Business Law Update for 2014

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There is no doubt that 2013 was a huge year of change in respect of the laws applying to small and large businesses. This will continue throughout 2014. I recently presented the 2014 Business Legislation Update Seminar for the Australian Institute of Company Directors on the Sunshine Coast. Some of the key areas I addressed in this Seminar included:

  1. THE CONCLUSION OF THE TRANSITIONAL PERIOD FOR THE PERSONAL PROPERTIES SECURITIES ACT 2009 (“PPSA”). The two year transitional period for the PPSA ended at midnight on 31 January 2014. Moving forward any security arrangement entered into prior to the introduction of the PPSA will now only be acknowledged on the Personal Properties Securities Register (“PPSR”) as at the date of registration, and not the date of creation.
  2. NEW PRIVACY LAWS.  From 12 March 2014, the new Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 will commence. The previous National Privacy Principles have been revised and will now be the Australian Privacy Principles.  There are several key differences with the new reforms.  It is important that your businesses privacy policies are up to date.
  3. THE DIRECTORS LIABILITY REFORM AMENDMENT ACT 2013.  This legislation reduces significantly the risk of liability of directors. Specifically it works to reduce the onus of proof in the director penalty provisions in approximately 86 pieces of legislation.
  4. ANTI-BULLYING LAWS UNDER THE FAIR WORK ACT 2009.  As at 1 January 2014, a worker will now be able to make an application to the Fair Work Commission to stop bullying in the workplace. The Fair Work Commission has broad powers when dealing making orders, therefore, it is imperative that all businesses have a management system in place for bullying and that all workers are made aware of this system.
  5. ASBESTOS MANAGEMENT PLANS. The new provisions of the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 commenced on 1 January 2014. These provisions specifically deal with additional requirements for business to maintain an Asbestos Management Plan when naturally occurring asbestos exists in the workplace.
  6. WORKCOVER.  There have since been specific changes relating to the permanent impairment threshold, the definition of “worker” to align with the ATO definition, the ability to ask for claims histories, and many other changes.  These changes will see reduced premiums.

It is imperative that all businesses are proactively considering the effects the above legislative changes and are acting accordingly.

If you have any questions or concerns relating to your business and its compliance with any new legislation, please do not hesitate to contact me.

The information provided in this article is for general information and educative purposes in summary form on legal topics which is current at the time it is published. The content does not constitute legal advice or recommendations and should not be relied upon as such. Whilst every care has been taken in the preparation of this article, FC Lawyers cannot accept responsibility for any errors, including those caused by negligence, in the material. We make no representations, statements or warranties about the accuracy or completeness of the information and you should not rely on it. You are advised to make your own independent inquiries regarding the accuracy of any information provided on this website. FC Lawyers does not guarantee, and accepts no legal responsibility whatsoever arising from or in connection to the accuracy, reliability, currency, correctness or completeness of any material contained in this article. Links to third party websites or articles does not constitute any endorsement or approval of those sites or the owners of those sites. Nothing in this article should be construed as granting any licence or right for you to use that content. You should consult the third party’s terms and conditions of use in relation to any third-party content. FC Lawyers disclaims all responsibility and all liability (including liability for negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages and costs you might incur as a result of the information being inaccurate or incomplete in any way. Appropriate legal advice should always be obtained in actual situations.


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