Considering Redundancies in your business?

Recent research has found that almost a third of employers intended to make staff redundancies.

Australian HR Institute’s quarterly Australian Work Outlook survey indicated that redundancy intentions have risen sharply to 31% in the December 2023 quarter, up from 17% in the September 2023 quarter.

In correlation with this research, our consultants at Allan Hall HR have recently been experiencing daily calls from clients requesting support and advice on employee redundancies. 

If you are one of these employers considering redundancies in your business, we have outlined below the key components for you to consider. We also highly encourage you to seek professional guidance to help navigate a smooth and legally compliant redundancy process.

Regardless of whether your employees are award covered or not, redundancy terminations are highly complex, and the specific circumstances of each case must always be considered. There are several rules that apply and steps you should take when managing a redundancy to ensure compliance and reduce your risk of receiving a claim (such as an unfair dismissal claim). 

Redundancy Considerations

If you are planning to make an employee redundant, it is important for you to ensure that:  

  • You have taken steps to ensure you no longer require the person’s role to be performed by anyone 
  • All reasonable attempts have been made to find suitable alternative employment within the business for the employee
  • You have considered and complied with any applicable modern award obligations
  • You have undergone a consultation process which is best practice and a requirement under some awards  
  • You have prepared for, documented and communicated the redundancy process thoroughly
  • You pay the employee correctly according to their redundancy entitlements under the National Employment Standards, calculated with reference to their period of continuous service

Allan Hall HR’s Redundancy and Advice Package

At Allan Hall HR we have developed a Redundancy and Advice package which provides employers with an assortment of tools and resources to assist with undertaking a legally compliant redundancy process. The pack includes: 

  • Letter of Notice to the Employee (regarding proposed workplace changes and an invitation to a consulting meeting)
  • Guidance on Consultation Steps and Meeting Discussion Points
  • Redundancy Checklist and Consultation Record
  • Communication Strategies
  • Termination Letter due to Genuine Redundancy. 

If you wish to purchase our Redundancy and Advice Package, please click here We are also able to manage all or part of the redundancy process for you, according to your preference. 

Need Assistance?

Before you consider terminating an employee on the basis of redundancy, we encourage you to call us on 1300 675 393 or contact us here.  To learn more about our HR services, please click here.

Compliance cogs

Steps to Prepare for New Fixed Term Contract Rules

From 6 December 2023 there have been substantial changes in the usage of fixed term contracts.

What are the New Rules?

There are new rules for fixed term contracts that are designed to regulate employment duration and extensions. These changes will bring about a significant shift in how employers engage workers on a fixed term contractual basis.

The main changes encompass three key areas:

  1. Time Limitations: Fixed term contracts cannot exceed a duration of 2 years.
  2. Renewal Limitations: Contracts cannot have an option to extend or renew to lengthen the employment period beyond the stipulated 2-year period. Additionally, extensions or renewals cannot occur more than once.
  3. Consecutive Contract Limitations: Employees cannot be offered a new fixed term contract if specific conditions apply. These include if:
    • their previous contract was fixed term, and
    • their previous and new contracts are mainly for the same work; and
    • there is continuity in the employment relationship between contracts. 

Additional considerations include whether:

  1. the employee’s previous contract contained an option to extend and was used;
  2. the total period of employment is greater than 2 years;
  3. the new contract has a clause to extend; and
  4. the previous contract was fixed term, similar work and there was substantial continuity of the employment relationship.

These new rules do not cover casual employees and contain exceptions for certain types of fixed term contracts. 

Contracts made before 6 December 2023 won’t fall under these new limitations, but the rules will apply to fixed term contracts entered into on or after this date.

Employers are mandated to provide a Fixed Term Contract Information Statement (FTCIS) to new employees engaged under these contracts after 6 December 2023. This statement outlines the regulations and entitlements related to fixed term employment.

Download the Fixed Term Contract Information Statement (FTCIS) here »

Steps to Ensure Compliance

In order to ensure compliance with the new changes, we recommend that businesses take the following steps:  

  • Familiarise yourself with the new rules as per the Fixed Term Contract Information Statement (FTCIS) above
  • Conduct an audit of any current employees on Fixed Term Contracts within the business to assess if contracts will be compliant moving forward
  • Identify whether the business or individual employee may be exempt from the new changes 
  • Revise Fixed Term Contract templates terms and conditions to ensure you are compliant.  

These changes aim to protect employees and ensure fair employment practices, while simultaneously providing clarity and guidelines for employers navigating the realm of fixed term contracts.  

Need Assistance?

At Allan Hall HR, we have a team of experienced consultants to assist with all your employment contractual arrangements and ensure your business is compliant with current legislation. If you are uncertain about how the new legislation applies to your business, please feel free to call us on 1300 675 393 or contact us here. To learn more about our HR services, please click here.

team training session

Respect@Work Legislation

Practical Steps for Small Businesses to comply with the new Respect@Work Legislation

As previously advised to our clients, a significant shift will occur in the Australian employment landscape on 13th December 2023. There are a number of legislative changes which employers are required to comply with under the Respect at Work reforms.

These amendments place a ‘positive duty’ on employers to take reasonable and proportionate measures to eliminate, as far as possible, unlawful sexual discrimination in their workplaces.

How to Comply – To comply with these laws, you need to take proactive steps and implement preventative actions against discrimination based on sex, harassment, hostile work environments and victimisation related to complaints or allegations.

Here are some practical steps for small businesses to prepare and comply with these changes:

1. Educate Your Team: The first step towards compliance is understanding the changes.

Educate and formally train your managers and employees about the updated legislation, emphasising the importance of respect, dignity, and equality in the workplace. This training should focus on ensuring everyone is aware of their rights and responsibilities and understands what is and isn’t appropriate workplace behaviour.

2. Review and Update Policies: Formalise your company expectations.

Review your existing workplace policies, especially those related to discrimination, harassment, or bullying. Ensure they align with the legislative changes. Take this opportunity to check that your Work Health and Safety policies place equal emphasis on psychosocial hazards as well as physical hazards, to ensure you comply with applicable Work Health and Safety legislation. Ensure your Compassionate Leave Policy specifies that employees and their partners can access miscarriage leave.

Once these changes are made, ensure you clearly communicate these changes to your employees. Having clear and legally compliant policies in place not only ensures compliance but also sets the tone for a respectful work environment.

3. Foster a Respectful Culture: Proactively promote a culture of respect, inclusivity and diversity.

Encourage open communication, active listening, and empathy among employees. Lead by example, demonstrating respectful behaviour at all levels. Demonstrate your positive steps to avoiding sexual harassment and sex-based incidents by clearly communicating what is and isn’t appropriate. If you have a client-facing business, ensure that your clients also act respectfully with your team members by communicating your expectations. By fostering a positive workplace culture, you create an environment where everyone feels valued and supported.

4. Seek Feedback: Give your team a chance to share their experiences.

Seek feedback from employees through anonymous surveys or focus groups to gauge their experiences within the work environment. Regularly review your workplace practices and culture to identify areas for improvement. Use this information to make necessary changes, ensuring your workplace remains respectful and inclusive.

5. Establish Reporting Procedures: Create effective reporting channels

Create clear and confidential reporting procedures for incidents of harassment, discrimination, or bullying. Ensure employees know how to report such incidents and that they can do so without fear of retaliation. Having a well-defined reporting process demonstrates your commitment to addressing workplace misconduct promptly and effectively.

6. Provide Ongoing Training and Support: Keep everyone up to date.

Equip your employees with the knowledge and skills to identify and address disrespectful behaviour. Offer regular and ongoing refresher training on topics such as conflict resolution and unconscious bias. Provide support such as confidential access to counselling services for employees who may have experienced harassment or discrimination.

7. Consult Experts: Don’t get caught short.

The legislation applies to every business, regardless of type, size and scope. If you would like assistance in actioning these steps, our HR Team is assisting many of our clients with tailoring the above steps to suit their business. The HR Team can provide guidance, training, advice and essential templates to assist you in meeting the minimum requirements for your business. If you are uncertain about how the new legislation applies to your business and what you need to do to comply, please contact Allan Hall HR at [email protected] or call us on 1300 675 393.


Recent IR changes requiring employer action

8 Industrial relations changes requiring actions by employers

There have been a number of recent significant changes in the area of industrial relations as a result of the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Act 2022, and the Fair Work Amendment (Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Act 2022. 

Some of the main changes which will affect all businesses and require action include: 

1. Proactive Duty on Employers to eliminate discriminatory conduct in workplaces 

Employers, regardless of size or industry, now have a positive duty to take reasonable and proportionate measures to prevent, as far as possible, certain discriminatory conduct occurring in their workplaces, including: 

  • discrimination on the ground of a person’s sex; 
  • harassment (including sexual harassment); 
  • hostile workplace environments; and 
  • acts of victimisation that relate to complaints, proceedings or allegations of the above.  

The positive duty was a key recommendation of the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)  landmark Respect@Work Report, led by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins, published in March 2020, which found that there were still high levels of discrimination and underreporting of incidents in the workplace.  

The AHRC will have the right to initiate an inquiry into an employer’s compliance and enter into enforceable undertakings if they find an employer remains non-compliant.  

Businesses will have 12 months to understand their new obligations and implement any necessary changes before compliance and enforcement commences in December 2023. 

2. Additional protection against Sexual Harassment  

There has been an amendment to the Fair Work Act to protect workers, prospective workers and persons conducting or undertaking a business by prohibiting sexual harassment, effective from 6 March 2023. 

This amendment established a new dispute resolution process, allowing the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) to deal with disputes and if not resolved by conciliation or mediation, and the parties agree, the Commission can settle the dispute and make orders, including for compensation.  

Workers now have several avenues to pursue disputes in relation to sexual harassment: the Fair Work Commission, the Australian Human Rights Commission and Anti-Discrimination Board in their State or Territory. 

We recommend implementing an action plan to address points 1 and 2 above to ensure your business is meeting its new legal obligations. Our team at Allan Hall HR is across the legislation and can effectively and efficiently guide you in creating an action plan for your business. Please contact our team on 1300 675 393 or at [email protected] if you would like our assistance. 

3. Family and Domestic Violence Leave 

From 1 February 2023, all employees (including part-time and casuals) will be able to access 10 days’ paid family and domestic violence leave in each 12-month period.  

To access this paid leave, employees will need to show evidence that they require the leave to do something to deal with the impact of family and domestic violence and it’s not practical for them to do so during their work hours. 

There are also important implications for payroll to consider, including the recording of leave on payslips, attendance platforms, email and text trails.  

If you would like more information on this leave and its payroll implementation please refer to our Family and Domestic Violence Leave article or contact us on 1300 675 393 or at [email protected]

4. Limiting the use of fixed term contracts for employees 

There has been an amendment to the Fair Work Act to limit the use of Fixed term contracts beyond two years (including renewals) or two consecutive contracts – whichever is shorter. Employers will also be required to provide a Fixed Term Contract Information Statement to all employees entering a fixed term contract. This amendment takes effect as of 6 December 2023.  

Exceptions to this rule include; performing a discrete task for a fixed period, apprentices and trainees, temporarily replacing others on long leave e.g. workers compensation and where earnings are above the high income threshold.  

Where a fixed term contract is made in breach of the new provision, the contract will remain valid, but the employee will be considered a permanent employee. This means they will be entitled to: 

  • notice of termination and redundancy payments calculated from the start of the employment relationship, and 
  • access to unfair dismissal proceedings.  

Employers who breach the contract limitation or do not provide a Fixed Term Information Statement may be subject to civil penalties.  

If you have employees who will, as at 6 December 2023, have been on a fixed term contract of more than 2 years’ duration or more than one fixed term contract which would add up, to or allows for an extension to, more than 2 years, you will need to review the arrangements. Allan Hall HR can help in reviewing old contracts and the creation of new ones, contact us on 1300 675 393 or at [email protected].  

5. Prohibiting pay secrecy clauses 

Employees will have a right to disclose, or not disclose, their remuneration as of 7 December 2022.  

After a six-month transitional period, employers who continue to include pay secrecy terms in new written agreements and contracts of employment will have breached this prohibition and could be liable to a penalty.   

All written agreements with employees need to be reviewed to ensure there is no clause prohibiting them from disclosing their remuneration.  

6. Right to request flexible working arrangements  

The circumstances in which employees can request a flexible working arrangement have expanded. This provision extends to employees who are pregnant and situations where an employee, or member of their immediate family or household, experiences family and domestic violence. This amendment takes effect as of 6 June 2023.  

Employers are obligated to discuss any request for a flexible working arrangement with the employee. If the employer refuses the request, they will need to provide reasons in writing.  

The threshold of “reasonable business grounds” for refusal of any request has not changed, however, the legislation provides increased access to dispute resolution for employees through the Fair Work Commission if disputes about flexible working arrangements cannot be resolved at the workplace. 

Managers need to ensure that they discuss any request for flexible working arrangements with the employee and that any refusal is in writing and based on reasonable business grounds. If you would like additional guidance on when you are obligated to approve flexible work arrangements, contact the friendly team at Allan Hall HR for guidance on 1300 675 393 or at [email protected]

7. Unpaid Parental Leave 

Eligible employees will be entitled to an additional 12 months’ unpaid parental leave up to 24 months in total, unless their partner has already taken 12 months from 6 June 2023.  

When an eligible employee makes a request for an extension of unpaid parental leave, their employer has an obligation to discuss the request with them. If this request is refused, reasons must be provided to the employee in writing.  

If disputes cannot be solved at the workplace level, they can be escalated through conciliation or mediation.  

Any request for an extension of parental leave should be discussed with the employee. Any refusal must be in writing and based on reasonable business grounds. 

8. Enterprise Bargaining and Enterprise Agreements 

The Fair Work Act has been amended to include new enterprise agreement and bargaining laws which took effect from 7 December 2022. In summary: 

  • Changes have been introduced to simplify the bargaining process including reducing technical procedural steps prior to an agreement being approved. 
  • The “Better Off Overall Test” (BOOT) has been modified and the Commission will now undertake a ‘global assessment’ and take into account parties’ views to determine whether the agreement passes the BOOT. 
  • The process for terminating an enterprise agreement has changed and it is now more difficult for employers to unilaterally terminate an enterprise agreement after its nominal expiry date. 
  • Supported bargaining has been broadened and workers across multiple workplaces in a common sector will be able to bargain on a collective basis if they are ‘reasonably comparable’ in terms of the industry they operate within, their size, geographical location, business activities and operations. 
  • Certain workplace agreements (called ‘zombie agreements’) which were made before the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) fully commenced and that continue to operate (e.g. collective agreements, individual transitional employment agreements (or ITEAs), Australian Workplace Agreement (or AWAs), Division 2B State employment agreements, enterprise agreements made between 1 July and 31 December 2009) will automatically terminate on 7 December 2023 unless the employer applies for, and is granted, an extension. Employers who are covered by a ‘zombie agreement’ must also give each employee who is covered by their zombie agreement a written notice on or before 6 June 2023 advising the employee that: 
  • the employee is covered by a zombie agreement; and 
  • the zombie agreement will terminate on 7 December 2023 unless an extension request is made; and 
  • the sunsetting process commenced on 7 December 2022. 

Need assistance? Please contact the team at Allan Hall HR on 1300 675 393 or at [email protected] should you require assistance with actioning any of these IR changes to ensure your business is compliant.  

family domestic violence

Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave

10 Days of Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave Effective from 1 February 2023 

As of 1 February 2023, all employees of non-small business employers (including part-time and casuals) will be able to access 10 days’ paid family and domestic violence leave (FDVL) in each 12-month period. 

Small business employees can access this paid leave from 1 August 2023. Until then, they are entitled to take unpaid family and domestic violence leave.  

To access this paid leave, in accordance with the Fair Work Act requirements, employees will need to provide notice and show evidence that they require the leave to respond to the impact of family and domestic violence, where it is not practical for them to do so outside of working hours. Employers must accept the evidence, provided that a reasonable person would be satisfied that the employee was entitled to take the leave. 

Important payroll implications for businesses 

  • FDVL is counted and paid as time worked. Therefore, an employer must pay the leave at the employee’s full pay rate (inclusive of incentive-based payments and bonuses, loadings, monetary allowances and overtime).  
  • FDVL is reset annually, meaning it does not accrue and each year on the anniversary of employment, the leave count renews to 10 days.  
  • From February 2023, employers must not include information relating to FDVL on the payslip. This includes the balance of leave and when it was taken. FDVL taken by an employee must be recorded on a play slip as ordinary hours of work or another kind of payment for performing work, such as an allowance, bonus or overtime payment. 
  • The balance of or taking of FDVL cannot be displayed on any employee timesheet and attendance portal. There should also be no email or text trail of an employee applying or being permitted this leave. Businesses should restrict record keeping and communication to in person and in writing (in an employee’s physical file) at the workplace only. This is a big change from usual payroll requirements and is for the safety of the victim, as domestic violence offenders will often have access to the victim’s email, work logins and physical mail. 
  • Written notes between the employer and employee that the employee has signed off on should be securely stored to provide evidence that the business has engaged with the employee and provided access to the entitlement, should a future dispute arise as part of an unfair dismissal or adverse action claim.  

Suggested Actions for Employers  

  • inform payroll about the rules in relation to providing family and domestic violence leave information on payslips
  • review or develop a workplace policy which provides guidance for employees who experience family and domestic violence, in respect to accessing leave or additional support
  • implement an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to provide an anonymous and confidential forum for employees to express their concerns with trained professionals. 

If you would like further guidance or assistance with developing policies and procedures regarding FDVL, implementing new payroll processes, having difficult conversations with employees, or implementing an EAP, please do not hesitate to contact the team at Allan Hall HR.   

Contact us

Our experienced HR Consultants are available to support you with any employee-related questions. Please get in touch with us today on 1300 675 393 or at [email protected] .  

person writing and typing on laptop

Single Touch Payroll Phase 2

What every small business needs to know

Single Touch Payroll (STP) Phase 2 means every business that employs staff will be required to get on board with the expanded program.

STP Phase 2 requires additional information to be reported to the ATO, enabling other government agencies to leverage the STP infrastructure to receive information and support the administration of the social security system.

Single Touch Payroll Phase 2 in a nutshell

With STP Phase 2 reporting live from 1 January 2022, there’s expanded capturing and sharing of payroll and employee data as compared to the original rollout of Phase 1.

This extended capturing by the ATO is shared more widely with relevant government bodies – such as social services – and fills certain gaps in payroll information sharing that wasn’t previously being transmitted. This new data remit remains an automated process, handled through STP-compliant payroll software such as cloud accounting apps and payroll systems.

What the new is data being shared?

The ATO is looking to patch knowledge gaps in the payroll submission process to support social security purposes and get a better understanding of employee payment details.

So, in addition to the payroll and employee information you’re already sharing through STP Phase 1 (salaries, PAYG, superannuation), Phase 2 involves capturing the following pay items, employee records and new fields:

  • employment basis
  • paid leave
  • allowances
  • overtime
  • cessation details and termination reasons
  • child support deductions
  • salary sacrifice
  • lump sum payments
  • country codes

Under STP phase 2 reporting employers are also required to separately itemise the components which make up the gross earnings amount by reporting all allowances separately, not just expense allowances that may have been deductible on an employee’s individual income tax return.

Digital Service Providers (DSPs)

STP Phase 2 requires employers to fill out employees’ payroll data correctly in your chosen software solution. Be sure to use a DSP that can roll out compliance updates to their software.

Updates to STP will be made by DSPs on users’ behalf and they are working with the ATO to ensure timely and competent compliance and delivery. Employers are already filling out this payroll information, so there are no new fields to capture on your end. In this sense and the automated nature of STP, employers are not required to do anything further than what is already being done under Phase 1.

What it will do is decrease the compliance burden upon businesses in terms of reporting. For example, under Phase 2 employers are no longer required to submit TFN declaration forms.

What will not be changing

The rollout of STP Phase 2 following does not change:

  • the way Single Touch Payroll is reported
  • Single Touch Payroll reporting dates (on or before payday)
  • the types of employee payments required for Single Touch Payroll reporting
  • employers’ current tax and super obligations
  • end of year finalisation requirements and submission responsibilities

The next stage of the Single Touch Payroll (STP) journey is underway

STP Phase 2 will see businesses build on their existing payroll reporting to share more information each pay run.

Most employers are now reporting through STP. You will need to start reporting if you have not yet transitioned, unless you have an exemption or a deferral.

What do business owners need to do?

If you’re currently STP compliant with payroll software that’s enabled, you should be running your payroll as usual. If you’re a Xero or MYOB user, your DSP will confirm when your solution is ready for STP Phase 2 reporting.

If you have any queries or concerns over your payroll solution or if you need reassurance, please consult your Allan Hall bookkeeper or accountant.


Related reading

Why use a Recruiter

5 tips to recruit quality employees in the current job market

Attracting and retaining suitable talent—

With global labour shortages presenting huge challenges for employers, many of our clients have reported significant difficulties during the past 6-12 months in attracting and retaining suitable employees.

Our team at Allan Hall HR has seen a large increase in requests for support in recruitment during this time and has put together some tips to help you recruit in the current market.

The employment situation in Australia

Whilst the extent of the labour shortage differs across regions and industries, with healthcare, manufacturing and supply chain industries experiencing the greatest impact, it is undeniably currently one of the biggest challenges employers are facing globally.

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in the following factors affecting the labour market:

  • migrants returning to their home countries,
  • a reduction in available international graduates, and
  • border closures resulting in fewer working-holiday visas.

Australia is currently experiencing a record low unemployment rate of 3.5% (ABS, July 2022). Due to the labour and skill shortage, wage costs in some sectors, such as IT, are rising between 20% to 50%, with employers having to boost salaries to attract and retain staff.

As a result, the number of jobs advertised has significantly increased. ANZ job ads data for April 2022 revealed that the number of job ads was up 26.3% from a year earlier at 242,536. They were 57.3% higher than the pre-pandemic level in February 2020 and SEEK data shows they remain significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Five things employers can do to attract great candidates

To help you stand out from the crowd and attract and retain quality staff in this current market, our HR team offer the following tips:

1 Focus on your Employee Value Proposition

Distinguish yourself from your competitors and be clear on your selling points to attract new talent. How do you differ from other organisations and what benefits do you offer? What are your points of difference and why would a prospective employee want to work for you? For example, do you offer a hybrid working model / flexibility to work from home? Do you pay over the market rate for the position? Do you have an outstanding culture that current employees value? Does the company provide clear, defined opportunities for career progression?

Ensure you retain a strong focus on your current employees and offer and communicate these aspects to your existing employees to remind them of the key benefits of continuing to work within your organisation.

2 Deploy targeted search strategies

For many roles in the current market, it is now rare to simply advertise and have people apply. It is important to identify where the top talent is currently working and proactively reach out to prospective employees from these organisations with the key selling points from your Employee Value Proposition.

Utilise your network and professional networking tools, such as LinkedIn and other social media platforms.

Encourage existing employees to help you with your search for top talent and consider devising an employee referral program to incentivise this.

3 Understand salary expectations in the current market

Salary benchmarking and reviewing current remuneration ensures your offering is competitive to the current market. Salary benchmarking is a useful tool in attracting new talent and reducing staff turnover.

4 Grow your own talent

Employing graduates or school leavers is a great way to grow talent specific to your business needs. Recent graduates can bring an exciting and fresh perspective to your workplace.

5 Consider engaging recruitment specialists with access to a broad database of potential candidates and targeted sourcing tools

Our Allan Hall HR team have a team of highly skilled recruitment, search and marketing specialists who are supported by our HR consultants, to apply a holistic approach to your HR and recruitment needs. We can assist with recruitment activities across Australia including:

  • creating an employee value proposition
  • salary benchmarking
  • premium and targeted candidate search 
  • employee referral schemes
  • psychometric testing of potential candidates to help in your hiring decisions and ongoing development of employees
  • staff retention strategies
  • structured onboarding support 

As per your tax and accounting support at Allan Hall, you only pay for the time spent, together with any direct advertising costs.

Our recruitment team at Allan Hall HR would love to discuss your needs, and how we can best assist your organisation. We are equipped with a range of resources and strategies suited to the current labour market; including a solely dedicated headhunting team, premium-level access to targeted recruitment and social media platforms including LinkedIn, and a targeted graduate recruitment team.

For more information, please get in touch with our friendly team at Allan Hall HR at [email protected] or call 02 8978 3743.

business recovery

Where Opportunity Lies small business report

Australia’s new small business boom

A Xero study shows Australia’s small business boom is expected to continue over the next ten years.

Research into Australia’s small business sector reveals that our small business boom is expected to continue over the next ten years, with an additional 3.5 million new small businesses expected to be established.

While the pandemic disrupted thousands of businesses, it also created opportunities for new businesses in a variety of industries. For example, while brick-and-mortar stores were bleeding, e-commerce reached new heights. Similarly, Fintech and Edtech companies saw a significant increase in their consumer base.

Prior to the pandemic, small businesses accounted for 99.8% of total businesses, 66% of employment, and 55% of value added in Australia. This rapid growth in response to an economic crisis is unprecedented, and it is the polar opposite of what happened after previous periods of economic uncertainty, such as the 2007-09 Global Financial Crisis.

According to the study, the following external factors are likely to have contributed to the increase in new business registrations:

  • Job uncertainty: reduced hours, redundancies, limited opportunities for pay rises 
  • Great resignation: Australians re-evaluated their job satisfaction and sought greater enrichment, control, and flexibility in their work. 
  • Digitalisation: increased use of technology and digitalisation has decentralised many workplaces creating opportunities for business owners to work in regional areas. 
  • New opportunities: the rise of the gig economy, digital ways of working, and favourable business lending have created the conditions for more budding entrepreneurs to take the plunge.

Australia’s small businesses are investing in their recovery, with an uptick in financing for equipment and machinery financing among small businesses.

The Federal Budget included provisions that allow small businesses to receive a $120 tax deduction for every $100 spent on employee training or technology investment, up to a maximum of $100,000 per year.

According to Xero, the landmark report arrives at a hopeful chapter in our nation’s pandemic journey: one that sees a surge in small business creation as Australians adapt to uncertainty.


flooded street

Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment flood assistance

Commonwealth assistance for NSW and QLD flood victims

Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) of $1,000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child is now available for people impacted by a flooding event.

Residents in 26 flood-affected local government areas across New South Wales and Queensland can start applying for Commonwealth financial support through Services Australia from 1 March 2022.

  • Eligible residents can claim support via myGov or by calling Services Australia on 180 22 66
  • Claims for AGDRP and DRA for NSW local government areas will be open at 2pm (AEDT) from 1 March 2022
  • Affected Queensland local government areas can claim AGDRP from 9am (AEST) and can claim DRA from 1pm (AEST) from 1 March 2022
  • The DRFA assistance provides grants of up to $180 per person, to a maximum of $900 for a family of five or more.

Financial support has now been activated for Northern New South Wales local government areas of Ballina, Bellingen, Byron, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed.

Queensland residents in Brisbane, Fraser Coast, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Moreton Bay, Noosa, Redland, Scenic Rim, Somerset, South Burnett, Southern Downs, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba local government areas are also included.

These communities are in addition to the local government areas of Gympie and North Burnett, who became eligible to apply on 28 February 2022. Payments are available in Gympie and North Burnett local government areas and the Queensland Government is responsible for activating these payments.

The AGDRP is a one-off, non-means-tested payment and is available to eligible people in those affected local government areas who have suffered a significant loss, including a severely damaged or destroyed home or serious injury.

Disaster Recovery Allowance

The Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) will also be provided into the 26 affected local government areas.

The DRA assists employees, small business persons and farmers who experience a loss of income as a direct result of a major disaster. This allowance provides for a maximum of 13 weeks payment from the date you have or will have a loss of income as a direct result of a disaster. The DRA payment is set at the maximum equivalent rate of Jobseeker Payment or Youth Allowance, depending on your personal circumstances, and is taxable.

For more information on support available, visit