Australia's 3rd Largest Economy

Member News

  • 22-Jul-2020 08:38 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park has been delighting animal lovers of all ages since it first officially opened its gates on 22 July 1972. Originally founded by Bruce and Margaret Kubbere on the site of Margaret’s family poultry farm, in its 48-year history Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park has grown to proudly now care for the largest collection of Australian animals in the world, with over 2000 Australian native animals across 260 species.

    With a collection this large, Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park is able to offer its guests incredible hands-on wildlife experiences, from hand-feeding wallabies and kangaroos, to the chance to pat a koala, and now even the opportunity to take a selfie with a Quokka or hand feed Australia’s smallest species of penguin, and much more!

    On Wednesday 22 July, Featherdale celebrates its 48th birthday, and like many of us this year, we have had to take a different approach to celebrating our special day. No cake or party this year for us, as we know we need to maintain sensible social distancing. So, to still share some birthday joy, we are holding a 5-DAY FLASH SALE on ANNUAL PASSES to celebrate and you save over 30%!

    (Sale runs from tomorrow Wednesday 22/7 until 11:59pm Sunday 26/7 - buy one for yourself or as a gift!)

    Annual Pass  Was  Now
    Adult $99 $69
    Child (3-15 years old) $40  $28 
    Concession  $80  $59 
    Family A (2 Adults + 2 Children) $195  $135 
    Family B (2 Adults + 1 Child) $175  $120 
    Family C (1 Adult + 2 Child) $99  $69 
    Family D (2 Adults + 3 Children) $195  $135 
    Family E (2 Adults + 4 Children) $195  $135 
    Family O (1 Adult + 1 Child) $99  $69 

    The Featherdale annual pass already offers great value with unlimited entry to Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park AND our sister park Mogo Wildlife Park, and generous member benefits including:

    • No timed sessions
    • No pre-booking for annual pass members (or any guest)
    • 20% all purchases park-wide
    • 20% off encounter bookings at Featherdale Sydney and Mogo Wildlife Park
    • 20% off renewals
    • 20% off guest tickets each time you visit
    • Free Parking

    Visit for more information and to grab yours!

    In appreciation of your support,

    Team Featherdale

  • 22-Jul-2020 08:16 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    Blacktown City Council is finding different ways to support their local businesses during this difficult time.

    The Idea

    Recently, the City of Parramatta and one ward of Brisbane City Council have been promoting their local businesses through online business directory maps provided by tech start-up Spot Local. Blacktown City Council want to further develop this concept as an ongoing way of promoting their businesses. Blacktown City has some 25,000 registered businesses (the great majority of which are too small to have an online presence).

    The Project

    Blacktown City Council has engaged Spot Local to assist them in the development of an online interactive business directory map. This gives, particularly small business-to-customer businesses, additional exposure to promote their products and services to the local community and visitors to the area, where they might not have a website or sufficient online capability to promote themselves. Council do not expect to have the brand awareness of a Google maps, but they can over time develop a superior service for business and customers to build local usage. The intent of the business finder map is to complement, not compete with, other relevant tools.

    This service will be free for those local business who want to participate.


    Blacktown City Council are looking to trial this service in the Riverstone/Schofields districts of their LGA over the coming months. The map above illustrates the boundary of the trial (pink line) and indicates how the map will be used.

    The pilot will allow Council to identify how they can market this initiative and provide good value to both local businesses and to potential customers of this service. They hope to receive a broad range of feedback on how such a service could be improved.

    These learnings will prepare Council to consider extending the service across the whole of their City.

    If you like more information on this initiative, please contact:

    David Somerville

    Head of Economic Development  l  Blacktown City Council


  • 20-Jul-2020 10:40 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    How can you be positive as a leader in this current time of uncertainty, without being fake?

    This was the question World Class Team's CEO Diana Tapp was asked by one of her favourite clients recently, after a virtual classroom she had run on how to lead through the COVID-19 crisis.

    In a follow-up coaching call, Lara (the client) was keen to talk about the notion of being positive, without being fake. She was really keen that her team would see her as being a positive leader, yet an authentic one at the same time.

    In this short 3-minute video, Diana will give you her two top tips to ensure you come across as genuine and authentic without ever feeling forced or fake.

    To learn more about World Class Teams and find out how you can rapidly upskill the management and leadership capacity of your people, contact them on:

    P: 1300 085 248


  • 16-Jul-2020 14:16 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    The Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Amendment Regulation 2020 (NSW) (the Amendment) commenced on 3 July 2020 and changes some of the rules affecting retail/commercial landlords and tenants when it comes to the impact of COVID-19.


    The Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2020 (NSW) (the Regulation) commenced operation on 24 April 2020. The Regulation gave effect to the National Cabinet Mandatory Code of Conduct for Commercial Leases (the Code).

    Key aspects of the Regulation include:

    • an “impacted lessee” (that is, a tenant under a retail or commercial lease in NSW who qualifies for JobKeeper and has turnover of less than $50 million for FY18/19) is, amongst other things, entitled to re-negotiate the rent payable under their lease
    • a landlord cannot take any “prescribed action” against an impacted lessee (such as eviction, termination of the lease, or calling on any security provided by the tenant) due to non-payment of rent or outgoings during the “prescribed period” (ie, a period of 6 months commencing on 24 April 2020)
    • any rent negotiations must be conducted in good faith having regard to the leasing principles set out in the Code which includes:

    (a) rent reductions must be proportionate to the reduction in the tenant’s trade during the COVID-19 period

    (b) rent reductions must be in the form of waivers and deferrals – waivers must be a minimum of 50% of the total rent reduction and could be as high as 100% of the total rent reduction (although regard must be had to the financial capacity of the landlord to provide additional waivers above 50%)

    (c) any deferred rent must be repaid over the balance of the lease term or 24 months (whichever is greater)

    • the landlord cannot take any action (such as seeking to recover possession of the premises, terminating the lease or exercising or enforcing its rights under the lease through legal proceedings) unless and until the parties have attempted mediation
    • any court or tribunal hearing a dispute over these matters must have regard to the leasing principles set out in the Code

    New Changes

    The Amendment clarifies that the onus is on the tenant to prove that they are an “impacted lessee” and they must provide the following information to the landlord:

    • a statement to the effect that the tenant is an impacted lessee
    • evidence that the tenant is in fact an impacted lessee

    If the tenant does not comply with these requirements, the landlord is permitted to take “prescribed action” against the tenant.

    The Amendment applies to any ongoing negotiations between landlords and tenants under the Regulation, but it does not apply to any concluded negotiations or to any matters for which proceedings have already commenced in a court or tribunal.

    Unresolved Questions

    The Amendment has unfortunately not clarified a number of other issues though including:

    • what form of evidence is satisfactory to prove that a tenant is an “impacted lessee”?
    • does the Regulation apply to rental arrears incurred prior to the commencement of the “prescribed period” (eg, rental arrears incurred in March due to COVID-19)?
    • is the landlord absolutely prohibited from taking any “prescribed action” during the “prescribed period”, or is a landlord permitted to take such action provided it has attempted mediation?

    At the time of writing this article there have been no published court or tribunal decisions regarding the application of the Regulation, thus landlords and tenants await clarification through further legislative change and/or relevant court/tribunal decisions.

    More Information

    Please contact our commercial law team at Matthews Folbigg Lawyers on 9635 7966 if you would like advice or assistance in respect of your rights and obligations arising from COVID-19 or any other matter relating to your business.

    DISCLAIMER: This article is provided to readers for their general information and on a complimentary basis. It contains a brief summary only and should not be relied upon or used as a definitive or complete statement of the relevant law. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

  • 15-Jul-2020 17:10 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    For decades Lowes has supported the incredible work done in the labs at Children’s Medical Research Institute in Westmead and this year it is exciting to announce that the national retailer is selling Jeans for Genes merchandise in its stores.

    This year, in the lead up to Jeans for Genes Day on August 7th, Lowes we will be selling merchandise including denim phone wallets, bamboo pens, keyrings, and badges.

    Lowes is a national icon, established in 1898, and still a proud family business that is 100 per cent Australian owned.

    Lowes Charities Manager Jason Nicholson said they were proud to have had such a long association with Children’s Medical Research Institute to help during this vital time.

    “We know that charities are doing it tough during the pandemic, so it was incredibly important to us to show our support for Jeans for Genes this year,’’ Mr Nicholson said. “As an Australian business we believe in getting behind Australians who are making a real difference in the lives of future generations.

    “I have personally visited the labs at CMRI in Westmead and seen the inspiring work that is being done to find treatments and cures that can truly transform lives.

    “We’d encourage all our customers to get behind this year’s Jeans for Genes campaign.’’

    Every purchase made at Lowes will help the 1 in 20 children living with a genetic disease or birth defect. So, pop into a store today and show your support!

    To find a store near you visit:

  • 15-Jul-2020 12:00 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    With so many grants up for grabs, you may not even realise that you’re eligible to apply.

    There are a number of government incentives that you could be eligible to access either at a Federal, State or local level. Australia has over 3000+ grants, funding programs, tax incentives and assistance measures to help SMEs.

    Many businesses have turned to government grants and funding programs as relief from the hardship of COVID-19. There’s a good chance that most SMEs are eligible for a grant they don’t know exists. In addition to the latest coronavirus measures, if you’re considering updating your equipment or wanting to expand your business, there are countless grants available.

    Receiving a government grant is seen as a highly prestigious opportunity and attracts attention from investors and other funding providers. For startups in particular, being seen as ‘validated’ by the government has a positive impact on the legitimacy and influence of your business.

    The facts

    - Grants can be in the form of R&D tax incentives, wage subsidies, loan deferrals or cash

    - Business applicant criteria is commonly small to medium enterprises (SME)

    - You can claim for a range of activities including research and development, marketing, training, and exporting

    - You’ll be surprised at how many industry specific grants are available

    - Grants are also available from companies such as Coles, Woolworths and Mars

    - Most grants have a firm deadline for application submission

    You can find a grant or support program to help your business either by searching on the Australian Government Business website or speaking with your local William Buck advisor.

    William Buck’s Top Pick

    Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive

    Details: This is a Federal grant providing eligible applicants with a tax offset of up to 43.5% for costs incurred conducting eligible R&D activities. The tax offset is received upon lodgement of the applicant’s Income Tax Return with the Australian Taxation Office.

    Who can apply? Companies incorporated in Australia that engage in eligible R&D activities and  have R&D expenditure of at least $20,000 in an income year.

    Deadline to apply: Companies must submit their R&D application with AusIndustry within 10 months of the end of their income year. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, applications for the 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019 income year will be accepted until 30 September 2020.

    Tip: Don’t wait until after the end of the income year to determine whether your company qualifies for the R&D tax incentive. Contemporaneous documentation is crucial and now is the time to implement comprehensive record keeping.

    Click here for more information on the R&D Tax Incentive. Make sure you’re not missing out on the R&D tax break.

    At a glance – other grants to consider

    - The NSW Small Business COVID-19 Support Grant of up to $10,000 available to eligible NSW small business owners.

    - The Cooperative Research Centre Grant for medium to long-term projects (three-ten years). They fund up to 50% of eligible grant project costs for an industry-led research collaboration between at least one Australian industry organisation and one Australian research organisation (e.g. university). Previous grants range between $7 million and $75 million. The latest round closes on 29 July 2020.

    - The Export Market Development Grant for Australian exporters is a cash grant of up to 50% of promotional expenses incurred to a maximum of $150,000. Applications are due by 30 November each year.

    Recycling Equipment Rebates for NSW businesses of between $1,000 and $50,000 to cover up to 50% of the capital costs of installing small-scale, on-site recycling equipment.

    - Digital Adaptation and Innovation Grants are available through most local councils to assist with website development, online presence and online sales ordering. Eligibility and amounts available for funding vary between councils. Check your local council website for more information.

    - The NSW Minimum Viable Product Grant is a cash grant of up to $25,000 for NSW startups to progress from a proof of concept stage to an MVP.

    Insight tips from Experts

    John Spender, Director of Business Advisory

    There are adjustments being made to current funding programs such as the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund with the maximum number of grants being awarded to help businesses prepare for post-COVID. There are a range of initiatives and programs that support different sectors and projects which are even more critical now. Businesses can find it overwhelming to apply but given that grants range from $25,000 to over $10m, it’s worth investing the time. Depending on your needs and what stage you’re at, whether its product development or a business transformation project, you should check if there’s a grant to help finance it.

    Dr. Michelle Cull, Associate Dean, Western Sydney University

    Some businesses can benefit from collaborating with other organisations or research institutions such as universities. This not only helps to pool resources but can expand your network and also lead to new collaborations. A lot of businesses are unaware that they can collaborate with their local university  to apply for grants. We have research teams that are experienced in completing and reviewing grant applications and can provide additional evidence and skills to give your project more credibility.

    Alex Zinzopoulos, Senior Manager, R&D

    The R&D Tax Incentive is one of the most common government grants applied for by Australian businesses and with good reason – it can provide much needed non-dilutive capital for businesses to fund their research and development activities. Despite the much-publicised increase in review activity by AusIndustry and the Australian Taxation Office, the rules around the R&D Tax Incentive have not changed. Accordingly, applicants should not be weary of applying for the grant provided they are receiving holistic R&D and tax advice – after all, it is a tax incentive.

  • 15-Jul-2020 11:30 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    “What you have to get ready for is surfing the disruption, as opposed to expecting the ‘new normal’”.

    In this video, Michael Maness, Co-founder of Subculture and Harvard Business School’s first ever ‘innovator in residence’, explains how COVID-19 is challenging traditional assumptions across industries – sparking innovation and lasting change. Watch here.

    Macquarie has been providing Business Banking solutions for over 30 years and provides SME clients with tools and strategies to grow and develop their business. You can get regular updates by subscribing to the monthly newsletter, Strictly Business by visiting If you would like to find out more about how Macquarie can support you to take your business further, call Sam McCarthy at our Parramatta office on 0417 518 724 and be connected with one of our banking specialists.

    This information has been prepared by Macquarie Bank Limited ABN 46 008 583 542 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 237502 (“Macquarie”) for general information purposes only. This information does not constitute advice. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice. No member of Macquarie accepts any liability whatsoever for any direct, indirect, consequential or other loss arising from any use of this information.

  • 15-Jul-2020 11:07 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    In this two-part series, William Buck Manager Business Advisory, Eric Flammang provides his recommendations for monitoring and managing cash inflow and outflows effectively during COVID19, using a three-way forecast.

    Part One: Assessing your options and scenario testing

    A recent survey by the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that 50% of all Australian Businesses have been adversely impacted as a result of the coronavirus – cashflow (and the lack thereof) being the major issue according to these businesses.

    Around 86% expect to be further impacted in the coming months and while a business may not have been directly impacted, its customers or suppliers may have, and the impact may just be delayed. Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business and it is even more critical in times of uncertainty for ALL businesses.

    Gaining visibility and control over cash flows and working capital is the most fundamental activity businesses should undertake during a time of crisis. Your business should prepare and regularly update a 13-week rolling cash flow forecasts to realistically assess its current situation and take corrective actions as and when required. The question is how?

    Well, the best forecasting format is what we call in the industry a “Three-way forecast” as it combines three key financial reports into one neat summarised package. It links your Profit and Loss (P&L), Balance Sheet and Cashflow reports together giving these reports greater credibility and allowing you to predict your future cash position and the “financial health” of your business.

    Forecasting will assist your business to stay “agile” in this rapidly changing environment in the following two major ways:

    1. It will provide you with a framework to assess and re-assess your business’s current position and available options; and
    2. It will provide you with a powerful tool to assess your options and compare alternative course of actions your business could take to come out of this difficult time as strong and financially stable as possible.

    Assess your position

    - Understand your cash flow and working capital requirements: Consider the three working capital elements – receivables, payables and inventory. You will need to work out a balance between these three areas so that there is sufficient use of cash to keep your business running.

    - Manage your Receivables: It is critical to ensure that your collection process is working efficiently by considering the money owed by your customers, the recoverability of these and the ultimate impact on your cash flow. It also crucial for your business to regularly review its turnover projections, based on new business trends resulting from COVID-19.

    - Manage your Payables: Review the amounts owed to your suppliers and forecast when these payments are due. Review all other non-trading contracts / commitments that have a cash requirement over the months ahead and reconsider their necessity. For the remaining commitments, your business should consider extending the time taken to pay its suppliers to preserve cash. However, bear in mind that delaying payments may damage the relationships with your suppliers, so it is important to negotiate with them to establish mutually beneficial agreements.

    - Manage your inventory: Look at your business’s supply chain and consider if there may be any disruptions such as ability to obtain materials and delivery. It is critical to balance the need for buffer stock and holding cash in excess inventory. It is important to do a calculation/forecast of stock requirement needs for the future by considering the lead time, the time it takes to order and provide the goods/services to customers.

    - Review your overhead structure: Make an accurate assessment of all expenses and outgoings needed to continue operating to sustain your revenue forecast. This may lead to pursuing alternative actions such as deferring large capital expenditure, reducing fixed costs, changing your staffing levels and switching to variables such as lease equipment instead of purchase. Like the above, it is important to note that this analysis should be done bearing in mind that these costs reduction(s) should not risk a decrease in your ability to generate revenue. Nor should they damage your business reputation. The long-term consequences would largely outweigh the short-term cashflow impacts.

    Assess your options

    Once your three-way forecasting model has been established, it is important to understand the options available to drive your business through the crisis and their impacts on your cash position and ability to remain solvable (also referred to as Scenario and Sensitivity analysis).

    Scenario analysis utilises several tools and concepts that are relevant to COVID-19. These include identifying potential scenarios, critical assumptions, leading indicators, and potential mitigating actions.

    The main available options during COVID-19 fall under the following three pillars:

    - Understand the government and ATO assistance packages that can assist with cash flow: The Federal and State governments and ATO have announced various assistance measures such as job support loans, payroll / land tax relief and small business measures to support businesses during this time (JobKeeper, apprentices’ wage subsidies, Cashflow Boost and tax payment deferrals). It is important to understand and consider the different options available and forecast how the use of assistance will impact cash flow.

    Negotiate lease arrangements: Contact your landlord and negotiate your rent terms including a reduction, variation to existing lease terms, or pause on rent for a short period of time. When doing so, you should outline the impact on your business including how rent relief will assist. Forecasting different scenarios will assist in demonstrating this to your landlord. Note that a outlining a set of good faith leasing principles has recently been released and should be taken into consideration when negotiating with your landlord.

    Negotiate finance options: In this current environment, it is important to understand available financing options available if required. A reminder that previous options may not be available now so it is crucial to communicate regularly with your bank or finance provider. Some banks are offering deferral of loan repayments for a six-month period. This is also an opportunity to use forecasting scenarios to better understand how additional or new financing options available would be of use to your business.

    Sensitivity and Scenario Analyses

    The different scenarios should then be tested by ensuring you consider your variables and assumptions in the context of best and worst-case scenarios (e.g. what does it mean for my business cashflow if we only achieve X instead of Y?). This is called a “sensitivity analysis”

    It is important not to confuse Sensitivity Analysis with Scenario Analysis. Although similar to some extent, the two have some key differences.

    A Sensitivity Analysis is used to understand the effect of a set of independent variables on some dependent variables under certain specific conditions. For example, a financial analyst wants to find out the effect of a company’s net working capital on its profit margin. The analysis will involve all the variables that have an impact on the company’s profit margin such as the cost of goods sold, workers’ wages and managers’ wages, etc. The analysis will isolate each of these fixed and variable costs and record all possible outcomes.

    A Scenario Analysis on the other hand, would require your business to describe a specific scenario in detail. Scenario Analysis is usually done to analyse situations involving major shocks such as a global market shift or a major change in the business’s operating environment (very relevant in the current economic context).

    After specifying the details of the scenario, you’d then detail the variables so that they align with the scenario. The result is a very comprehensive picture of the future (a discrete scenario). The analyst would know the full range of outcomes, given all the extremes, and would understand what the outcomes would be.

    Advantages of Sensitivity Analysis

    There are many important reasons to perform a Sensitivity Analysis:

    Sensitivity Analysis adds credibility to any type of financial model by testing the model across a wide set of possibilities.

    1. Financial Sensitivity Analysis allows your business to be flexible with the boundaries within which to test the sensitivity of the dependent variables to the independent variables. For example, the model to study the effect of a 5% change in interest rates would be different from the financial model that would be used to study the effect of a 20% change in interest rates.
    2. Sensitivity analysis helps one make informed choices. Decision-makers use the model to understand how responsive the output is to changes in certain variables. This relationship can help a business in deriving tangible conclusions and be instrumental in making optimal decisions.

    You’ll then implement the best option and closely monitor the impact by regularly reviewing the results and comparing them to the forecasts made. You can then adjust plans as and when required (variance analysis of actual versus forecast cashflows should be carried out with variances robustly challenged).

    Please read part two for Eric’s top 10 tips on setting up a three-way cash flow forecast model in Microsoft Excel.

  • 13-Jul-2020 15:33 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    Western Sydney Business Connection’s (WSBC) General Manager, Amanda Brisot, knows how vital small business is to the economy.

    “It accounts for a significant proportion of Australia’s employment and production and about one fifth of its GDP. It is also the lifeblood of the local economy and the local community,’’ Brisot said.

    Having run and owned her own small business, Brisot understands the freedom and opportunities that it presents, but also the tremendous challenges that come with it.

    “I remember the juggle of working with multiple clients, whilst trying to simultaneously win the next contract. At the same time you have to take responsibility for all the accounting and legal requirements, which isn’t everyone’s strong point, and it certainly wasn’t mine.”

    “Many small business owners I talk to struggle to find enough time to make the right connections to help grow and support their business. They also feel off track when it comes to their marketing execution and business strategy,” Brisot added.

    To assist with their challenges and to support their growth, WSBC has introduced a new 12-month membership package designed specifically for businesses with 20 employees or less. WSBC’s Small Business Membership offers a host of benefits including a one-hour marketing consultation, a business strategy session, access to training and development webinars and networking opportunities.

    Kathrine Holland took the leap to small business ownership earlier this year. Establishing a Marketing, Brand Management, and PR Consultancy, Holland is enjoying the flexibility and the ability to make quick decisions. She is now fully focussed on the project at hand as opposed to getting caught up in the complex mechanisms of working for a large organisation.

    Holland recently joined WSBC and is looking forward to utilising her membership to connect with liked-minded business leaders.

    “As a small start up, memberships are often out of reach. The small business membership is so affordable and offers great opportunities to network with other small businesses in Western Sydney. I also love the buzz around the growth of Western Sydney and surrounding myself with other people who believe in this region and supporting the businesses within it,” Holland said.

    WSBC’s Small Business Membership is available for $200 + GST for 12 months. Click here for further information. 

  • 29-Jun-2020 16:42 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    With the commencement of a new financial year, it brings with it important changes and new rates which will apply from 1 July 2020.

    NEW! High Income Threshold (HIT)

    With the HIT:

    • it increases to $153,600
    • it impacts:

    (a) who can make a claim for unfair dismissal (for those not covered by a Modern Award or to whom an enterprise agreement does not apply)

    (b) the maximum amount of compensation payable in an unfair dismissal claim

    (c) those on a 'guarantee of annual earnings' (a Modern Award does not apply to an employee whenever this guarantee is in place provided it continues to meet the relevant legislative requirements)

    NEW! Modern Award Increases

    With Modern Awards (including enterprise awards):

    • minimum wages increase by 1.75%
    • the date when this increase takes effect differs between the Modern Awards depending upon which group each falls into:

    (a) for Group 1 Modern Awards, the increase takes effect from the start of the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2020

    (b) for Group 2 Modern Awards, the increase takes effect from the start of the first full pay period on or after 1 November 2020

    (c) for Group 3 Modern Awards, the increase takes effect from the start of the first full pay period on or after 1 February 2021

    • absorption of wage increases into over-award payments remain permissible (subject to the terms of the relevant employment agreement and what other amounts are being absorbed into any annualised wage)
    • increases to the minimum wages of junior workers, apprentices, trainees, piece workers and employees on the supported wage system will occur
    • expense-related allowances in Modern Awards will increase as set out in the Modern Award (eg, by the applicable CPI index figure)
    • annualised wage arrangements will need to be reviewed to ensure they can still properly absorb/include all relevant minimum Modern Award amounts and that they continue to meet technical notification and reconciliation requirements introduced into several updated Modern Awards

    NEW! National Minimum Wage (NMW)

    With the NMW:

    • this is applicable to employees to whom neither a Modern Award or enterprise agreement applies
    • the NMW increases to become $753.80 per week or $19.84 per hour
    • the increase takes effect from the start of the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2020 (unlike the staggered increase applying to the Modern Awards)
    • in addition:

    (a) special NMW rates apply to employees with disabilities, junior employees, apprentices, and those on training arrangements

    (b) the minimum casual loading remains unchanged at 25%

    NEW! Impact on Enterprise Agreements

    With enterprise agreements:

    • they must always meet or exceed the minimum wage of:

    (a) the relevant Modern Award (ie, the Modern Award that would have applied had the enterprise agreement not been in existence)

    (b) the NMW (ie, where a Modern Award would not apply even if the enterprise agreement was not in existence)

    • thus, pay rates in enterprise agreements may need to be increased (even if the enterprise agreement has its own wage increase regime)

    NEW! The Sting

    Be mindful that wage increases may have flow-on effects such as increasing:

    • the value of leave loading, penalty rates, overtime and superannuation contributions
    • the value of accrued leave entitlements
    • the cost of wage related expenses such as payroll tax and workers compensation premiums

    NEW! Redundancy

    The tax-free component of a genuine redundancy payment increases to be:

    • a base amount of $10,989
    • an additional amount of $5,496 for each completed year of service

    NEW! Superannuation Contributions Base

    With superannuation:

    • the maximum superannuation contribution base increases to $57,090 per quarter ($228,360 per annum)
    • an employer is not required to make superannuation contributions on behalf of employees on earnings in excess of that maximum contribution base

    REMINDER! Annualised Wage Arrangements

    As the annualised wage arrangements in several Modern Awards have changed, it is critical that employers:

    • check whether the applicable Modern Award(s) contain such a clause
    • ensure they comply with the terms of the annualised wage clause
    • adjust relevant clauses within the employee’s employment agreement (by consent) and any template employment agreements in order to meet the new requirements

    REMINDER! 2020 Modern Awards

    Employers need to:

    • ensure they are using the correct (and current) version of the applicable Modern Award(s) as, over time, the 2010 editions have been replaced by 2020 versions
    • adjust relevant clauses within the employee’s employment agreement (by consent) and any template employment agreements in order to meet any new or varied Modern Award provisions

    More Information

    With the industrial landscape constantly changing and the interaction between various sources of rights and obligations often complex, please contact Matthews Folbigg Lawyers if you require any legal advice or assistance in respect of your workplace.

    Stewart Gough


    T 02 9806 7483  |  M 0458 586 444

    Peter Doughman

    Senior Associate

    T 02 9806 7412  |  M 0404 020 409

    Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. This article is provided to readers for their general information and on a complimentary basis. It contains a brief summary only and should not be relied upon or used as a definitive or complete statement of the relevant law.  

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