Weekly COVID-19 Wrap

Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business
Senator for Western Australia

 21 August 2020

Weekly Wrap

The National Cabinet met today to discuss Australia’s COVID-19 response, the outbreak in Victoria, easing of restrictions, helping Australians prepare to go back to work in a COVID-safe environment and getting the economy moving again.

DOMESTIC BORDER MANAGEMENT

Today, National Cabinet noted discussions had commenced on an Agriculture Workers Code and agreed further work be undertaken by Agriculture Ministers so that a paper could be considered by National Cabinet at its next meeting. The Agriculture Workers Code, will provide for a nationally-consistent approach that would be enforced by relevant States and Territories. It would apply to individuals with occupations deemed critical to ensure the continuity of the agricultural sector.

National Cabinet also agreed that the Australian Health Principal Protection Committee develop a common understanding to define a hotspot and consider movement restrictions relating to a hotspot.

 

NATION WIDE RED-TAPE REDUCTION TO MAKE DOING BUSINESS EAISER

Under red-tape reduction reforms agreed to by Commonwealth, State and Territory treasurers, The Morrison Government are developing a framework for automatic recognition of occupational licenses with ambition to take effect from 1 January 2021.

Automatic recognition will address one of the impediments to labour mobility across jurisdictions by allowing a person who is licensed or registered in one jurisdiction to be already considered registered in another in an equivalent occupation.

CFFR will report back to National Cabinet in October 2020 on the progress in delivering a uniform scheme for automatic recognition of licensed occupations to take effect on 1 January 2021.

 

NEW MEASURES TO STRENGTHEN THE FRANCHISING INDUSTRY

The Morrison Government has released its response to the Fairness in Franchising report, which identified significant weakness in parts of the franchising sector.

Minister for Housing and Assistant Treasurer, Hon. Michael Sukkar and I have announced a plan to help ensure fairness and accountability for both franchisees and franchisors.

These reforms will be achieved through changes including:

  • Doubling the penalties that apply for breaches of the Franchising Code
  • Strengthening dispute resolution options by introducing conciliation and voluntary binding arbitration
  • Improving disclosure relating to supply arrangements, marketing funds, exit arrangements and significant capital expenditure
  • Introducing a public register of franchisors to increase transparency in the sector
  • Developing a franchising website to make it easier for both franchisors and franchisees to access information and support
  • Prohibiting franchisors unilaterally imposing significant capital expenditure on franchisees during the term of an agreement

The Government is committed to striking the right balance between franchisees and franchisors to ensure the success of the sector. The Government will strengthen the regulatory framework and restore confidence in the sector

The Government is working to deliver reforms that are fair, effective and accountable in the interests of both franchisors and franchisees, while avoiding unnecessary red tape.

AGED CARE EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN

National Cabinet endorsed the Commonwealth, State and Territory Plan to Boost Aged Care Preparedness for a Rapid Emergency Response to COVID-19 Plan.

The Commonwealth Government will provide $171 million in additional support to the Aged Care Sector to increase national preparedness and respond to the State of Disaster in Victoria which brings the Commonwealth’s Aged Care COVID-19 response to over $1 billion in support.

Regards

Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business
Senator for Western Australia