Monthly Legal Updater – April 2018

In Show 078 – Monthly Legal Updater originally broadcast on Facebook Live on Monday 9 April 2018 we explore this interesting topic.

Show Notes

 

Time for another Monthly Legal Updater, our regular review of important legal stories in Australia and around the world.

Skills Visas

The Australian Government has introduced a new skilled Visa program.  The program is a simplified system aimed at attracting skilled workers from countries like South Africa.  Applicants could be approved in a matter of minutes greatly reducing wait times.  The government is yet to announce when this new program comes into effect but it will likely occur later this year.

Project Bank Accounts

Over the last 20 years a common practice in the building industry has has disastrous results  for many subcontractors.  Big building firms routinely take the money earmarked for subcontractors and put it into a high interest savings accounts.  They delay paying the contractors for as long as possible in order to rack up their earnings on that interest.  For many small subcontractors that delay can drive them out of business.  Queensland government building projects starting in 2019 will have to place the money for subcontractors in a project bank account thus ensuring timely payments.

EU Data protection

The European Union has brought in the biggest overhaul to data protection regulations in over 20 years.  Stating in May a new framework will grant new rights to individuals in over to protect any personal data that is gathered by private companies.  Companies will now be far more culpable for any data breach and will be required to report any such breach.

Country or origin labelling

Starting this year new rules about country of origin labelling on products sold in Australia  will come into force.  To help companies to comply with the new rules the government has created an online tool for creating new labels.  There are different labelling requirements depending on where the products was grown, produced and packaged.  The deadline for the new labels is July 1, 2018.

ASIC and ACCC news

ASIC has recently obtained a winding up order for a car lender because if unpaid fines.  They also obtained a bankruptcy order for the director of that company.  The lender owed more than $1 million in fines.  A similar wind up order was issued for a payday lender accused of unfair lending activities.

ASIC has also announced new guidelines for banks to guard against unfair contract terms.

The ACCC, meanwhile, has approved a $1.2 billion dollar merger between hoteliers Accor and Mantra.  The ACCC has also fined Heinz for making misleading claims about a line of products aimed at children,

 

More about this Show

We started Business Legal Lifecycle to create a simple way for you to understand complex legal terms.  Most importantly we want to help you to develop a plan to take your business successfully into the future.  There’s a startling statistic the underscores the importance of developing a solid plan.  The majority of business owners are just seven months away from losing everything.  A single aspect of your business that is not set-up correctly can shut down your whole operation very quickly.   Legal advice is not cheap and even when you can afford it there is often a divide between lawyers and their clients.  We want to close that gap once and for all.  We want to put legal knowledge and tools into your hand to prevent the worst from happening to you.

Twice a week we are going to deliver those tools right to your home or office with Business Legal Lifecycle TV.  We’ll start the week with Fast Fix Monday, a short 5-10 minute video that will tackle a single issue that businesses have to deal with.  Then on Wednesday’s our main show will feature with more fulsome discussions and interviews all delivered in a straightforward and easy to understand format.