5 December 2023

New action to ensure small businesses are paid on time

Big businesses who fail to pay small businesses on time will be named and shamed as part of a series of new reforms to improve small business payment times.

The Albanese Government has today released its response to the independent review (the Review) of the Payment Times Reporting Act 2020 (the Act) delivered by the Honourable Dr Craig Emerson.

The Review identifies a clear case for government intervention to hold large businesses to account and improve the payment times to small businesses. 

The Albanese Government agrees with all recommendations of the Review which is why we will commit $8.1 million to support a range of initiatives that will deliver better outcomes for small businesses.

These new reforms will be a shot in the arm for small businesses with faster payment times improving cash flow, alleviating administrative burdens and reducing financing costs.

Better payment times benefit everyone with resulting gains to productivity supporting higher wages and profits, and expanding employment opportunities.

In the response, the Albanese Government commits to action including:

  • Increasing pressure on big businesses to improve payment times by highlighting the best and worst payment performers.
  • Overhauling the Payment Times Reporting Act 2020 to update the objects of the Act, simplify and streamline reporting, add proportionate regulatory powers and address inefficiencies with current reporting requirements and processes.
  • Ensuring payment times are considered in development of relevant Government reforms and policies, including unfair trading practices reforms, eInvoicing and Government procurement.
  • Reducing the regulatory burden for entities reporting under the Payment Times Reporting Scheme.

The full Government Response to the Review is available on the Treasury website, and the Payment Times Reports Register is available at register.paymenttimes.gov.au.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Small Business, Julie Collins MP:

“These initiatives announced today will level the playing field to ensure small businesses are paid on time.

This is a matter of fairness – big businesses should not take advantage of Australia’s 2.5 million small businesses by failing to pay them on time.

I will work closely with the Treasurer and other Ministers who have important responsibilities for the successful delivery of the Albanese Government’s response.

I would like to again thank Dr Emerson for his comprehensive and considered approach to the Review.”