COVID 19 dominates headlines, but below the publicity radar the tinkering and harmonising of policies, regulations and administration to keep up with social change continues.
On 28 May 2020, AUSTRAC announced changes to its customer ID and verification rules to help people experiencing domestic and family violence. Under new rules, if a customer cannot produce a driver’s license or birth certificate, or show a new address, banks, and other regulated businesses, can use alternative ways to verify their customer’s identity. AUSTRAC has published Guidelines, setting out what alternative identification can be used including, referee statements.
On 7 June 2020, the Rent Choice Start Safely program was announced. The program provides three years of rental subsidies in the private rental market for family violence victims, with access to support services to help sustain a tenancy. To be eligible, a person must be escaping domestic and family violence; be homeless, or at risk of being homeless; and demonstrate that they will be able to afford the private market rent after the subsidy period ends.
On 13 June 2020 changes to the Child Support Regulations came into effect. When the Registrar is determining a parent’s income, for the purposes of an application to reduce the minimum annual rate payable by the parent, any redress payments that parent may have received under the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse cannot be taken into account. The amendments also include the replacement of the reference to the NewStart allowance with the Jobseeker payment, for the purposes of determining prescribed weekly rates, effective from 1 January 2021.
Further details can be found on the AUSTRAC, Department of Communities and Justice and Child Support websites.