By Powerbuy // 13 March 2014 // Related Categories: Tips

As a small business owner, you’ll know that it’s important to be aware of laws & regulations, to make sure your business is compliant.

Here are 5 new laws to be aware of in 2014:

  • New anti-bullying laws
  • Privacy Act changes
  • Hiring Independent contractors
  • Unfair dismissal of an employee
  • Licences you are legally required to have

1. New Anti-bullying laws commenced 1 January 2014

As of 1 January 2014, people who believe they're being bullied in the workplace can apply to the Fair work Commission for help in resolving the issue.

Bullying occurs when a person or group of people, repeatedly behave unreasonably towards a worker. The behaviour also has to be deemed a risk to the worker's health or safety.

To find out more about bullying in the workplace you can download the Anti Workplace Bullying Guide

2. Privacy Act changes in March 2014

A new set of privacy principles will be introduced in March 2014. The new principles will cover how a business handles personal information, including the:

    • handling and processing of personal information
    • use of personal information for direct marketing purposes
    • disclosing of personal information to people overseas.

The Privacy Act 1988 only applies to some small businesses.To find out if it applies to your small business the Government has provided a useful 9 Step Privacy Checklist for Small Business.

3. Hiring Independent contractors

Independent contractors are self-employed and provide a service to a business.

They often negotiate their own payments and working arrangements, and have the opportunity to work for a range of clients at any given time.

Before entering into a contract, you'll need to determine whether someone is classified as an independent contractor. Their status will affect their rights and obligations. It's possible for someone to be an employee for some work and an independent contractor for other work.

You also need to remember that it's illegal to fire, or threaten to fire, an employee if they don't agree to become a contractor.

It's important to know whether you're hiring an independent contractor or an employee, so you can be sure you're complying with your legal obligations.

To find out more about hiring independent contractors you can download the Guide.

4. Unfair dismissal

Small businesses that have fewer than 15 employees have different laws compared with larger businesses when it comes to unfair dismissal.

If you are planning to terminate an employee, it's important you follow the rules outlined in the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code.

To find out more about Fair Dismissal you can download the Guide.

5. Licences

If you operate a business, it's likely you'll need certain licences to make sure you're complying with your legal obligations.

The Australian Business Licence and Information service (ABLIS) can help take the guess work out the licences, permits and registrations needed to run your business.

Find out which government licences and registrations apply to your business, and create and download a personalised report.

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