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Labor Budget 2022 – what it means for salon owners

Posted October 27, 2022

All Australians, and particularly small business owners, are aware of the challenging economic position that we find ourselves in post-pandemic. While this has had an impact on the Albanese Governments’ first budget, and Labor’s first budget in over a decade, it’s not all doom and gloom. While small businesses were not mentioned by name regularly, there are several initiatives that directly benefit salon owners that came out of Treasurer Jim Chalmer’s budget address:

  1. A $4.7 billion investment in childcare and early childhood education subsidies will see families earning less than $530,000 a year eligible for subsidies of up to 90%. The cost of childcare is a huge disincentive for parents to return to the workforce parents, particularly women who make up the majority of the Hair and Beauty Industry. Those salons struggling with the skills shortage are set to benefit from a policy making it easier for new parents to balance their personal lives and professional goals, allowing more women to go back to work with the support of child care.
  2. There is included a long-awaited $1.4 billion boost for Commonwealth-supported university places and the provision of free TAFE courses, which will help inject new skills into our struggling industry.
  3. While the Fair Work Commission will move to support small businesses as they engage with the expansion of enterprise bargaining agreements, HABA has pushed against these changes and the projected cost: $7.9 million over four years from 2022-2023. We believe it is being used to promote a system that will generally push other industries’ agreements into the Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2022, along with rulings that may or may not be applicable to our Industry, as each agreement can act as a precedent for the next. As your nationally-recognized representative at the FWC, HABA will continue to represent salon owners and a HABA membership will continue to be invaluable in supporting salon owners.
  4. A fresh grant program will soon offer a cumulative $62.6 million in funding to projects designed to boost energy efficiency, lower emissions, or smooth out power demand. For salon owners operating a variety of electrical machines across our salons, this can only be good.
  5. Salon owners will receive tailored mental health support and debt counselling services to the tune of $15.1 million. With so many of our colleagues struggling through the pandemic with little to no support for their mental health and finances, this is an encouraging sign that the government is taking the health and well-being of small business owners seriously.
  6. New funding for the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will help target businesses operating in the ‘shadow economy’. In other words: businesses skirting the boundaries of tax compliance, or flouting them entirely, should be prepared for another three years of scrutiny – and we’ve already seen plenty of salons fall due to failure to comply with the law.
  7. The Fair Work Ombudsman and the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations will receive $3.4 million from 2022-2023 to assist small businesses as they react to the government’s plan to legislate ten days of paid family domestic violence leave. The funding will go towards “education, technical advice and support services” for those businesses, budget papers state.

There are however a number of key items missing from the budget that had been mentioned or raised by other groups:

  1. COSBOA and other small business groups had previously called on the government to fund cyber security training for small businesses to improve resiliency against digital attacks. There is no such funding found in the budget.
  2. The controversial Stage 3 tax cuts remain in the books, despite calls for the government to axe the measures, projected to cost the government $254 billion over ten years. Other significant tax reforms were absent in the budget papers, despite calls for holistic change from the business sector.
  3. There are no new full-expense claim abilities for salon owners, like the purchase of new equipment being completely tax deductable, as we often saw in previous Government budgets. It’s suggested this is because uptake continued to be low, particularly in the small business sector.


What salon owners can take from this budget is that there are several targeted schemes that provide benefits to the community, and particularly our staff, rather than business owners directly. While times have been tough, this may be the time to sit with your accountant or bookkeeper to determine the best ways to take advantage of new budget schemes, whether that’s investing in new equipment or taking the opportunity to upskill yourself or staff.


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