If you're in business or find yourself in a decision making role in someone else's business, then this week's content is for you. There's an old saying that "the more things change, the more they stay the same," and while that's partly true, there are some important changes that have come into play for businesses with the beginning of the new financial year. Here are a few that may be having an impact on you and are worth knowing.

National Minimum Wages Increase
From 1 July 2018, the national minimum wage has increased in Australia by 3.5% - the new national minimum wage is $719.20 per week, for a 38-hour week, or $18.93 per hour. The increase applies from the first full pay period starting on or after 1 July 2018, for employees on the national minimum wage or a modern award. So, if you're paying your employees minimum award rates, you need to have made an adjustment upwards.

Single Touch Payroll
From 1 July 2018, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has introduced the Single Touch Payroll (STP). If you employ 20 or more employees, you will need to report to the ATO each time you pay your employees. The information you need to send to the ATO includes your employees' salaries and wages, allowances, deductions (for example, workplace giving) and other payments, pay as you go (PAYG) withholding and superannuation.

Updates to the National Privacy Act – Data Breach Changes
From 22 February 2018, businesses with an annual turnover of more than $3 million are required to comply with the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme under the Privacy Act 1988. A data breach occurs when unauthorized personal information is accessed or released. If the breach is likely to cause serious harm to an individual, businesses are obligated to notify both the individual involved, and the Office of Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).

Changes to Gift Card Expiry Dates and Fees for NSW
And finally some good news for shoppers! You may like to buy your gift cards when you're visiting NSW in future, as gift cards and gift vouchers purchased in NSW will have a three-year expiry date as of 31 March 2018. NSW businesses that issue gift cards or gift vouchers will need to honour the purchase if it's within that period. Businesses issuing gift cards or gift vouchers prior to this date are not affected by the changes. We're not actually sure whether those gift cards can be used interstate with the same three-year conditions, but it's worth a try!

If any of the above changes affect your business and you'd like to know more, please don't hesitate to contact us. We're only a phone call or email away.