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Federal budget November 2022 – SME take aways

27 October 2022

The knowledge that a budget is coming brings mixed emotions for most SME owners and managers. Things beyond our control can have a significant impact on our business and our teams, and we may need to adapt to either benefit from them or manage through the outcomes. This budget doesn’t have the life shifting results of some previous ones, but there are things that may be important to you, your teams or your industry.

Real wages growth

During the election the labour campaigned on achieving real wage growth and shared their plan to achieve this. Concern for SMEs is always how this will translate into the budgets due to the fact that wages are set by the Fair Work Commission which should be an independent body.

While the government is influencing affordability for some through providing cheaper childcare, more flexible parental leave, cheaper medicines and investment into affordable housing, wage growth is not a focus of the budget.

As a result, SME owners and manager should be looking at the benefits they can offer employees as they create a great place to work. In HR speak, we call this your Employee Value Proposition.

Funding for future careers and skills

Over the past 2 years most SMEs have experienced the challenges of finding and retaining our amazing teams. Federal and state governments have entered a $1 billion-agreement for 180,000 fee-free TAFE places to be created next year, with more coming over 4 years. These positions, when coupled with the financial incentiveFederal budges already in play for apprentices and trainees may work for your business.

A longer-term plan to increased skills in the one-off 20,000 boost of university places over the coming four years. While this will take time before you see benefits, perhaps there is a way to engage interns to support you in the interim. We will be sharing information of Internships in the near future so join our newsletter to ensure you don’t miss out.

Skilled migrant visa processing

35,000 additional skilled migrant visas in industries with critical skills shortages will released this financial year. While the cost of visa processing is a consideration, the access to more talented people, may help to offset the higher wages of the past 2 years. To ensure employers benefit quickly the visa processing will also be faster.

Childcare and parental leave

The government is committing $4.7 billion over a four-year period to make childcare and early education more affordable. This has the potential to encourage your employees on parental leave to return to work as it makes financial sense to do so. This doesn’t kick into until July 2023, but it is good to understand the plans.

We’ve recently shared information on parental leave changes that are planned for 2023. In this budget those plans were further enhanced, but the change is gradual and won’t take full effect until 2026.

Small business support

No SME owner or manager will claim that the past 2 years have been smooth sailing. We’ve all had our own challenges to consider. To support us, over $15 million will go towards supporting small businesses with tailored mental health and financial counselling programs.

Women’s access to expert advice

We will continue to see changes required to ensure that issues such as discrimination and pay equity are addressed. We will continue to work with clients to implement these plans professionally and pragmatically.

Please reach out to your HR Consultant for advice that is specific for your business, or contact us on or 1300 474 672. We are here to help.

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