The end of the financial year is in our sights and while we’re all looking forward to a tax refund and a clean slate, we’re also all in for a shake-up from July 1, 2022, with new financial year changes coming into play. Here’s what you need to know!
The new financial year changes for families from July 1
The new financial year (2022-2023) kicks off on July 1, 2022, so it’s important you’re aware of any major changes that could affect you and your family – both the good and the not-so-great.
Ahead of a huge Centrelink shakeup, there are big changes ahead for those currently on (or thinking about going on) the JobSeeker program. From July 1, recipients of the JobSeeker payment are required to complete the mutual obligations of a points-based activation system.
From July 1, recipients will have to receive 100 points and do a minimum of five job searches per month to secure their payment. Recipients can choose from more than 30 tasks that carry individual points values, with attending a job interview worth 20 points and completing a job application worth 5 points. This points system will be replacing the current system that requires job seekers to apply for 20 jobs every month.
More money in your pocket with an increase in the minimum wage
Following its annual review, the Fair Work Commission has made two announcements regarding minimum wages. The National Minimum Wage will increase by 5.2%, which amounts to $40 a week. Award minimum wages will increase by 4.6%, subject to a minimum increase for award classifications of $40 a week based on a 38-hour week for a full-time employee.
The new National Minimum Wage will apply from the first full pay period on or after July 1, 2022. Awards will increase from July 1 with the exception of some awards in aviation, hospitality and tourism industries taking effect from October 1, 2022.
Child Care Subsidy changes
From July 1, 2022 families with more than one child aged 5 or younger will receive a higher rate of CSS (Child Care Subsidy) for second and subsequent children. They may also receive backpay from Service Australia for any higher subsidy they were eligible for between March 7 and June 30, 2022.
For combined families, where both members of the couple get CCS for different children and have not yet received the higher rate, sit tight. Services Australia counts all children in a combined family when determining entitlement to the higher rate and will send text messages to combined families in early July to advise and if arrears may be paid.
Child Care Subsidy eligibility
From July 11, 2022, a child who has not used care at least once in the previous 26 weeks will no longer be eligible for CSS (Child Care Subsidy).
If a child hasn’t attended care since January 10, 2022, their CCS will cancel from July 11, 2022. Families will need to submit a new CCS claim if the child re-commences care. The 26-week rule will apply on an ongoing basis from July 11, 2022, and Services Australia will be notifying impacted families.
Rises in power costs are going to result in bill shock for many families, so there’s no better time to start drilling into the kids about being more energy-efficient while you shop around for the best rate you can.
The Australian Energy Regulator will be passing on big increases to the benchmark power prices which means power bills will increase by 18.3% in New South Wales, 12.6% in Queensland and 9.5% in South Australia in July.
Free medication for concession holders
The PBS Safety Net threshold for concession card holders will be lowered to $244.80. This means that concession card holders will receive their PBS-listed medications for free when they reach the lowered threshold.
Super contribution changes
Good news! From July, the Super Guarantee rate will increase – employers will now need to contribute 10.5% (up from 10%) into staff super accounts.
The $450 minimum wage threshold will also be scrapped, meaning anyone – except those under 18 years old who work less than 30 hours a week – must receive super payments, no matter how little they earn week to week.
New financial year sees Telstra customers charged extra
It’s not great news for Telstra customers. The new financial year changes will see Telstra mobile plan prices increase in line with the Consumer Price Index. Basic and essential plans are expected to rise by $3 per month while premium plans will increase by $4 a month. Ouch!
NSW Paid parental leave gets a shakeup in the new budget
NSW has plans to overhaul the paid parental leave scheme in a bid to encourage women to return to the workforce earlier. Removing the ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ carer labels, the new scheme will see every mum and dad in the NSW public sector entitled to 14 weeks of paid parental leave in the first two years after birth.
Parents who split caring duties will be given an extra two weeks “bonus leave”, a first in Australia, which applies where each parent takes at least 12 weeks of leave, on top of any employment leave. Single parents will be able to access the full 16 weeks of leave. This new scheme will come into effect from October 2022.
There you have it, folks, the new financial year changes are set to shake families up – some a little and some a lot. If you need more information or clarification head to Services Australia, Centrelink or Fair Work Australia.