Wednesday, 09 February 2011

Better times ahead for business lending

Tuesday, 08 February 2011
AAPSmall businesses can expect better lending conditions as the economy strengthens, the Reserve Bank says.In a submission to a Senate inquiry into access to finance for small and medium-sized businesses,

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the central bank says competitive pressures are again beginning to intensify in the banking sector.

“Foreign-owned banks are also likely to look to expand their presence in the market as global conditions continue to improve,” it says in the submission released on Tuesday.

This will be welcome news to small businesses that have long argued that they are getting a raw deal from the banks since the onset of the global financial crisis (GFC).

The central bank says higher funding costs and a reassessment of risk have resulted in an increase in the difference between lending rates on business loans and the cash rate.

“The Reserve Bank board has taken this into account in its monetary policy decisions, and the cash rate remains below its average since the end of 1996,” the central bank said.

Reduced lending by the smaller banks and non-bank financial institutions appears to have been the main factor in the easing in competition for small business loans.

Lending by non-bank firms has fallen by almost half since the start of the GFC, while lending by smaller banks remains well below its peak 2008.

In contrast, the major banks have continued to increase their lending over the past few years.

“This has resulted in a significant jump in their market share, accounting for about three-quarters of lending to unincorporated businesses, and about 70 per cent of total business credit,” it says.

One concern among small business is that interest rates on residentially secured business loans are priced at a premium to residentially secured housing rates.

“This pricing results from the higher expected losses on small business loans as well as the larger amount of capital that banks hold as a buffer against unexpected losses,” it says.

Past experience suggests that small business borrowers are more than twice as likely as standard mortgage customers to default.

Childcare the growth industry

Tuesday, 08 February 2011
By Mark Logan
Central Western Daily

AT a rate of 4.9 per cent, the childcare industry is predicted to grow almost as fast as the children in their care.

The growth is not due to an expanding population, rather it is the result of legislative changes coming into effect over the next five years.

Designed to produce a better child to staff ratio, the changes, which include mandatory training for all childcare workers and extra teaching positions in some centres, are putting pressure on some providers to find suitably qualified staff.

To encourage people into the childcare industry, especially for those in the birth to five years bracket, both TAFE and universities have introduced incentives to increase their enrolment rates.

“There are no fees for people doing their diploma in children’s services – early childhood education and care at TAFE,” said Carol Burgess, course director for bachelor of teaching/education at CSU.

“And if they go on to study at university they can have some of their HECS debt released by working in a low socio-economic area or where English is a second language.”

The changes are to affect all aspects of childcare including family day care where carers will need to have a certificate III in childcare by 2014.

“A long day care centre now has to have a teacher if they have 29 or more children,” Mrs Burgess said. “By 2014 they will need to have one if they have 25 or more.”

The demand for qualified staff has worked to Stacey Roweth’s advantage as she was snapped up as soon as she returned from Newcastle with her bachelor of education – early childhood.

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did my diploma in community services – children, before doing my bachelor of education through distance education,” Miss Roweth said. “There is a big demand for early childhood teachers and it’s partly because

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if you do the birth to eight course, you can get a teaching position in a primary school.”

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in pay levels and conditions is the main cause of the drift from preschool teachers to primary school.

“The pay in children’s services are so low,” Miss Roweth said. “You also have a big responsibility that goes with it.”

Despite the potential for an increase in the fees charged by preschools to help recover the costs of more qualified staff, the move for more training is seen as a positive by Mrs Burgess.

“Over the next five years we will have new awards that will address the pay imbalance and will give childcare workers a career path they can follow,” she said. “We can’t afford not to do

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Fair Work rules in favour of dismissed childcare staff accused of gossiping

Tuesday, 08 February 2011
By Ricky Roxas
International Business Times

Fair Work Australia Ces efforts pourraient aussi relancer le secteur des machine a sous , qui a beaucoup souffert ce dernier temps. issued a ruling on Tuesday that favours a dismissed employee, who was reportedly fired for alleged gossiping against fellow workers and staff.

Childcare centre operator Hippity Hop Childcare sacked Tara Davies in June 2010 for allegedly violating the company”s policy against backbiting,

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which was being enforced by the childcare firm to “prevent staff gossiping about each other maliciously.”

The firm said that the policy has been existent during Davies” tenure with the centre and the rule was explicit on its provision that “any staff member caught back-biting may result in immediate dismissal.”

Records showed that the case stemmed from accusations that Davis was spreading unsavoury words about her colleagues and she was summoned by the centre”s principal, Michelle Smith, to discuss the matter but the former walked out from that meeting.

Davis never returned to work following the incident and her formal separation from the company raised employment concerns that were cited by the Fair Work ruling.

According to Fair Work commissioner John Ryan, Davis was only officially sacked after words already came out that she has been fired.

Also, Ryan said that as a small business operation, the childcare centre could only enjoy limited protection from the Unfair Dismissal Code, which excludes backbiting as part of serious misconducts that are grounds for summary dismissal.

Ryan stressed in his ruling that the negative comments that came from Davis do not constitute sufficient reasons for dismissal as he added that the company policy itself is a very blunt instrument, which means that “that mere breach of the policy cannot constitute a valid reason for dismissal and the nature and intent and effect of the “back-biting” need to be considered.”

For her trouble, Fair Work Australia has awarded Davis with $9,480 as compensation.

Childcare workers lacking qualifications: report

Thursday, 03 February 2011
By Kathleen Dyett
ABC News

Less than half of paid childcare workers in the ACT have formal qualifications, prompting concerns centres will struggle to meet new national standards.

A Productivity Commission report into government services shows about 47 per cent of ACT paid childcare workers do have a relevant formal qualification at or above certificate level three.

That is the lowest proportion of all the states and territories.

Under national changes, early childcare centres must employ more staff who are qualified or studying towards a qualification by January 2014.

Canberra Liberals spokeswoman Vicki Dunne says the Territory is lagging behind and the Government must respond.

“The Government needs to assure the community that we will not have staff shortages as a result of these changes,” she said.

“The Government needs to address whether or not there”ll be ongoing exemptions and the Government needs to address how we”re going to train up all the people we need.”

Community Services Minister Joy Burch says the Government is investing heavily in relevant training.

“We know there”s work to do and that”s why we”re getting on and doing that work in supporting our workforce,” she said.

She says the Government is working closely with the sector.

“We”re on place and we”re increasing our support for training. We have a professional support coordinator within the department that is working with the sector about the training needs of the workforce that are here.”

Historical Independent Consultant Articles

Article Title Article Provider Date

Australian Industry Newsletter – 10 February 2012
Australian Industry Newsletter – 16 January 2012
Australian Industry Newsletter – 4 November 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 31 August 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 24 August 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 04 August 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 29 June 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – Tuesday, 15 June 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 08 June 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 01 June 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 30 March 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 23 March 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 16 March 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 23 February 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 16 February 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 09 February 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 26 January 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 10 November 2010
Australian Industry Newsletter – 03 November 2010
Australian Industry Newsletter – 27 October 2010

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