Law changes for business in 2018, Last updated: 22 February 2018

Updates to the National Privacy Act – Data Breach Changes

Stay up-to-date with law changes that might affect your business…

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 unauthorised 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).

Read more about the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme.

Country of origin food labelling

From 1 July 2018, if your business grows, produces, manufactures, distributes, imports or sells food in retail stores in Australia, you will need to comply with the new Country of Origin Labelling laws. This means food products sold in Australian supermarkets or retail outlets must display the new food labels.

Head to the food labelling requirements to find out more.

Changes to casual & part-time entitlements in some awards

From 1 January 2018, the Fair Work Commission made changes to some award rates and minimum shift entitlements for casual and part-time employees come into effect. This means business owners need to pay staff affected the updated award from the first full pay period after 1 January 2018.

Learn more about the changes to the casual & part-time entitlements award rates.

Changes to gift card expiry dates and fees for NSW

From 31 March 2018, gift cards and gift vouchers purchased in NSW will have a three year expiry date. 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.

Read more about the changes to gift cards and gift vouchers.


Record keeping systems: digital or manual?, Last updated: 21 February 2018

Having a good record keeping system for receipts and record keeping is vital…

Just starting out in business and trying to decide whether or not to invest in record keeping software?

It’s crucial to have a strong record keeping system so you can monitor the health of your business and quickly prepare financial statements.

Digital record keeping systems

Digital record keeping is usually carried out by accounting software that allows simplified record keeping.

Some of the advantages are:

  • requires less physical storage space than a manual or paper-based system
  • automatically tallies amounts and ease of generating reports
  • easy to back up and keep safe in case of fire or theft
  • capture and access records on the go from different devices.

Manual record keeping systems

A paper-based system may work better for some business owners.

The advantages of a manual system can include:

  • less costs to set up
  • less likely that data will become corrupted
  • a simpler system to use if you’re not familiar with accounting software
  • duplicate copies of the same records are usually avoided.

What to do

Find out how the ATO app’s myDeductions tool can help sole traders keep track of their business income and expenses.