Pulse Alert – News Pulse for September 13, 2019

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

Whistleblower start-up awarded

An Australian start-up working on encouraging whistleblowers to come forward is picking up steam, with its founder — the whistleblower in a $20m insider fraud case — receiving an innovation award from New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Thursday night.

Whispli is the brainchild of Sylvain Mansotte, a former Leighton Contractors employee who uncovered a fraud spanning 12 years and blew the whistle, leading to a 15-year prison sentence for a finance executive at the company.

He left Leighton in 2016 to start Whispli, a secure and anonymous two-way communications app for reporting corporate malfeasance, sexual harassment and bullying in schools and universities.

Excessive red tape and unnecessary regulation costs us all

Business Council of Australia Excessive red tape and unnecessary regulation is costing all Australians, undermining the creation of more jobs, the delivery of products and services at cheaper prices, and the ability of existing businesses to grow and new businesses to open their doors.

“We are fully behind the Morrison government’s efforts to reduce the barriers and bottlenecks holding back Australian workers, consumers and businesses,” Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said today.

Labor pushing for casual work rule repeal 

Labor will aim to torpedo a Morrison government regulation aimed at clamping down on casual employees “double dipping” on entitlements.

The coalition announced the regulation last year in response to a Federal Court judgment in favour of truck driver Paul Skene, who was employed by labour hire firm WorkPac.

Most entrepreneurs aren’t OK: We must address Australia’s small business mental health crisis 

Mental illness is a daily tragedy in Australia, and for our 2.2 million small businesses, the issue has reached a crisis point that demands urgent action.

The prevalence of mental health issues among small business owners in Australia is more than double the national average. More than half (56%) of Australia’s entrepreneurs are struggling, compared to one-in-five people in  the broader population.

The Coalition’s culture wars are costing business

Big business is yet again paying the price for the Coalition’s culture wars.

The Morrison government’s proposed religious freedom law will impose extra unfair dismissal red tape on big businesses turning over more than $50 million.

Businesses warn against religious laws 

Under new draft laws, businesses with annual revenues of $50 million or more will face stricter controls on firing workers for expressing religious views in breach of their employment agreements.

The legislative change is designed to placate concerns about the recent sacking of Australian rugby player Israel Folau for sharing controversial religious views on social media.

ALP ‘reckless’ over casuals

Business has attacked Federal Labor for resurrecting its bid to overturn Coalition regulations designed to prevent double dipping of entitlements by casual employees.

ALPAustralian Labor Party www.alp.org.au senator Don Farrell has given notice that he will move on Monday that the casual loading offset regulations be disallowed. Labor put up the motion earlier this year but it lapsed when parliament was dissolved for the May election.

Salesforce makes an open banking move

US technology giant Salesforce is seeking to exploit Australia’s “consumer data right”, investing alongside Westpac Banking Corp and National Australia Bank in open banking platform Basiq, which could provide users of its software with a more comprehensive view of customers’ financial position.

Salesforce said its investment was driven by its users – which include Westpac, NAB and ANZ, and other big corporates including Telstra – who are exploring how to use financial data, which customers can access under the consumer data right, to gain new insights that could help them sell more products and personalise experiences.

Australia sets up Senate Inquiry into fintech competitiveness

Australia is to set up a Senate Select Committee Inquiry into the competitive and regulatory barriers hampering the development and growth of the country’s fintech sector.

The motion to establish the Select Committee was moved by New South Wales Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg. Bragg says the inquiry will aim to find ways to bolster national competitiveness in technology.

Hopes fintech inquiry will ‘validate’ bank competitors

Australian startups have welcomed a senate inquiry into the fintech space, arguing politicians have not yet done enough to assist businesses that challenge the big banks.

On Wednesday New South Wales senator Andrew Bragg successfully moved to secure a senate committee inquiry into the fintech and regulatory technology spaces , paving the way for a year-long review into how competitive Australia is in these sectors.

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