July 1 changes you need to know about: Open banking, wage increases and penalty rate cuts

Today marks the start of financial year 2020-21 and after an uncertain six months for the entirety of Australia, there are no shortage of July 1 changes business owners need to get across.

We’ve rounded-up some of the most significant legal changes coming with July 1 this year, from minimum wage increases to penalty rate cuts and the arrival of open banking.

Minimum wage increasing

The minimum wage increases today for businesses classified in so-called “group one awards”.

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) ruled last month that the minimum wage would this year increase to $19.84 per hour, or $753.80 a week. That’s up from $19.49 an hour or $740.80 a week.

But only some employers have to start paying the new rate immediately, under COVID-19 measures outlined by the commission.

To find out of if your business falls into the category of businesses paying the increase from today, check out this article.

Penalty rates cut

Starting today, workers on the retail and pharmacy awards will be entitled to lower penalty rates.

For workers on the retail award, Sunday penalty rates have been cut from a 165% loading to 150%, while Sunday shift work rates have decreased from 190% to 175%.

Staff on the pharmacy award have had their Sunday penalty rate cut from 165% to 150% from today.

These changes are the last tranche of changes arising from the FWC’s decision to cut penalty rates in 2017.

Tax cuts

Businesses earning less than $50 million a year will have their company tax rate sliced by 1.5% on Wednesday, as the federal government’s fast-tracked tax relief for SMEs comes into effect with the new financial year.

Check out the article on the tax cut for more information.

Open banking

Australia’s Consumer Data Right (CDR) kicked off on Wednesday with the launch of the so-called “open banking” regime, which requires financial services providers, including banks, to share customer data on request.

These reforms will be a wellspring of potential for financial technology companies and are designed to help address information issues in the financial services market.

Consumers will be able to authorise third parties to pull their data from banking institutions so they can canvass better details, or provide other market information services.

While the CDR implementation has been plagued by delays, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is overseeing provider authorisations so expect things to ramp up gradually in this area.

Coronavirus restrictions easing

While many Victorian businesses are reeling from re-imposed lockdowns in 36 suburbs in Melbourne, restrictions in other states are easing.

From today a 50-person cap on people in indoor venues has been scrapped in New South Wales, alongside rules preventing community sport centres to resume.

In the Australian Capital Territory, food courts will re-open, alongside strip clubs, brothels and escort agencies.

Other tax stuff

The second instalment of the COVID-19 early access to super scheme will today open up for those taxpayers opting to draw down on their retirement savings.

The implementation of R&D tax incentive cuts, which have still not passed parliament, also come into effect today.

For more information about what’s going on there, read this recent article.

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