Pulse Alert – News Pulse for July 18, 2019

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

Uber Eats would face ‘large penalties’, but Australia’s laws are ‘deficient’: ACCC

Uber Eats will amend its contracts to remove unfair terms that penalise restaurant owners, following an ABC investigation which triggered a probe by the consumer watchdog last year.

Uber’s contracts have terms which shift most of the blame for botched deliveries onto restaurateurs even if it is not their fault.

Late payments holding up $7b worth of cashflow for small businesses, study finds

Small and medium businesses are losing access to as much as $7 billion a year because bigger companies are not paying their bills on time, according to a study.

And late payments on outstanding invoices, worth $115 billion, create a “domino effect” on the broader economy by tying up cashflow.

How can SMEs meet Australia’s growing challenges?

“Australia is at risk of falling into a slow decline if no action is taken”. This is the stark warning from the recently released groundbreaking Australian National Outlook report from CSIRO and NAB, which draws on leading experts and extensive data analysis to forecast the most significant economic, social and environmental challenges and risks facing Australian businesses between now and 2060.

So, what does this mean for smaller businesses and how can you make a change?

Key findings of the report show the major challenges facing SMEs are the rise of Asia, climate change, technological change, trust and social cohesion. Those who reimagine these threats as growth opportunities, instead of resisting or ignoring them, are set to thrive. If tackled head on, Australia could look forward to strong economic growth, ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, affordable energy, and more liveable major cities.

“Paying corporate rates”: Equal work, unequal pay for small business 

Equal work for equal pay is the stated goal of many, but new research indicates its not the case for about one-in-two small businesses.

A survey of 601 payroll managers released on Tuesday by the Australian Payroll Association (APA) found a whopping 58% of small business respondents were paying employees differently for the same work and responsibilities.

AFP fraud boss puts lawyers, accountants on notice

Fraudster small business bosses, accountants and lawyers are being dobbed in at a rate of two a day for alleged illegal phoenixing of businesses, in co-ordinated scams that in the last financial year cost taxpayers up to $5 billion.

The sectors have been put on notice by a small army of financial cops. including from the Australian Federal Police and Australian Taxation Office.

UberEats forced to amend restaurant contracts after ACCC investigation

Pressure is building on the Coalition government to outlaw unfair contract terms after gig economy giant Uber today escaped an ACCCAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission The ACCC is Australia's competition regulator and national consumer law champion. investigation with a slap on the wrist.

The company’s meal arm UberEats has been forced to amend its restaurant contracts after the competition watchdog alleged it left small business partners holding the bag for refunds they had no control over.

‘We always get blamed when the food is late’: Uber Eats changes contracts

An Uber Eats commitment to change its contracts so that restaurants and cafes are no longer billed for incorrect or missing food deliveries that are not their fault has been welcomed by a Sydney cafe owner.

“That will be good. That’s common sense,” says Peter Bignasca, from the Kirribilli Village Cafe.

Mr Bignasca, who uses Uber Eats, said restaurateurs were always blamed when anything went wrong with a food delivery, even when it was not their fault.

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