News Pulse for March 3, 2017

A daily download of SME, startup, fintech and tax news from around Australia.

From running a successful business to living in a garage

It was the economic hearing of the Senate estimates committee on Thursday but Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell wanted to talk about the human cost of predatory banking practices.

Ms Carnell was quizzed on the impact of her recent report into lending practices by the big banks to small business which considered the submissions of 23 affected customers.

Malcolm Turnbull to recommend penalty rates cuts be phased in, as Eric Abetz says changes should be grandfathered

The federal government is expected to recommend changes to Sunday and public holiday penalty rates be phased in over a number of years, despite one member of the Coalition calling for the lower rates to only apply to new workers.

Senator Eric Abetz today called for the Fair Work Commission’s decision on penalty rates to be “grandfathered” so that current employees don’t see a drop in their pay packets.

Grandfather the penalty rate decision so no worker is worse off

“No worker will be worse off” was the reassuring and successful message of all Coalition government workplace reforms from 1996 until WorkChoices.  We paid the price. Lesson learnt.

In 2013, our policy was similarly underscored with a “no worker worse off” approach. To be successful and accepted, workplace changes need to be evolutionary not revolutionary.

The opportunity and challenge in equity crowdfunding for startups

It wasn’t long ago that investing in startups was limited to Australia’s wealthy.

But capital-hungry startups may be about to get a break after all.

With the Australian government currently considering loosening the Crowdfunding Bill to open up private equity deals to “the crowd”, startups may be about to benefit from an impending cash inflow from smaller investors.

Xero forms workforce management partnership with Deputy

Xero has entered into a partnership agreement with workforce management solutions firm Deputy.

Deputy, headquartered in Atlanta, USA and Sydney, Australia, with offices in Los Angeles, the United Kingdom and the Philippines, offers a cloud-based solution that simplifies scheduling, timesheets, tasking and other employee communication.

According to Deputy, the partnership with Xero is part of the company’s overall strategy to align with ‘best in market’ applications, as they look to expand into key global markets.

Small Business Ombudsman calls on government to legislate ‘take-home pay’ for Sunday cuts

Small Business Ombudsman Kate Carnell has called on the federal government to legislate for “take-home pay” orders so that employees affected by cuts to Sunday penalty rates can maintain their pay.

But the proposal has met strong resistance from employer groups who say it would negate the positive effects of the Fair Work Commission’s penalty rates cut for business.

Prominent British entrepreneur Eric van der Kleij says Australian fintech companies are “world-class”

Leading British entrepreneur Eric van der Kleij says he is impressed with the “serious solutions” being built by founders in the local fintech sector, which he believes is on par with the rest of the world.

“The quality of companies that we’ve met here are world-class,” he tells StartupSmart .

Tips, comments or suggestions? Let me know in the comments, send me an email or tweet me @simeonduncan.

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