Changes to fixed-term contracts and laws to harmonise charitable fundraising

Take the opportunity now to …

Stay up-to-date and informed around two key pieces of legislation that will affect not-for-profits/charitable organisations.

1. Changes to fixed-term contracts

As you are probably aware the Commonwealth Government has passed laws that limit the ability of organisations to employ people on extended fixed-term contracts. There are some exemptions which may apply to your organisation, although we are yet to receive more detail about these. In the meantime, we have sought legal advice which is now available. You can download the legal briefing paper prepared for TasCOSS on the changes to fixed-term employment contracts coming into effect from 6 December 2023. The paper includes advice for organisations to ensure you comply with the new rules, details on where exemptions may apply, and practical examples of how the new rules likely will be applied. Justice Connect Not-for-Profit Law and the Fair Work Ombudsman have also prepared information and advice on the upcoming changes. 

The Government will likely release regulations on the new rules which will hopefully provide greater clarity and further exceptions. We expect that might happen sometime in September 2023, after which we will release a further member alert.

2. Changes to fundraising

The Tasmanian Government is introducing legislation that will harmonise the rules around charitable fundraising across Australian states and territories. The Charities and Associations Law (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2023 aligns Tasmania with agreed national harmonisation principles, and introduces a cross-border recognition model for charitable fundraisers. This is in response to concerns from a coalition of sector and peak professional bodies* about regulatory inconsistencies and compliance costs that apply to not-for-profit organisations, but not to business.

Key changes in the Bill include:

  • Implementing a cross-border recognition model for charitable fundraisers, providing that registration with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) authorises a charity to fundraise in each jurisdiction;
  • Provide for the National Fundraising Principles to be adopted via a Code of Practice to be made as Regulations;
  • Harmonising the reporting thresholds for all charities; and
  • Strengthening the compliance and enforcement provisions under the Collections for Charities Act 2001.

Information about the Bill is available on the Department of Justice website. The Department also held a briefing to TasCOSS Members around the Bill on 21 August 2023. If you missed the session, you can download the presentation slides. Submissions close on Friday 25 August 2023.

If you have any questions about these changes, please contact Dr Charlie Burton, Manager Policy, via email.

* Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ), Community Council for Australia (CCA), CPA Australia, Governance Institute of Australia, Justice Connect, Philanthropy Australia, and Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA).