Here are some of the new rules, laws and government support to take note of this coming year.
With the new year comes new rules and laws in Australia.
Here are some important ones to take note of.
- Youth allowance payments and childcare subsidies will increase this coming year.
- New visa changes will make it easier for employers to source for talent.
- Children will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
1. Allowance payments are expected to increase.
After January 1, the indexation rate for allowance payments for the youth, students and carers will increase by 3.5%.
Youth Allowance payments for those not living at home will increase to $537.40 every fortnight. Those 18 years old and above and living at home will receiver $371.60 every fortnight.
Older students on Austudy will receive $537.40 every fortnight, while single parents will receive $688.20 every two weeks.
2. Childcare fees fall, subsidies increase.
The changes in fees are expected to kick in on March 7, 2022.
Families whose children are aged five and under will receive a higher subsidy for their subsequent children.
The said increase, which is a rise of 30%, will see families with an income of less than $354,305 receiving a maximum subsidy of 95 per cent of fees paid for their subsequent children.
Families with an annual income of $110,000 will have the subsidy for their second child increase from 72 to 95%. This will save them $95 weekly if they send their children to care four days a week.
3. Children from 5 years of age will be eligibe for the COVID-19 vaccine.
From January 10, children aged 5-11 will be eligible for the Pfizer’s Comirnaty Covid-19 vaccine.
4. More women are expected to become tradies.
The first state to adopt an equality policy for the construction industry in the coming year will be Victoria.
Beginning January 1, publicly-funded construction projects worth at least $20 million will see at least 4% of its labour hours taken on by femal apprentices and trainees.
With the mandate of the Building Equality Policy (BEP), female tradies must make up at least 3% of each trade role, 7% of each non-trade role and, 35% management, supervisor and specialist labour roles.
5. Expanding the ban on single-use plastics.
Should businesses in South Australia find good alternative for their packaging, March 1 will see the current plastic ban in the state expanding to include polystyrene food and beverage containers and, oxo-degradable plastics/
From July 1, the Australian Capital Territory will ban straws, fruit and veggie barrier bags, cotton bud sticks and degradable plastics.
From June 1, New South Wales will ban bags made of biodegradable, compostable, or bio-plastics. When November 1 hits, single-use plastic straws, cutlery, stirrers, cotton buds, plates and bowls, expanded polystyrene food service items and microbeads will also be banned.
By the end of 2022, Western Australia hopes to follow suit, banning barrier/produce bags, microbeads, polystyrene packaging, polystyrene cups, coffee cups and lids, cotton buds with plastic shafts and oxo-degradable plastics.
6. An introduction of a mental health levy in Victoria.
Beginning January 1, a payroll tax surchage on share of wages will be used towards mental health services and other recommendations of the royal commission.
Exemptions will be given to hospitals, private schools, local councils, charities and, wages paid for parental and volunteer leave.
7. Changes to tax on properties in Victoria.
There are several changes to tax on Victorian properties including an increase tax-free threshold for general land tax rates from $250,000 to $300,000. Tax will only need to be paid for property valued at more than $300,000.
8. Red and yellow collar for dogs in Queensland.
From January 1, restricted breeds and dangerous dogs are required to wear a red and yellow collar with reflective stripes.
9. The Safe Transition Plan will take effect in Western Australia.
From 12:01 on February 5, Western Australia plans to pursue its Safe Transition Plan. The said plan sees the state cautiously easing its hard border controls in line with a 90% vaccination rate.
10. New visa changes expected to make it easier for employers to source talent.
With an announcement that around 200,000 skilled migrants who stayed in Australia during the pandemic being eligible for residency, the new year sees more visa changes for employers to source talent.
The government is currenty in the process of consultation to determine visa changes to fill skills needed for the coming year.