Want to know the news affecting small business owners? Check out our daily news briefs. Here’s what you need to know on Thursday, August 22, 2019.
- A ruling by the Federal Court could have ramifications for the nation’s business owners, following a dispute between Cadbury and its factory workers. Two of the chocolate brand’s employees have taken action against the chocolate maker’s parent company, Mondelez, over sick leave entitlements. The pair argued that as they are shift workers regularly working 12 hours at a time, their sick leave should reflect this. Currently, under national employment standards, sick leave is paid at 7.5 hours per day with a maximum entitlement of 10 days per year. The employees suggested the existing conditions penalised them as they actually work 12-hour days. The federal court has found in favour of the duo. The decision may flow on to affect workers in other areas where shift work is common, such as the health, hospitality and mining sectors. AMWU Tasmanian secretary John Short described the ruling as a great decision for employees. “It’s great for the Cadbury workers who work extended hours, but obviously it’s got ramifications broader than that around Australia,” Short said.
- A KPMG report has found gender discrimination is the biggest contributing factor to the pay gap, with unequal pay conditions continuing to be a problem for Australia’s women. The study found the gender pay gap is in excess of $23 billion a year, with women earning on average $25,000 less than their male counterparts in the same roles. The wage disparity is particularly problematic for women who have taken a break from the workforce to have a family. The study, conducted for the Diversity Council of Australia (DCA) and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), said the gender pay gap is the equivalent of $445 million a week. Rather than falling, the report’s findings suggest the gender discrimination has increased by 10 per cent in the past year. KPMG Australia Chairman Alison Kitchen told the ABC “This report identifies the key drivers of Australia’s gender gap — gender discrimination, occupational segregation and years not working due to interruptions such as childcare and caring for elderly family members.”
- With the September 30 deadline for single touch payroll adoption looming for all businesses who employ 1 or more employees, the ATO is urging small business owners to take steps to ensure they are compliant. The ATO suggests all small business owners get in touch with their accountants or tax advisers to discuss an STP enabled product that will suit their circumstances. Businesses that fear they may not meet the deadline can apply for an extension. To apply, get your registered tax agent to log in to ATO’s Business Portal and select manage employees then STP deferrals and exemptions.