This page outlines proposed or recent changes to the law which may impact on your not-for-profit community organisation.
New resources on new laws for Victorian incorporated associations
PilchConnect has a range of new resources to assist associations to transition to new laws that came into effect on 26 Novmeber 2012. The act regulating incorporated associations in Victoria is now the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012.
The full list of resources is here.
'Equal Pay' increases commence 1 December 2012
From 1 December 2012, NFPs may need to pay higher wages to their employees who work in the social and community services (SACS) industry.
The 'equal pay' decision
On 1 February 2012, Fair Work Australia (FWA) made a historic decision to increase wages in the SACS industry.
This was because FWA had found that there was no 'equal pay' for SACS workers for work of equal or comparable value when compared with workers in state and local government employment.
FWA considered that gender was a significant factor in creating the gap between pay in the SACS industry and pay in similar state and local government employment.
When do the increases first commence?
The first mandatory increase to wages will occur on 1 December 2012.
Flowing from the 'equal pay' decision, there will be further increases on 1 December of each subsequent year up until 1 December 2020.
What does this mean for NFPs?
NFPs in the SACS industry in Victoria will generally be covered by the SACS modern award.
Accordingly, many Victorian NFPs in the SACS industry will need to pay increased rates from 1 December 2012 if they employ employees in social and community services and crisis assistance and supported housing sectors.
Who exactly needs to pay the increases?
NFPs may need to pay the increases if both the following apply to their organisation:
What are the increases?
The increases are found in FWA's Equal Remuneration Order dated 22 June 2012 which can be found here.
The Fair Work Ombudsman's website contains some further guidance (see here) on the increases and how they are to be calculated.
If NFPs are in receipt of funding directly from the Commonwealth or through a Commonwealth-State agreement, then they may be eligible for an Australian Government funding supplementation to help with the increase in wages.
Eligible NFPs do not need to apply for this funding supplementation. If they have an existing Australian Government funding agreement, they will be provided with a revised funding offer. Most eligible NFPs should have already received a letter from the Australian Government about this.
More information on this funding supplementation can be obtained from the FAHCSIA website (see here).
If you are directly funded by a state or territory government, you should direct any questions regarding eligibility and funding to your Funding Agreement Manager in your relevant state or territory government.
Not-for-profits and charities nationally
Federal not-for-profit sector reform agenda
In the 2011-2012 Budget, the Federal Government announced a number of important reforms to the regulation and governance of charities and not-for-profits. The changes include:
Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) is to be established as an independent national regulator for charities, and eventually other not-for-profits.
Statutory definition of 'charity' will be introduced to remove the uncertainty and confusion caused by the current common law (judge-made law) definition.
Changes to not-for-profit tax concessions will clarify the special conditions for tax concessions, so that organisations receiving tax concessions must generally operate ‘in Australia’ and satisfy a single definition of 'not-for-profit'. Also tax laws will be amended to ensure that income tax exempt organisations can no longer apply tax concessions to income from unrelated commercial activities.
National charitable fundraising reform is being considered to reduce inconsistencies and avoid duplication amongst current state and territory regimes.
Victorian incorporated associations
Reforms for Victorian incorporated associations
The Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 (the new Act) has been passed by the Victorian Parliament, incorporating changes to the Associations Incorporation Act 1981 passed in 2009 and 2010 and consolidating them in a re-write to the Act.
The new Act will commence operation on 26 November 2012.
PilchConnect will continue to provide as much information, training and advice as we can to help incorporated associations understand and comply with the new Act. Consumer Affairs Victoria will write to incorporated associations about the changes and provide guidance materials and information sessions to assist incorporated associations.
For more information on how the new laws will affect your incorporated association, go to:
Companies limited by guarantee
Not-for-profit organisations that are incorporated as companies limited by guarantee are regulated by the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). In June 2010 the Federal Government has made changes to the Corporations Act and these changes will impact on the legal obligations of companies limited by guarantee (particularly their financial reporting obligations). For more information, go to:
This section provides links to information on other recent changes that may be of interest to not-for-profit community organisations.
This section provides links to information on some court cases whose findings may be of interest to not-for-profit community organisations.