Streamlining regulation

Tell us about Government rules and practices that are outdated and/or unnecessary, do not add any value or adversely affect your business and its productivity.  

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Ali Roush

31 Mar 2017

Food regulation and donation laws! Currently over 400,000 tonnes of food ends up in landfill each year. This has serious social, economic and environmental consequences. Many businesses feel they are forced to throw away perfectly edible food, because they are either worried about liability if donated, or feel it is too complicated for them to donate. Other countries passed laws to address this issue (e.g. France, Italy and the UK), ranging from fines for business which throw out edible food (France), to relaxing laws regarding 'use-bys' and 'best-before' dates to allow and encourage business and farms to donate food. Last year Italy passed a bill which alters tax reporting and food safety regulations to make donating easier. The new law allows: food past its 'sell-by' date to be donated, farms to transfer unsold produce with no extra cost and companies to donate mislabelled food as long as there is no health risk. They have also designed incentives to encourage people to take home leftovers from restaurants rather than throwing them away, and have tax reductions on rubbish for companies which are donating (based on the volume donated). Italy now donates about 86,000 tonnes to charity following the introduction of these laws. Food that isn't able to be donated should be streamlined into animal fodder, compost, or energy generation.

Government Agency

Simpler Regulation Unit > Ali Roush

03 Apr 2017

Hi Ali. That is a good example of using regulation as an incentive to affect positive change. We will put this idea to the relevant government departments for consideration as part of Simplify Day. Thanks for the idea.

Government Agency

Simpler Regulation Unit > Ali Roush

24 Aug 2017

Hi again Ali, we have some further information clarifying the liabilities associated with food donation. The Civil Liability Act 1936 removes civil liability for food donors to donate or distribute food for charitable or benevolent purposes, as long as the donor knew that the food was not unsafe within the meaning of the Food Act 2001. Food that was past its 'best before' date or where the integrity of the packaging has not been damaged are not regarded as being unsafe for human consumption within the meaning of the Food Act. We hope this information clarifies the liabilities you have raised and enables you and other businesses to support food donation.

Peter Dean

17 Mar 2017

Why not track customer interactions, to see where the difficult spots and log jams are. This may be in real space if a manual process or electronic monitoring if via a web site or app. This is well covered in the March-April 2017 HBR Pp 119-125. Sales companies watch what the hesitation points are in on-line purchasing, for the very same reason but with sales instead of customer service as their drivers.

Government Agency

Simpler Regulation Unit > Peter Dean

21 Mar 2017

It's a good point you make about the power of analytics for improving all business processes, including regulatory services. Thanks for getting involved, Peter.

Government Agency

Simpler Regulation Unit > Peter Dean

24 Aug 2017

Hi again Peter, we have some further information in relation to your feedback. In March 2017 the mySA GOV Account, an across-government account for citizen services was launched. The account improves citizen and business access to specific government services, which currently include a number of digital licenses which were launched in May 2017. Additional offerings are being explored and this innovation is expected to significantly improve customer service and make interactions with government easier and faster.

Tash Goldsmith

10 Mar 2017

I have an issue with the work cover laws.
We are a small food manufacturing business with 3 working directors. Only 1 of these works in the production area the others are sales and retail employees.
We pay the highest work cover premium because of the industry. This is not reasonable to small business trying to survive and for us in the local tourism industry. Work cover should be looked into how it assesses industry to help us and the economy, not work against us.

Government Agency

Simpler Regulation Unit > Tash Goldsmith

14 Mar 2017

Hi Tash - we can, if you wish, raise this issue with Return to Work South Australia on your behalf. If you would like to respond with further details, please send us an email at simplifyday@sa.gov.au. Thanks for being part of the discussion.

Government Agency

Simpler Regulation Unit > Tash Goldsmith

24 Aug 2017

Hi Tash. Thanks again for your feedback. You may be interested to hear that SafeWork SA has separated its educator and regulator functions. The Educator comprises Work, Health and Safety advisors who have no inspector powers and can visit a workplace to help. This means the Educator cannot issue a notice to shut a site down, lock out items of plant or issue fines for non-compliance. They may be able to help you to optimise work health and safety processes at your business. You can contact the educator through www.safework.sa.gov.au or by calling 1300 365 255.

You may also be aware that the Government’s undertook significant reforms to workers compensation which were aimed at delivering better outcomes for injured workers and their employers within a financially sustainable scheme. A new premium system commenced on 1 July 2015 and coincided with the introduction of the new Return to Work scheme. The average premium rate charged has dropped from 2.75% to 1.95% of employers’ declared wages, representing approximately $180 million savings for employers in 2015-16.

For your information, on 10 August 2017, Simplify Day was held with an introduction of a Bill into Parliament. You can read about the regulatory reforms in the Simplify Day 2017 Report on http://www.treasury.sa.gov.au/public-sector-operations/simpler-regulation-unit/simplify-day.