Barnaby Joyce

New scheme to help small businesses get paid on time

04 Sep 2020

The Coalition Government is supporting tens of thousands of small businesses in the New England by helping to ensure they get paid on time.

Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, welcomed the passing of legislation to implement the Payment Times Reporting Scheme, which will put every big business on notice.

Under the scheme, large businesses and applicable government enterprises with a total annual income of more than $100 million will have to report publicly on how and when they pay their small business suppliers. This scheme will provide unprecedented transparency and will show Australians how big businesses pay their suppliers.

Mr Joyce said this transparency will help small businesses make more informed decisions about who they do business with and the general public can make better decisions about the large businesses they purchase from. 

“Bad payers are on notice they won’t be able to hide, as this Scheme will expose their poor practices,” Mr Joyce said.

“Small businesses work hard for their income - I should know, I ran one of them once - the least we can do is make sure they are paid on time.

“Our Government is committed to clamping down on unfair practices to ensure faster payment terms to local small and family businesses across the New England.”

We have already seen large companies change their practices following adverse media coverage. Recently, businesses such as Rio Tinto and Telstra rapidly abandoned payment practices which negatively impacted on small businesses once they were subject to public exposure. As a result, their payment policies were shortened to ensure suppliers were paid within 20 days.

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash said the measure would support small businesses, especially through COVID-19 challenges.

“Late payments have a significant impact on small business cash flow and inhibit the ability of a firm to invest, grow and employ,” Minister Cash said.

The Government developed the legislation following extensive consultations with industry associations and representatives of small and large business since early 2019. Their feedback has directly informed the design and operation of the scheme.

The scheme will begin on January 1. 

(ENDS)