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What Australian Salon Owners can expect from the Albanese Labor Government.

Posted May 24, 2022

After a tumultuous campaign, the Australian people have chosen to elect Anthony Albanese as the next Prime Minister of Australia, putting his Labor party into power after nearly a decade.


But what does this mean for salon owners?


With a huge swing towards Independent candidates and Green candidates across the nation, deals will have to be done between these independents and the Labor Party to form government, undoubtedly pushing forward action on climate change. This will be welcomed by many across Australia, not just business owners.

We typically see a change in the dynamic between business and government when we see a change in the elected party. “You know, we want to be a pro-business, pro-employer, Labor Party,” Jim Chalmers, now the Treasurer (formerly Shadow Treasurer) told a Q&A session after a May address at the National Press Club. We can expect to see a federal budget response in June, delivered by Jim Chalmers, which will provide greater detail into the ins and outs of any economic policy put in place by the Albanese Labor Government. The struggle we are likely to see across the board is that there is going to be an increase in the official cash rate, in an attempt to curb inflation. This drives up the cost of home loan repayments, and business loan repayments, across Australia – which could cause struggle for some business owners who have been forced to take out loans to survive the past few years of lockdowns. How the Albanese Labor Government plans to handle this is yet to be seen, but this is sure to be an ongoing issue for salon owners.


A dedication to increasing wages and profits

The Albanese Government has clearly stated they will be backing a minimum wage increase of at least 5.1% in line with headline inflation.  “If the Fair Work Commission doesn’t cut the wage of minimum aged workers, we can say that we welcome that absolutely,” Mr Albanese said. While this might increase consumer spending in our clients (good for us as they continue to spend on luxury salon treatments), for salon owners this is bound to have an impact on the bottom line. This may afford an opportunity for salon owners to increase pricing in line with this wage growth, and better wages may attract more workers into the industry and to stay in the industry.

The Labor party have committed to lowering merchant fees across the board, always a bone of contention in small business, ensuring that more of the profit goes back into our pocket. While it might seem like a small change on a per-transaction basis, across a year this could be significant.

There have been mentioned throughout the campaign of tax cuts for investments in technology and skills training, however, neither plan has been more fleshed out than this to this point. But it’s worth looking out for both measures in the Federal Budget Response delivered in June.


Dedicated grants + standardised disaster payments.

Local industry grants are expected to provide more than 87.1million in funding for small businesses across 2022-2023. In combination with utilising the previously uncommitted funding through the Entrepreneurs Program of nearly $200million by 2025-2026, there’s plenty for small business owners to be optimistic about in terms of government spending. Labor is dedicated to standardising disaster payments across the country, removing the confusion and unfairness of policy that so dogged the previous Coalition government. This provides assurances and security, particularly for those business owners in disaster-prone regional areas, to know that they will be supported and taken care of regardless of the circumstances they find themselves in.


An ambitious skills plan

Labor has committed to more than 465,000 fee-free TAFE places to produce the next crop of skilled workers. For those of us in the Hair and Beauty Industry, this gives us hope for greater employee opportunities in the sector, as fee-free placements make the prospect of training at TAFE more attractive for talented future hairdressers and beauty therapists.


Typically, Labor governments have worked well with small businesses, and the relationship between small businesses and unions has become more constructive than it has been in years. We hope that this continues, and we see a government dedicated to working with salon owners and small business owners across Australia and dedicated to seeing this key segment of the economy grow and thrive as we head into changing economic times.



For advice on this topic or any other workplace relations matter, call the HABA Advice Line on 02 9221 9911.

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