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July changes that may affect your business

The start of a new financial year often brings with it a range of legislative and policy changes that may impact on your business.

With changes happening at both a state and federal level, it can be hard to keep up with all of the changes that take effect from 1 July and whether they will apply to you.

To help guide you, we’ve put together a run-down of the most significant changes that are likely to impact on small businesses in Western Australia.

New minimum wages

Increases to both the state and national minimum wages will come into effect from the first pay period on or after 1 July 2018.

If your business operates under the WA state industrial relations system (which covers sole traders, micro businesses, unincorporated partnerships and unincorporated trust arrangements), the WA Industrial Relations Commission has announced an $18 per week increase to the state minimum wage, lifting the minimum wage to $726.90 per week. If you have any questions about the new state minimum wage, contact Wageline.

If your business operates under the federal industrial relations system (which covers businesses such as ‘Pty Ltd’ companies), the Fair Work Commission has announced a 3.5% increase to all minimum rates of pay under the federal modern awards. The new national minimum wage is now $719.20 per week or $18.93 per hour. Visit the Fair Work website to read more about the increase to the national minimum wage.

Changes to penalty rates

The second round of changes to Sunday penalty rates in retail, hospitality and pharmacy awards will commence from 1 July, 2018.

These changes are part of the Fair Work Commission’s transitional arrangements that will see annual reductions in penalty rates taking affect until 1 July 2020.

See our penalty rate changes made simple fact sheet for the revised penalty rates for 2018 and beyond.

Instant asset write-off extended

In case you missed it during the recent Federal Budget announcement, the popular instant asset write-off for small businesses (with a turnover of less than $10 million) has been extended.

Before making a large purchase, remember to speak to your accountant and assess how the asset will benefit your business. For more information on the instant asset write off visit the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website.

Country of origin food labelling

If your business grows, produces, manufactures, distributes, imports or sells food in Australia (including via retail stores, markets, vending machines or online), you may need to comply with new ‘country of origin’ labelling requirements. The food labelling requirements apply to food offered for retail sale in Australia and applies to the following products

  • all packaged foods
  • unpackaged seafood, particulate meats, fruits and vegetables, nuts, spices, herbs, fungi, legumes, seeds, and a mix of these foods

Learn more about the country of origin food labelling requirements.

Ban on single use plastic bags

As part of Western Australia’s plastic bag ban, from 1 July it will be an offence for small businesses to sell or supply lightweight, single use plastic bags with handles and a thickness of 35 microns or less - whether or not the plastic is biodegradable, degradable or compostable.

Read our tips on how to prepare for the plastic bag ban to find out more about the types of bags that have been banned as well as how you can use more environmentally friendly customised bags that provide the added bonus of helping you promote your business.

GST on low value imported goods

As part of new federal legislation, from 1 July Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be charged on physical goods that are imported into Australia with a value of AUD $1,000 or less. If you’re purchasing items online from an overseas supplier or online marketplace (for example, eBay), you’ll be required to pay the GST on the price of the item at the time of purchase.

The existing process of collecting GST on imports above AUD $1,000 at the border remains unchanged.

Learn more about the new GST charge on low value imported goods on the ATO website.

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