What is the Australian Government implementing from 1 July 2022
The Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet has asked the BIC to “pass-on” JobPass to the wider bus industry. JobPass is a new initiative of the Australian government to come out of the Automatic Mutual Recognition of Occupational Registration scheme (AMR) which was passed in parliament in May 2021.
From 1 July 2022, JobPass, as part of the AMR scheme, comes into effect and aims to benefit more workers and businesses across industry sectors, including transport. The scheme is intended to make it easier for licenced and registered workers to work where the work is. It allows a person who is licenced or registered for an occupation in one jurisdiction to be considered registered to perform the same activities in another, without going through further application processes or
paying additional registration fees.
AMR came into effect on 1 July 2021 and is now in place for various occupations in all states and territories except Western Australia and Queensland. Western Australia is on track to join AMR by 1 July 2022.
It is important to note that AMR is set out in the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 of the Commonwealth but is implemented by state and territory governments. To be eligible, individuals must hold and maintain a licence or registration in their home state or territory that covers the activity they intend to carry out elsewhere in Australia. A worker’s home state is their primary place of residence or work.
State and territory governments may also require workers to meet additional requirements to be eligible. This may include notifying the second state regulator of their intent to work, meeting public protections requirements such as insurance, and providing evidence of satisfying working with vulnerable people character tests.
More information on the specific state/territory rules and application processes can be found online at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet website.
The May 2021 Budget proposed changes to superannuation were passed by both houses of parliament on February 10, 2022. The changes aim to fast track Australia’s economic recovery following Covid-19, with a particular focus on women and part-time and casual employees.
There are very important rule changes that apply from July 1, 2022.
From an employer perspective the main changes are:
- the removal of the monthly income threshold. The $450 monthly income threshold to receive employer contributions under the superannuation guarantee rules will be removed. This means, from July 1, 2022, employers will need to pay superannuation guarantee (SG) contributions for low-income earners, being those that earn less than $450 per month
- an increase to the superannuation guarantee which will increase by 0.5% taking the guaranteed amount to 10.5% of income received.
The new superannuation rules also bring some changes to the work test for those aged 67 to 74 for voluntary (member) contributions and non-concessional contribution caps.
For more information, go to the Australian Tax Office website.
Bus driver tax returns
The ATO has asked the BIC to circulate information and resources to help bus drivers in preparing their tax returns for the 2022 financial year. The ATO is concerned that the working situations of many bus drivers may have changed due to Covid-19. It is important to note that bus drivers whose income is around $60K or less may also be eligible for the ATO’s free Tax Help program to help them complete and lodge their tax returns. Also for noting, Covid-19 tests purchased for work are also now tax deductible.
Information on what bus drivers can claim are provided in detail on the ATO website.