Last night’s Budget included allocations towards new initiatives affecting contractors and consultants including the following:
- Small business disputes with ATO – $57.5 million is to be provided over five years from 2018-19 to the Department of Jobs and Small Business, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to provide access to a fast, low cost, independent review mechanism for small businesses in dispute with the ATO. This includes $1.4 million in associated application fees.
- Addressing sham contracting – the Government announced that it will provide $9.2 million over four years from 2019-20 (and $2.3 million per year ongoing) to establish a dedicated sham contracting unit within the office of the Fair Work Ombudsman to address sham contracting behaviour engaged in by some employers, particularly those who knowingly or recklessly misrepresent employment relationships as independent contracts to avoid statutory obligations and employment entitlements. The unit will be designed to more effectively tackle sham contracting by increasing education, compliance and enforcement activities and dedicating additional resources to investigate and litigate cases.
- National Labour Hire Registration Scheme – $26.8 million is allocated over four years from 2019-20 (and $6.2 million per year ongoing), including $1.0 million over four years in capital funding, to establish a National Labour Hire Registration Scheme to protect vulnerable workers including migrant workers. The measure also includes $10.8 million over four years from 2019-20 to enhance the Fair Work Ombudsman’s capacity to conduct investigations into abuse of vulnerable workers.
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