The Commonwealth Government is committed to encouraging fairer and faster payment times and terms for small businesses.
The 3.4 million small businesses employ around 6 million Australians which is around half of all business employment. There is international evidence that reducing long payment times to small business can make the small business sector more resilient by improving cash flow and boosting employment and wages.
To address this issue, the Commonwealth Government announced late last year that it would introduce a new Payment Times Reporting Framework.
The framework will require large businesses with over $100 million in annual turnover to publish payment information on how they engage with small businesses. It will cover around 2,500 of the largest businesses in Australia – including foreign companies and government entities.
The framework’s overall goal is to improve payment outcomes for Australian small businesses. To achieve this, it has three objectives:
- Improve the collection of information about the payment practices of large businesses and government agencies towards small business.
- Make information about payment practices visible and easily accessible to small businesses and other interested stakeholders.
- Limit the compliance and administrative burden associated with the reporting framework for government agencies, large and small businesses.
The process to develop the Payment Times Reporting Framework (PTRF) is well advanced.
The Department has already engaged with over 70 businesses, industry organisations and small business representatives and is thankful for the industry engagement and the valuable feedback received. This feedback has been integral in the design of the framework to date. There are however a number of complex issues that the department would like to explore through further consultation.
The department wants to hear from large and small businesses on how the framework would best work. This feedback will help develop the best possible reporting scheme to provide transparency on the issue of long and late payment times.
Anyone interested in providing feedback on the final framework design scheme can participate by:
- Lodging a written submission to the discussion paper by 2 December 2019. Submissions can be sent to PaymentTimes@employment.gov.au
- Registering to attend a consultation workshop to be held in Perth on 15 November and in Sydney on 26 November. Registrations can be made to PaymentTimes@employment.gov.au