs include: being unable to open your files ransom messages requesting money logins no longer working files moving location unusual file names or extensions.  How should I protect myself from ransomware? Being cautious with your online activity isn’t the only protection against ransomware attacks. The best way to prepare yourself for a ransomware attack is to create regular backups of your data. Regular backups make it possible to restore encrypted files, which may otherwise be impossible to recover. You can also prevent ransomware with a number of simple cyber security measures, such as: Updating your devices and turning on automatic updates. Using anti-virus software and turning on ransomware protection. Securing your accounts by turning on multi-factor authentication. Setting unique passphrases. Securing your servers and minimising your external footprint. Implementing access control for your business files. What if I am attacked by ransomware? If you become a victim of ransomware, the ACSC advises to never pay a ransom. There is no guarantee you will regain access to your information, nor does it prevent stolen data from being sold or published online. Paying also increases the likelihood of you being targeted again in the future. For more information visit
Is it time to go paperless in your business? article cover image
16 Dec 2022
Using digital tools to operate your business can increase your efficiency, reduce your costs and be more environmentally friendly. Learn about the benefits of going paperless and follow our tips to help you go digital. The benefits of going paperless Going paperless means not using paper documents in your business and using digital documents instead. Going paperless has many benefits including: Saving time and boosting your business efficiency Reducing business costs Being more environmentally friendly  Reducing human error for your business  Saving space Helping with your emergency management. How to go paperless 1. Check your businesses digital maturity Start by identifying what your business is doing well and where you can improve when it comes to digital maturity. Use our free Digital Readiness Assessment Tool to help you. It takes about 10 minutes for you to complete, and we recommend using it once a year as a digital health check for your business. 2. Use digital tools and software that will benefit your business Many digital tasks can be completed using easily accessible online software and tools. These include: Document management systems – for organising, storing and searching for digital files.  Accounting systems – for storing and accessing all your financial details. This will make tax time so much easier. With a few clicks of a button, you can produce handy reports to help you complete your tax return.  Customer relationships systems – for recording interactions between you and your prospective and existing customers. Learning management systems – for creating training courses, storing course information and delivering courses. 3. Get expert digital support If you're a small business owner and not sure how to get started, you may be eligible for support from an expert from the Digital Solutions program. The program will work with you to adopt digital tools to save you time and money, and to help grow your business. 4. Bring your staff along for the digital journey If you have employees, then the transition to go paperless will have a better chance of success if you bring your staff along for the digital journey. You can do this by:  Communicating to your staff how the new digital tools will help their work and benefit them. Involving staff in decision making about digital tools and software. Making sure your staff receive training in how to use your digital tools, before they need to use them.  Easing staff into change gradually. Remember that going paperless is a journey, and people respond better to small changes over time.  5. Learn what other businesses have done If you need a little inspiration, see how small businesses similar to yours have adopted digital technologies into their business. 6. Understand rules for digital marketing Marketing through printed materials, such as brochures, can be costly. You can save money by marketing through digital channels, such as emails, text messages and social media, but it's important that you understand the rules when sending electronic commercial messages to your customers. For more information visit
Minimum wage increase for some awards from 1 October 2022 article cover image
Fair Work Ombudsman
21 Nov 2022
Minimum wage increase for some awards from 1 October 2022 Minimum wages in 10 awards in the aviation, tourism and hospitality sectors increase from 1 October 2022. Our pay tools, information and resources have been updated with the new pay rates and allowances. You can: use our Pay and Conditions Tool to calculate your new rate of pay and any allowances access and download an updated pay guide for your award use our Restaurant Award interactive tool to check entitlements. The National Minimum Wage and minimum wages for all other awards increased from the first pay period on or after 1 July 2022. Learn more below at 1 October 2022 minimum wage increase. Following the Annual Wage Review 2021-22, the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) announced: an increase to the National Minimum Wage of $40 per week, which amounts to an increase of 5.2% an increase to award minimum wages of 4.6%, which is subject to a minimum increase for adult award classifications of $40 per week and based on a 38-hour week for a full-time employee. Other award wages, including junior, apprentice and supported wages that are based on adult minimum wages, get a proportionate increase. The increases to award minimum wages in 10 aviation, tourism and hospitality sector awards start from the first pay period on or after 1 October 2022. The increases to the National Minimum Wage and to award minimum wages in all other awards started on the first pay period on or after 1 July 2022.   Find new minimum wages now We (the Fair Work Ombudsman) have updated our pay tools, information and resources with the new rates for all awards. This includes awards that increase on 1 October 2022. You can: use our Pay and Conditions Tool to calculate your new pay rate (including allowances) go to our Pay guides page to access the updated pay guide for your award use our Find my award tool to check what award you're covered by. If you’re covered by the Restaurant Industry Award, you can also find updated pay rates in our Restaurant Award interactive tool. Continue reading to learn more about the minimum wage increases and when they started.   Award minimum wage increases from 1 July and 1 October 2022 When the changes started Minimum wages in awards increased in most awards from the first pay period on or after 1 July 2022. See 1 July 2022 minimum wage increase for a list of those awards. The increases to award minimum wages in 10 awards in the aviation, tourism and hospitality sectors start from the first pay period on or after 1 October 2022. See 1 October 2022 minimum wage increase for a list of those awards. How the changes work Most employees are covered by an award. Awards are legal documents that set the minimum pay rates and conditions of employment. If you’re not sure which award applies to you, use Find my award. Adult minimum award wages have increased by 4.6%, which is subject to a minimum increase for award classifications of $40 per week and based on a 38-hour week for a full-time employee. Other award wages, including junior, apprentice and supported wages that are based on adult minimum wages, get a proportionate increase. This means minimum award wages: above $869.60 per week get a 4.6% increase below $869.60 per week get a $40 increase. Read our examples below to understand how this wage increase works in practice: Example: Employee earning less than $869.60 Daniel is a full-time adult employee working under the Hospitality Award. He is a general waiter with a classification of Food and beverage attendant grade 1. Daniel’s weekly minimum wage before 1 October 2022 is $794.80. As this weekly wage is below $869.60, he will receive a $40 increase in his weekly wage from 1 October 2022. Example: Employee earning above $869.60 Julie is a trade qualified chef working under the Hospitality Award. She works at a higher level of Level 4 cook (tradesperson). Julie’s weekly minimum wage before 1 October 2022 is $899.50. As this weekly wage is above $869.60, her weekly wage will increase by 4.6% from 1 October 2022. National Training Wage increase Wage increases for trainees under the National Training Wage have come into effect on the same date as award minimum wage increases. This includes awards that refer to and incorporate the terms under Schedule E of the Miscellaneous Award, which has an operative date of 1 July 2022. Learn more about this wage in our Library article Trainee rates in the National Training Wage schedule. Registered agreements If you’re covered by a registered agreement, your base rate can’t be less than the relevant award. An increase to the minimum rate paid may apply. Find out more in our Library article Annual Wage Reviews and registered agreements. Check your agreement by searching for it on the FWC website: Find an agreement. 1 October 2022 minimum wage increase For 10 awards in the aviation, hospitality and tourism industries, the increase happens from the first full pay period on or after 1 October 2022. The affected awards are: Aviation Air Pilots Award [MA000046] Aircraft Cabin Crew Award [MA000047] Airline Operations - Ground Staff Award [MA000048] Airport Employees Award [MA000049] Airservices Australia Enterprise Award 2016 [MA000141] Hospitality Hospitality Industry (General) Award [MA000009] Registered and Licensed Clubs Award [MA000058 Restaurant Industry Award [MA000119] Tourism Alpine Resorts Award [MA000092] Marine Tourism and Charter Vessels Award [MA000093] Grade 3 Hospitality Award employees For Grade 3 employees receiving loaded rates under the Hospitality Award, there has been an adjustment of the loaded rate with an increase to apply from the first full pay period on or after 2 October 2022. Go to our Pay and Conditions Tool to calculate these new rates.   1 July 2022 minimum wage increase Below are the awards that received the adult minimum wage increase from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2022: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Practitioners and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services Award [MA000115] Aged Care Award [MA000018] Aluminium Industry Award [MA000060] Ambulance and Patient Transport Industry Award [MA000098] Amusement, Events and Recreation Award [MA000080] Animal Care and Veterinary Services Award [MA000118] Aquaculture Industry Award [MA000114] Architects Award [MA000079] Asphalt Industry Award [MA000054] Australian Government Industry Award 2016 [MA000153] Banking, Finance and Insurance Award [MA000019] Black Coal Mining Industry Award [MA000001] Book Industry Award [MA000078] Broadcasting, Recorded Entertainment and Cinemas Award [MA000091] Building and Construction General On-site Award [MA000020] Business Equipment Award [MA000021] Car Parking Award [MA000095] Cement, Lime and Quarrying Award [MA000055] Cemetery Industry Award [MA000070] Children's Services Award [MA000120] Cleaning Services Award [MA000022] Clerks - Private Sector Award [MA000002] Coal Export Terminals Award [MA000045] Commercial Sales Award [MA000083] Concrete Products Award [MA000056] Contract Call Centres Award [MA000023] Corrections and Detention (Private Sector) Award [MA000110] Cotton Ginning Award [MA000024] Dredging Industry Award [MA000085] Dry Cleaning and Laundry Industry Award [MA000096] Educational Services (Post-Secondary Education) Award [MA000075] Educational Services (Schools) General Staff Award [MA000076] Educational Services (Teachers) Award [MA000077] Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award [MA000025] Electrical Power Industry Award [MA000088] Fast Food Industry Award [MA000003] Fire Fighting Industry Award [MA000111] Fitness Industry Award [MA000094] Food, Beverage and Tobacco Manufacturing Award [MA000073] Funeral Industry Award [MA000105] Gardening and Landscaping Services Award [MA000101] Gas Industry Award [MA000061] General Retail Industry Award [MA000004] Graphic Arts, Printing and Publishing Award [MA000026] Hair and Beauty Industry Award [MA000005] Health Professionals and Support Services Award [MA000027] Higher Education Industry - Academic Staff - Award [MA000006] Higher Education Industry - General Staff - Award [MA000007] Horse and Greyhound Training Award [MA000008] Horticulture Award [MA000028] Hydrocarbons Field Geologists Award [MA000064] Hydrocarbons Industry (Upstream) Award [MA000062] Joinery and Building Trades Award [MA000029] Journalists Published Media Award [MA000067] Labour Market Assistance Industry Award [MA000099] Legal Services Award [MA000116] Live Performance Award [MA000081] Local Government Industry Award [MA000112] Mannequins and Models Award [MA000117] Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award [MA000010] Marine Towage Award [MA000050] Maritime Offshore Oil and Gas Award [MA000086] Market and Social Research Award [MA000030] Meat Industry Award [MA000059] Medical Practitioners Award [MA000031] Mining Industry Award [MA000011] Miscellaneous Award [MA000104] Mobile Crane Hiring Award [MA000032] Nursery Award [MA000033] Nurses Award [MA000034] Oil Refining and Manufacturing Award [MA000072] Passenger Vehicle Transportation Award [MA000063] Pastoral Award [MA000035] Pest Control Industry Award [MA000097] Pharmaceutical Industry Award [MA000069] Pharmacy Industry Award [MA000012] Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award [MA000036] Port Authorities Award [MA000051] Ports, Harbours and Enclosed Water Vessels Award [MA000052] Poultry Processing Award [MA000074] Premixed Concrete Award [MA000057] Professional Diving Industry (Industrial) Award [MA000108] Professional Diving Industry (Recreational) Award [MA000109] Professional Employees Award [MA000065] Racing Clubs Events Award [MA000013] Racing Industry Ground Maintenance Award [MA000014] Rail Industry Award [MA000015] Real Estate Industry Award [MA000106] Road Transport and Distribution Award [MA000038] Road Transport (Long Distance Operations) Award [MA000039] Salt Industry Award [MA000107] Seafood Processing Award [MA000068] Seagoing Industry Award [MA000122] Security Services Industry Award [MA000016] Silviculture Award [MA000040] Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award [MA000100] Sporting Organisations Award [MA000082] State Government Agencies Award [MA000121] Stevedoring Industry Award [MA000053] Storage Services and Wholesale Award [MA000084] Sugar Industry Award [MA000087] Supported Employment Services Award [MA000103] Surveying Award [MA000066] Telecommunications Services Award [MA000041] Textile, Clothing, Footwear and Associated Industries Award [MA000017] Timber Industry Award [MA000071] Transport (Cash in Transit) Award [MA000042] Travelling Shows Award [MA000102] Vehicle Repair, Services and Retail Award [MA000089] Waste Management Award [MA000043] Water Industry Award [MA000113] Wine Industry Award [MA000090] Wool Storage, Sampling and Testing Award [MA000044] Not sure of your award? Use our 3-step Find my award tool to check what award you’re covered by. National Minimum Wage increase from 1 July 2022 The National Minimum Wage applies to employees not covered by an award or registered agreement. From the first pay period on or after 1 July 2022, the National Minimum Wage increased by $40 per week, which amounts to an increase of 5.2%. The new National Minimum Wage is $812.60 per week or $21.38 per hour. Other changes from 1 July 2022 Employers and employees should also know about other changes that took effect from 1 July 2022. These include: high income threshold and compensation cap superannuation changes changes to the Social, Community, Home care and Disability Services (SCHADS) Award changes to unpaid pandemic leave High income threshold and compensation cap From 1 July 2022, the: high income threshold is $162,000 compensation cap is $81,000. When an employee earns more than the high income threshold: the relevant award doesn’t apply to them anymore they're no longer eligible to apply for unfair dismissal through the Fair Work Commission. These employees are still protected by minimum conditions and protections in the Fair Work Act, including the National Employment Standards. The high income threshold is reviewed each year. Find out more at Award and agreement free wages and conditions. The compensation cap is the most the Fair Work Commission can order an employer to pay in an unfair dismissal case. The cap changes on 1 July each year and is set by the Fair Work Regulations. Superannuation changes from 1 July 2022 Changes to superannuation (super) also took effect from 1 July 2022. These include the: removal of the $450 super guarantee threshold – go to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website to learn more about this change: Removing the $450 per month threshold for super guarantee eligibility increase in the super guarantee rate from 10% to 10.5% – visit the ATO website to learn more about this increase: Get ready for super changes from 1 July. If you want to understand your super obligations or entitlements, go to ATO – Super. Social, Community, Home care and Disability Services (SCHADS) Award changes For employees covered by the SCHADS Award, significant new award provisions apply from 1 July. These include: minimum payments for some casuals and part-time employees broken shifts and broken shift allowances laundry and damaged clothing allowance remote work. Find out more at 1 July 2022 changes to Social, Community, Home care and Disability Services Award. Changes to unpaid pandemic leave Unpaid pandemic leave provisions in awards stopped applying after 30 June 2022. On 15 July 2022, the Commission reinstated the leave in 6 awards. Employees covered by those 6 awards can access up to 2 weeks’ unpaid pandemic leave if they are prevented from working for reasons relating to COVID-19. Check what applies at Unpaid pandemic leave in awards.   More information Calculate your new pay rates To find out your new pay rates, you can: use our Pay and Conditions Tool to calculate your new rate of pay go to our Pay guides page to access the updated pay guide for your award. If you’re not sure of your award or coverage, you can: use our Find my award tool to check what award you’re covered by visit our List of awards page to access the new pay rates in your award. FWC decision To learn more about the FWC’s decision this year on the Annual Wage Review, you can read the decision summary and decision on the FWC website. For more information visit
Franchise VS Business Opportunity: Which Is Right For You? article cover image
Jacob Fowler
21 Nov 2022
There are two alternatives to starting a business from scratch: business opportunities and franchises. Despite their similarities and many shared characteristics, they differ in significant ways. According to the Australian Trade and Investment Commission, prioritising research should help individuals determine which type of entrepreneurial enterprise is best for their unique requirements and goals. The amount of money one is willing to invest in the industry may influence this choice. “Starting a business from the ground up requires much time and effort. If someone wants to start a successful business, they should always plan. The good thing is that they don’t have to go through the entire process. They can start by choosing between franchising or other business opportunities,” says Ashley Hansen of Online Business—one of the top internet resources for the most recent news and information to aid in developing successful firms. A franchise is referred to as the right or license given by a business (the franchisor) to a person or organisation (the franchisee) to advertise its goods or services in a specific region. On the other hand, a business opportunity is any sale or lease of a good, service, piece of equipment, etc., that enables the buyer to launch a company. Business opportunities cover many different professions. There are significant distinctions between franchising and business opportunities; therefore, several aspects must be considered before selecting any one. Below are some of the critical differences between franchising and business opportunity. 1. Franchising Cost Vs. Business Opportunity Cost Few business opportunities require royalty fees, which are often less expensive than franchises. While franchising requires regular royalty payments to the franchisor and higher upfront fees.  2. Franchising Structure Vs. Business Opportunity Structure The business model created cannot be changed in a mainly organised industry like franchising. On the other hand, the business opportunity offers less structured operations that enable owners to install the most effective techniques for them and facilitate easier business customisation. 3. Franchising Legal Regulation Vs. Business Opportunity Legal Regulation At least 14 days before the signing or finalisation of any agreement, the franchisor must give the franchisee an FDD. Different states provide different business opportunities. Disclosure of some kind is typically required from the licensee to the buyer.      Explore Your Options With Australian Business For Sale Without a solid business plan and a lot of effort, no endeavour is safe from failing. Do a lot of research, consult specialists frequently, especially regarding net earnings, keep your expectations in check, and put a lot of effort into growing a company. Australian Business For Sale has been able to adapt and thrive in a constantly changing environment due to the inherent strength of their company and the knowledge we bring to the table to assist their clients in achieving their goals. People can get information on hundreds of businesses for sale, business opportunities, and franchise systems through their directory. Contact us or at 02 9281 4599 for more information and learn more about Australia's oldest small business publication distributed nationwide through newsstands.
Get ready for Single Touch Payroll Phase 2 article cover image
14 Nov 2022
Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting has been expanded. This is known as STP Phase 2. If you're not already on board, our resources will help you as an employer to get ready for the changes. They include: updates to the STP Phase 2 employer guidelines new web content to help with reporting, featuring a new series of short, topic-based videos. While STP Phase 2 reporting began on 1 January 2022, you can only start STP Phase 2 reporting when your Digital Service Provider (DSP) updates the payroll product you use. If your DSP has a deferral, it will cover you. They'll let you know if they have a deferral, and when it’s time for you to start. We expect many employers will be transitioning to STP Phase 2 in the coming few months. It's important you understand the changes and get ready to report the additional information and follow your provider’s instructions. For more information visit
Its time for a cyber spring clean article cover image
07 Nov 2022
Recent data breaches show how important personal information is. This Cyber Security Awareness Month, take the time to check if your cyber security practices need a spring clean with some simple steps. 1. Update your devices and applications. Regular updates are critical to maintaining secure systems. Cyber criminals hack devices by using known weaknesses in systems or apps. Check your devices for updates and turn on automatic updates to apply future updates straight away when charging and connected to Wi-Fi. 2. Turn on multi-factor authentication. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a security measure that requires at least 2 proofs of identity to grant access, such as a physical token, random PIN or fingerprint. Turning on MFA will boost your protection against criminals. While they might steal one proof of identity, such as your password, they will be locked out of your account without the other. 3. Back up your files. Backing up your data saves copies of your files to an external storage device, or an online server like the cloud. Setting up automatic backups means you can recover your important information if something goes wrong. Once you've followed these tips you might like to check out the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s Small Business Cyber Security Guide which gives more advice to help smaller organisations build their cyber security resilience. Remember, registered tax agents can help you with tax advice.   For more information visit
5 tips to hiring employees for the summer season article cover image
02 Nov 2022
Are you thinking about hiring staff to cover the busy holiday period? Here’s 5 tips to help make your hiring process go smoothly!   1. Understand the steps to hiring an employee There are many steps to consider when hiring employees and it's important to understand your legal obligations. These include working out the correct employee payments, tax, superannuation, and record keeping. Use our checklist to step you through the hiring process.   2. Decide on the employment type Would hiring casuals or fixed term employees better suit your business to cover the upcoming busy period? Both may be suitable for your business as temporary staffing options.  Casual staff have no guarantee of regular work hours. While they offer your business greater resourcing flexibility, keep in mind that casuals are entitled to say no to shifts.  On the other hand, fixed term employees have guaranteed hours for a certain period of time. They can be more of a resourcing commitment, but may offer your business more stability.   Learn more about the different types of employees.   3. Start the hiring process early With the peak holiday period just around the corner, it’s important to begin the hiring process as soon as possible. This will allow for easier onboarding and training while business is quieter. Think about other time savers, such as: documenting key processes in a manual for new starters organising interviews so they are all held on the same day or hold group interviews sharing rosters with staff early, to double check staff availability for key dates. This will reduce the need to change rosters later.   4. Advertise your value Almost a third of employing businesses are having difficulty finding suitable staff, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, so it's important to let people know why your business is a great place to work. Highlight what skill opportunities, support and perks you are offering employees in your advertisement. Use social media to reach out to your networks and spread the word about your value. With staffing shortages across Australia, this will help your advertisement stand out. Follow our steps to interview and recruit new staff.   5. Create an employment contract An employment contract is an agreement between you and your employee. It can be written or verbal, but a written contract will communicate your employee’s pay and conditions clear from the start which can help protect your business in the long term. Our free Employment Contract Tool can help you build your own employment contract for an employee under Australia's Fair Work system. Create a free employment contract.   Want more? Find more information on hiring and managing employees. For more information visit
Buying a Business – Undertaking Due Diligence – Does it include the stock? article cover image
Sharon Robson
21 Oct 2022
Many businesses operate with stock in trade, but how do you know if you’ll get the benefit of the stock when you buy the business? Due diligence on the stock is essential to helping you understand what you are buying.  What is Stock in trade ‘Stock in trade’ is the goods that are owned or agreed to be bought by the seller which are then sold to customers (whether wholesale or retail) as part of running the business. It might also be referred to as trading stock or inventory, although any reference to inventory might also include the materials and equipment needed to make the stock.   If you had a candle business, the stock would include candles that have not yet sold and the inventory might include components, like wicks and wax, that make up the candles.   Due Diligence on the Stock Undertaking due diligence on the stock means thoroughly investigating what the seller has said about the stock. It involves identifying the stock that is being sold as part of the business and verifying that the seller owns and is able to sell it. Due diligence on the stock involves: Identify it:  Identifying the stock – how much stock is there and exactly what is it. Where is it? It’s also essential to identify the location of the stock. The stock might be located in a different warehouse or might be in transit to the business or to a customer. Who owns it? Determine which stock is owned by the business.  The stock might have been ordered but not yet paid for.  Also determine whether there’s any stock on consignment.  ‘Stock on consignment’ refers to goods that are not owned by the business, but instead owned by someone else. The ownership of the goods does not actually pass to the business. The business might only receive a payment of a certain percentage of the sale price or a commission once the goods are sold. The  agreements that are in place for the consignment arrangement will also need to be reviewed. Want it? The goods should be sellable trading stock. If the business has been running for some time, it might have some slow-moving, old or outdated or damaged stock or returned goods that the seller might want to include in the sale.  Consider which stock is part of the sale, and whether that stock is currently used in the business. With stock that’s aged, damaged, slow-moving or obsolete, decide whether you will take that stock or exclude it from the sale. Also consider whether the price of those goods, because of their condition, should be reduced. Count it: The stock should be verified by undertaking a stocktake. The parties should agree on the specifics of the stocktake, such as when it will occur, who will undertake the process and how it should be done. Stock levels will fluctuate throughout the sale process, as customers continue to buy during this time. If stock levels are low, the seller might need to order new stock. Because of this, the timing of the stocktake is important, and you may need to undertake two stocktakes; one at the beginning of the process to identify the stock and one as close as possible to completion. Value it: The stocktake will confirm the value of the stock although the levels will continue to move right up until settlement. The purchase price might be valued separate to the value of the stock or a price might be attributed to the stock, on a ‘stock inclusive’ basis. If the stock is included in the purchase price ensure that you’ve obtained an agreed value of the stock and it is not removed from the business before completion. Disputes and obligations: Ensure there are no current disputes between the seller and any supplier or manufacturer of the goods, and that no debts are owing. Examine how the business deals with returns to the manufacturer (if applicable) and whether the business has a policy on customer returns. Agree on terms: Once you’ve agreed on the value and the terms of the stocktake, what stock you’ll take, and the extent that any other agreements will impact on your ability to obtain, own, sell and distribute the stock, you need to ensure that the agreed terms are written into the sale contract. Additionally, include a dispute mechanism for if the parties can’t agree on the value of the stock at completion.  Key takeaways: Due Diligence on the Stock Due diligence is an essential component of buying a business and includes undertaking due diligence on the stock. Due diligence on the stock includes: Understanding what stock the business has, including where the stock resides. Who owns the stock. Is the stock owned and fully paid by the business or is the stock on consignment.  Is all of the stock saleable or is there damaged or outdated stock. What are the quantities and the value of the stock. Are there any disputes relating to the stock. About the Author: The following extract has been taken, in part, from the book, ‘Entrepreneur Know How – Mindset and Winning Steps for Buying a Business,’ written by Sharon Robson (Available through Amazon and select bookshops – see: is the principal lawyer and founder of Antler Legal – a corporate commercial legal practice in Sydney, Australia.   Sharon RobsonAntler  
What if someone took your .au domain name? article cover image
20 Oct 2022
From 20 September, .au domain URLs are available to the public. These new URLs are distinct from previously available URLs, as they don't include '.com' or '.net' after the unique part of the URL. Anyone can register your business’s .au equivalent domain name unless you have secured it. Since March this year, businesses with an existing domain name (i.e, whose websites end in or have been given priority to reserve their matching .au domain name. For example, a business with an ‘’ domain name can also register as ‘’. Remember to consider the benefits of registering an .au domain for your business and your individual circumstances. One of the benefits of registering is that you safeguard your brand’s identity on the internet. If you don't reserve your business's .au domain name, impersonators, web name campers or cyber criminals may potentially take it. The Australian Cyber Security Centre has issued an alertExternal Link on the risk of cyber criminals using your brand’s domain to impersonate your business and conduct fraudulent cyber activities. You can register your domain name’s .au equivalent at .au Domain Administration Limited (auDA) or through an auDA accredited registrar to protect the digital identity of your brand. For more information visit
Buying a Business - Undertaking Due Diligence – What to look for in a lease article cover image
Sharon Robson
14 Oct 2022
You have found a business that you would love to buy, but in order to operate it, you need to lease the premises.  It’ll be essential to determine whether there is a written lease in place, and review that lease, particularly if it’s intended that the business will be operated from those premises after completion. The lease is also a critical element for establishing that you are buying a business as a ‘going concern’, so that GST (a type of service tax) is not payable on the transaction.  Undertaking due diligence on the lease is just as important as undertaking due diligence on the business.  It will help understand the terms of the lease and eliminate risks.  So what do you need to look for when reviewing the lease?  Reviewing the lease The main items that need to be reviewed under the lease are: Cost: How much is the lease and all costs associated with it? And when will those costs be charged and increased? The amount payable might include: Rent: Verify the amount of rent that is payable and how often will the rent bereviewed by the landlord and increased.  Rent increases: Usually, the rent is increased on an annual basis either by a set percentage; or by comparing the market; or by the consumer price index. Depending upon how long the lease is and its terms, there might be a combination of ways that the rent is increased. For instance, there might be a three percent increase every year, then if you trigger the option to renew the lease for another period, the increase might be the higher of five percent or based on market review and calculated upon what similar properties are being rented at.    Outgoings: Check whether you are obliged to pay the outgoings, or whether these are already included in the rent that is payable. The outgoings typically are the landlord’s expenses concerning the property and comprise of rates, insurance, fire safety inspection costs, cleaning and gardening, repairs and maintenance. Period: How long is the lease, and can it be extended or shortened? Term: Check the duration of the lease, and make sure that there is adequate time left on the lease to operate the business from that location. If you buy a business that only has a short period left on the lease, unless you can enter into a new lease with the landlord, you might not be able to operate the business, which might be detrimental to the business if the business is reliant on that particular location. Option: Determine whether you have an opportunity to extend the lease, and the time periods and methods in which to exercise that option. Obligations: What are the tenant’s obligations under the lease versus the landlord’s responsibilities?  Air conditioning: Check the obligations concerning the air-conditioning. The tenant might be obliged to keep the air conditioning in good repair and might only be able to use the contractor that is specified by the landlord. Repairs and maintenance: Usually the outgoings include repairs and maintenance related to the property and does not usually extend to the tenant being required to fix structural items. However, the extent that you’ll be obligated to repair and maintain the property, particularly if there is existing damage should be checked. Signage: If you need signage, check whether there are any signage rights and whether a separate signage agreement is in place or required. Obligations specific to your business: You will also need to check whether there are any requirements that are specific to your particular business and that you can use the premises for the purpose intended by the business. For example, if you are buying a gym which is under a residential building, there will be opening times set by the body corporate. Special flooring might also be required so that the gym equipment doesn’t vibrate through the building and impact on other tenants. There may be council requirements regarding the noise (which might restrict the sound of music coming from the premises) or the ability for people to exercise on the footpath outside the building.  So you need to think about whether there are any matters that are specific to the business that you are acquiring. Exit:  How will you exit the lease, and what are your obligations when you leave Termination: Usually, the tenant can’t terminate the lease and instead takes on the lease for the required term. Sometimes there are termination provisions but only on specific events, such as if the premises is destroyed and can’t be fixed within a certain time period. ‘Make good’ obligations: If the lease is being assigned, the buyer will inherit the existing ‘make good’ obligations. However, you might not be aware of what the premises were like when the seller moved in. So apart from checking the obligations in the lease, ask the seller what improvements they made to the premises, and whether they took any photos at the start of the tenancy.  Fit-out: The tenant might be responsible for the cost of the fit-out.  If you’re buying an existing business, determining who paid for the fit-out is vital. If the fit-out has been paid by the tenant,  the tenant might be obliged to remove the fit-out at the end of the lease,  which if you take over the lease, becomes your obligation.  Existing breaches or obligations: Check whether there are any existing breaches, work orders or disputes by the seller under the lease and whether the landlord has refused to grant an option or renew the lease. Make sure any existing breaches or obligations are settled before Completion, otherwise, they might become your obligation to rectify.   Assign or enter into a new lease:   Depending on the status of the lease, including whether there is a lease  or if it has or nearly expired, you will need to decide if you’re going to take over the existing lease, or whether a new lease will be entered into between you and the landlord.  If you’re not satisfied with the terms currently in place, you might want to seek an amendment, otherwise you will be bound by those terms.  Sometimes however, you might not have a choice and be forced to enter into the existing lease. If you’re taking over the existing lease, you will require the landlord’s prior consent. Before providing that consent, the landlord might require you to provide evidence of your experience, business references, take out insurances and provide a bank guarantee or agree to a personal guarantee. Remember, personal guarantees should be avoided if possible, given you will then be personally liable, and your personal assets (such as your house) might be at risk. The timetable should allow for approval by the landlord and the bank (for the bank guarantee). These approvals, if they’re a condition in the sale agreement but are not obtained, have the potential to stop the sale of the business. To ensure the buyer ends up with the benefit of a business with a premises, and not a business with no-where to operate from, the sale agreement should contain a condition that the completion of the sale of the business is subject to either obtaining a new lease, or the existing lease being assigned to the buyer Key takeaways: Due Diligence – Lease To get the full benefit of the business and utilise the premises it is essential to understand the terms of the lease.     Ensure you check: The cost of the lease including the rent, outgoings and any other obligations that will incur costs. Review how often, and how much the rent will increase. How long is the period of the lease and whether the lease can be renewed.   Determine who owns the fit out – and if it belongs to the Seller whether it must be removed at your cost at the end of the lease. Determine if there are any other obligations, including whether you are obliged to look after the air conditioning, and the extent of any repairs and maintenance.  Understand whether you can instal signage, and what prior consent is required.  Be clear on how you can exit the lease, and what actions need to be satisfied before exiting the premises.  Understand who is obligated to make good the premises at the end of the lease. Determine what consent and details you need for the lease to be assigned or whether a new lease can be entered into.  About the Author: The following extract has been taken, in part, from the book, ‘Entrepreneur Know How – Mindset and Winning Steps for Buying a Business,’ written by Sharon Robson (Available through Amazon and select bookshops – see: is the principal lawyer and founder of Antler Legal – a corporate commercial legal practice in Sydney, Australia.   Sharon RobsonAntler