Improving Small Business Payment Times

Thursday 7 November 2019

A new framework for reporting of large business payment times to small business suppliers.

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:

  1. Improve the collection of information about the payment practices of large businesses and government agencies towards small business.
  2. Make information about payment practices visible and easily accessible to small businesses and other interested stakeholders.
  3. Limit the compliance and administrative burden associated with the reporting framework for government agencies, large and small businesses.

Stakeholder consultation

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:

Our Privacy Policy tells you what information we will collect about you and what we will do with that information. The information you provide will only be used for the purpose outlined above by the Department of Jobs and Small Business (the department), AlphaBeta, the department’s consultants engaged to assist in designing the Payment Times Reporting Framework, and will not be shared with any other third party. You can contact the department at privacy@employment.gov.au if you have any questions or concerns.