New measures applying from 1 January 2021

February 12, 2021 | Robyn Bull

The Government has provided an update of a number of new measures which came into effect from 1 January 2021, including (among others):

–   The most significant changes to Australia’s insolvency framework in 30 years, which are intended to reduce costs, cut red tape and help more small businesses recover from the pandemic.  The reforms introduce a new, simplified debt restructuring process.  These measures apply to incorporated businesses with liabilities of less than $1 million — covering around 76% of businesses subject to insolvencies today, 98% of which have less than 20 employees.

–   Australians will have more power to choose their own superannuation fund: ‘Your Superannuation, Your Choice’ allows around 800,000 Australians to decide where their retirement savings are invested, representing around 40% of all employees covered by a current enterprise agreement.

–   The Government’s HomeBuilder program has been extended to 31 March 2021.  The scheme is expected to support the construction or major rebuild of an additional 15,000 homes.

–   Major reforms to Australia’s foreign investment framework take effect, with new requirements for foreign investors.