ASBFEO responds to TWU on 30-day debate

By: Anjali Behl


The Ombudsman says the proposed inquiry will look across all industries, including transport

ASBFEO responds to TWU on 30-day debate
Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell.

 

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell says an official inquiry exploring the benefits of compulsory codes for payment terms will focus on small business operators across all industries, including the transport sector.

Yesterday, the Transport Workers Union (TWU) had called on the Ombudsman to explain why her office had earlier opposed the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT), a body that supported mandatory 30-day payment approach, only to recommend a similar practice now.

The Ombudsman tells Owner//Driver that the planned inquiry will "look across the board and not just the transport sector" to gauge the benefits of a mandatory 30-day payment rule.

Currently in Australia, many bigger companies have longer payment times, which means small business operators have to wait for up to 120 days, in some cases, to receive payment, Carnell says.

The Ombudsman says delayed payments not only result in financial and emotional stress on small business operators, but have an impact on the entire supply chain.

The ASBFEO inquiry will explore factors associated with payments times, including effects of delayed payments on small business operators before making a recommendation to the government to explore options to overhaul the existing system.

As opposed to the RSRT, the ASBFEO inquiry will not deal with minimum payment rates, Carnell says.

The Ombudsman had earlier stated that her office will use its power to encourage mediation with bigger companies, ensuring that small to medium businesses do not have to go to the court if at all possible.

 

 

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