Welcome to our series of HR interviews with Lawyer Monika Nosal who answers some of the most common questions asked by HR managers regarding employees’ legal entitlements.
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A collection of case studies and articles highlighting the latest in legal news.
Welcome to our series of HR interviews with Lawyer Monika Nosal who answers some of the most common questions asked by HR managers regarding employees’ legal entitlements.
The Federal Budget 2020 sees the Morrison Government investing $1.5 billion in new funding over five years from 2020-21 to support the Modern Manufacturing Strategy. This strategy is an integral part of the Government’s $74 billion JobMaker Plan to tackle rising unemployment with sustainable long-term jobs.
The Federal Budget 2020 saw a $795.5 million investment in the Government’s Digital Business Plan as part of the JobMaker Plan. It’s objective is to improve productivity, income growth and jobs by supporting the adoption of digital technologies by Australian businesses and to see Australia become a leading digital economy by 2030.
On Tuesday 6 October 2020, the Federal Government released its proposed budget for 2020-21, together with forward estimates of future receipts and expenses. As usual, most of the details had previously been formally announced or “leaked” previously but it is worth paying attention to a few issues. In doing so I have borrowed shamelessly from the exact words from the relevant budget text to ensure accuracy and only added additional commentary when the issue warrants that additional attention.
The Treasurer handed down the Federal Budget 2020-21 on 6 October 2020. Detailed below is an overview of the significant tax measures announced, followed by further information regarding each of these measures.
The Full Federal Court has held that land which was used to store tools and equipment was an active asset, enabling the taxpayer to access the small business Capital Gains Tax (CGT) concessions.
The pandemic period has been an extreme burden on the hospitality industry. The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) in conjunction with the Victorian Government has, in addition to its previous leniency on certain liquor regulations, agreed to support licensees with the opportunity to extend their trading footprint by seeking a temporary licence to trade outdoors for the duration of the COVID-19 period.
This article was first published in September 2020 by Daily Cargo News.
During these difficult times, it is important that all members of the supply chain remember their obligations under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and, in particular, their primary duty under the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) provisions. The potential financial and legal ramifications of failing to comply with those obligations can be significant as seen in a recent case in Queensland.
Late yesterday, the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (JobKeeper Payments) Amendments Bill 2020 (Bill) to extend the JobKeeper Payment scheme (JobKeeper) announced by the Federal Government in July 2020 was passed by Parliament after Labor and the Greens failed to win support for amendments.
The 7 September 2020 deadline for the Australian Tax Office (ATO) superannuation guarantee amnesty (the Amnesty) is fast approaching.
This article was first published in August 2020 by Daily Cargo News.
Following the announcement made by Treasurer Tim Pallas on 20 August 2020, the Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund (Fund) has been created in recognition of small, private landlords who may not have the capacity to provide rent reductions to their tenants under the requirements of the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme (CTRS).
Today, Treasurer Tim Pallas announced that the Victorian Government will extend its moratorium on evictions and rental increases for both residential and commercial tenancies in Victoria until 31 December 2020. There will be some specific exceptions to this rule, the details of which are yet to be identified.
On Thursday 13 August 2020, the High Court handed down its much-anticipated decision in the “Mondelez” case. This matter involved an appeal by Mondelez against the Federal Court Full Court decision which effectively held that 10 days personal leave under the National Employment Standards was 10 days regardless of the ordinary hours worked on any day. For Mondelez, this meant that 12-hour shift workers could have 10 days of 12 hours of personal leave per year, equal to 120 hours of personal leave per year.
This article was first published in August 2020 by AMT Magazine.
James Turnbull is a newly promoted Senior Associate in our Construction & Projects group.
Huimin Seetoh is a newly promoted Senior Associate in our Property group. She practices extensively in sales and acquisition, commercial and retail leasing, property development and other property related matters.
Since 1 April 2020, in a significant extension to the director penalty regime, company directors are now personally liable for unpaid Goods and Services Tax (GST) (including luxury car tax and wine equalisation tax). The expansion of the regime was introduced as part of the Government’s broader reform of Australia’s corporate insolvency regime.
On 22 June 2020, the Australian Federal Government passed legislation setting out a legal framework for the introduction of a Director Identification Number (DIN) regime for directors.
As an island nation, Australia has always relied heavily on its ports, their wharves and other facilities as well as the associated land–side infrastructure including rail and road access, stevedore operations and empty container parks. Much of the national and international supply chain relies on the efficient operation of the sector.
Victoria Comino is a newly promoted Special Counsel in our Workplace Relations group. She has over 20 years of workplace relations experience across both legal and commercial practice.
This article was first published in July 2020 by The Daily Cargo News.
The Indonesia–Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement is a positive development for the global free trade agenda writes Customs and Trade Partner, Andrew Hudson.
In the fourth of our Wills and Estates 101 series, we speak with Rigby Cooke Lawyers Wills and Estates Special Counsel, Christian Teese, to answer questions around your rights to challenge the validity of a Will.
On 24 June, we delivered a webinar to members of the CBFCA (now IFCBAA) which addressed, in part, the terms of the Indonesia Australia – Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (IA – CEPA) which is to commence on 5 July 2020, as well as the outcomes from the Australian Border Force (ABF) Goods Compliance Update from April 2020.
Tamara is a Tax Counsel in our Tax and Wealth group. Tamara has over 12 years of tax expertise and has represented a broad range of clients including Australian and foreign based corporates, entities in the financial services, high wealth individuals, and non-profit organisations.
The Government has announced proposed changes to the foreign investment review framework to take effect 1 January 2021 following the temporary measures imposed in March 2020.
On 11 June 2020, the Brisbane’s District Court of Queensland convicted a scrap metal company of ‘industrial manslaughter’ following the death of a worker, and its two directors were each convicted of a less serious offence of ‘reckless conduct’.
Annual Wage Review Decision
On 19 June 2020, the Fair Work Commission handed down its 2020 Annual Wage Review Decision. The key elements of the decision are:
- the national minimum wage will increase by 1.75% from $19.49 to $19.84 per hour from 1 July 20201 ; and
- a 1.75% increase to full-time minimum wage rates in modern awards.
This article was first published in June 2020 by Thompson Reuters.
One of the fundamental roles of governments during the COVID–19 Pandemic has been to assist the movement of goods through the international and domestic supply chain as well as to support those providing services in that supply chain. While there has been an understandable focus on movement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and related equipment and medication needed to assist in treatment of those affected by the Pandemic, that focus has not excluded the adoption of measures to assist trade in other goods adversely affected by the significant reduction in air and sea cargo options.
Due to the widespread economic impact of COVID-19 which has caused financial uncertainty for many businesses, contracts for the acquisition of goods or services may be cancelled in order to mitigate against further losses.
A data breach occurs when personal information is subject to unauthorised access or disclosure or if information is lost in circumstances where unauthorised access or disclosure is likely. A breach must be notified to the Office of the Australian Privacy Commissioner (OAIC) and all affected individuals when one or more individuals are likely to suffer serious harm as a result of the breach.
Elizabeth Guerra-Stolfa is a Partner and the leader of our Litigation & Dispute Resolution group. With over 30 years of experience, she specialises in complex superior court, specialist tribunal litigation, Royal Commission hearings, mediation and alternative dispute resolution.
In the third of our Wills and Estates 101 series we speak with Rigby Cooke Lawyers Wills, Trusts and Estates practice lead, Rachael Grabovic, to answer questions around Superannuation death benefits.
Important changes to employer superannuation guarantee obligations and salary sacrifice arrangements
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has recently released a Guidance Note (GN 2020/1) which contains information for employers, payroll software providers and intermediaries who may need to change the way they calculate their superannuation guarantee obligations.
Rhodie Anderson is a Partner and group leader in our Planning & Environment team, with expertise covering planning, environment and property. With more than 20 years of experience, Rhodie specialises in planning and environmental law issues for predominantly developer clients.
The JobKeeper payment scheme was announced on 30 March 2020 with the objective of providing financial support to entities to assist with the impact of COVID-19. Since that time, there has been a significant amount of information released to explain the complex operation of the scheme, including Treasury Rules, Australian Tax Office (ATO) rulings and guidelines, together with amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 to enable employers to temporarily vary work arrangements for eligible employees.
In the second of our Wills and Estates 101 series we speak with Marcus Schivo, a lawyer in our Wills, Trusts and Estates team, to answer common questions around Probate and what you need to do.
There have been a number of developments in recent weeks that all transport and logistics operators with employees need to be aware of.
In the first of our introductory series which looks into the world of Wills, Trusts and Estates, we speak to Rosa Bazzanella a Senior Associate at Rigby Cooke Lawyers about some of the questions she frequently encounters in her work.
This article was first published on 12 May 2020 by Daily Cargo News.
I have previously written the effects of COVID-19 in the international supply chain as well as having presented at meetings and webinars. This included a recent webinar with the Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia, which was attended by more than 300 members.
Julia Cameron is a Partner in Rigby Cooke’s Corporate & Commercial group and Practice Lead for the Privacy & Data Protection team with over 10 years of legal experience. Julia specialises in corporate and commercial advice, commercial agreements, transactions, intellectual property and information technology.
Recently we discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront the importance of having a Will and Powers of Attorney in place. It has also highlighted the challenges of arranging and executing these documents whilst in lockdown.
The worldwide impact of COVID-19, which has resulted in countries around the world shutting down their borders and international travel being banned, requires companies to operate online whenever possible.
One of the major tasks for government’s around the world are to adopt measures which may assist business to recover and thrive as they plan to move out of COVID– 9 restrictions. As much as national governments have committed to generally keep borders open, there remains the need to actively take action to ensure that commitments are met and that new initiatives are adopted to support further enhancements to the trade environment.
- Many Australian businesses must disclose when they have been affected by a data breach
- While reputational damage is a critical risk for businesses, there is also the threat of monetary penalties of up to $2.1 million and orders of uncapped compensation
- A representative complaint – similar to a class action – has been made against Optus on behalf of a group of individuals affected by an alleged breach in 2019.
In further recognition of the difficulties faced by companies in meeting strict corporate compliance requirements in a COVID-19 environment, the Treasurer released yesterday a ministerial determination permitting company general meetings to be held virtually and modifying the way companies can execute documents.
On Wednesday 29 April 2020, the Australian Federal Government and the Queensland Government announced that works on 22 jointly funded projects would be brought forward under the Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) initiative. The full announcement is available here.
The Victorian Government recently announced a range of tax relief measures in response to COVID-19 to assist landlords and businesses. The State Revenue Office (SRO) has now provided further guidance on these initiatives.
On 1 May 2020 the Victorian Government passed regulations for the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) (Commercial Leases and Licences) Regulations 2020 (the Regulations) giving substance to the National Cabinet Mandatory Code of Conduct (the Code).
- Privacy Awareness Week – an opportunity for all organisations to ‘Reboot your privacy’
- Organisations are responsible for the actions of their employees – this calls for innovation when ensuring the security of personal and confidential information in the “home office”
- To be effective, privacy and security arrangements must include appropriate training, clear and documented policies and procedures and management oversight.
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has accepted an enforceable undertaking from Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction Pty Ltd (Laing O’Rourke). This is the first enforceable undertaking of its kind to be accepted by the NHVR.
During the current pandemic, the focus of many has been on the manufacture of the medical equipment required for the treatment of COVID -19 and their urgent movement through the international supply chain.
On 8 April 2020, the Parliament passed legislation to give effect to the Government’s JobKeeper scheme and to amend the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) to give eligible employers greater flexibility to modify employees’ working hours, days, duties and location to minimise the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their business and seek to preserve jobs.
Ian Rosenfeld is a Partner in our Corporate & Commercial team. Ian’s expertise also covers intellectual property, branding, information technology, e-commerce, commercial agreements, commercial disputes & negotiation, mergers & acquisitions, transport & logistics agreements, publishing, tenders and contracting.
Court of Appeal Superannuation Case
Managing your own self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) brings with it estate planning issues. In addition to contemplating who will be entitled to receive your superannuation death benefit on your death you must also consider who will take control of your fund if you were to lose capacity or die.
Rigby Cooke is pleased to announce that two of our Partners, Andrew Hudson and David McLoughlin have been included in the Best Lawyers in Australia rankings for 2021.
- ASIC has recently announced a one month extension for the lodgement of corporate reports
- Extension is available to unlisted entities.
Following on from our previous article regarding leasing rights and obligations during the current COVID-19 pandemic (COVID-19), there have been further developments announced by the Federal Government. If you are after a definitive answer, we’re not quite there yet, but we are getting closer. Code
Meet Michael Gough, a Partner in our Property group with over 25 years of experience in commercial and residential property development. Michael has significant expertise in hotel acquisition, development and management agreements, transport infrastructure projects, structuring of significant property transactions and advising on property related taxation issues, property financing, planning and land use advice, and regulatory consents and approvals (including FIRB approvals).
Landlords, take advantage of COVID-19 insolvency legislative reform: now is the time to register security interests in cash security deposits on the PPSR
- Landlords should register security interests on the PPSR in cash security deposits or cash bonds paid under a commercial or retail leases
Last night, the Parliament passed legislation to give effect to the Government’s JobKeeper scheme and to amend the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) to give eligible employers greater flexibility to modify employees’ working hours, days, duties and location to minimise the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their business and seek to preserve jobs. The legislation became law after receiving Royal Assent today.
Current as at 1.00pm 9 April 2020
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has raised a number of questions for employers. It is important to stay abreast of government regulation in this area as it will impact the decisions you make as a business and the currency and relevancy of our comments below.
Meet Rachael Grabovic, a Partner in our Wills, Trusts & Estates team. Rachael provides specialised legal advice on all aspects of wills and estates including; complex estate planning and succession law advice, wills, powers of attorney, personal trusts, personal wealth structuring, asset protection, superannuation, charitable foundations, probate, estate administration and estate litigation. Rachael is also an appointed and qualified notary public.
Many employers seeking to take corrective action under the Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty (the Amnesty) may currently be so overwhelmed by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic that they do not consider they have the financial resources to apply for the Amnesty.
This article was first published on 6 April 2020 by Daily Cargo News.
At last, the UK has finally started its process to depart the European Union (EU). However, there is still some real uncertainty about what will remain at the end of the departure process.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions implemented by both Federal and State Governments to combat the pandemic have had a substantial impact on businesses and their employees.
On 1 April 2020, the Australian Federal Government announced a new financial package to support exports of seafood to overseas markets as well as to increase funding of the Export Market Development Grant scheme (EMDG). This is one of a series of financial support packages released as part of Australia’s response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
From 10:30 pm, 29 March 2020, the monetary thresholds for substantial interests attracting the obligation to obtain Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval have been reduced to $0.
On Saturday 28 March 2020, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) full bench (presided by President Iain Ross, Deputy President Richard Clancy and Commissioner Michelle Bissett) granted a joint application made by the Ai Group and Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry on 26 March 2020 to insert a COVID-19 flexibility schedule in the Clerks Private Sector Award (Award). The application was supported by the Australian Services Union and the Australian Council of Trade Unions.
Meet Darren Marx, a Partner in our Property team. Darren advises on all aspects of commercial property development, sales and acquisitions, and commercial and retail leasing. He has a particular focus on off-the-plan developments, hotels, resorts and tourism, retirement village developments and regulatory requirements, and liquor licensing and gaming law.
Further to our update last week, the government has now moved to impose export controls on COVID-19 goods during the present ‘human biosecurity period’.
In light of the ongoing and increasing impact of COVID 19, here we summarise a few relevant issues in the international supply chain, including at our national border.
The COVID-19 medical emergency highlights the importance of having a Will and Powers of Attorney in place. Now is the time to ensure you – and your loved ones – are protected by guaranteeing you have valid and effective medical and financial documents prepared.