Issue 126 - December 2018
On 25 October 2018, legislative amendments to reduce Payroll Tax in South Australia for small business received Royal assent.
Therefore, from 1 January 2019 businesses with grouped annual taxable wages of:
- Up to $1.5million will not be liable for Payroll Tax; and
- Between $1.5million and $1.7million will benefit from reduced Payroll Tax rates.
As these changes are coming into effect during the 2018/19 financial year, Revenue SA has advised this financial year will be split into two return periods: period one from 1 July 2018 to 31 December 2018, period two from 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2019.
The following table details the rates and thresholds that will apply during these two periods:
not 1 million
| Wages exceed
$1 million but
not $1.5 million
| Wages exceed
$1.5 million but
not 1.7 million
|From 1 January 2019
||Variable from 0% to 4.95%
|From 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2018
||Variable from 2.5% to 4.95%
If a business' Australia wide wages (or their group wages if part of a group) remain under $1.5 million from 1 July 2019 they will no longer be required to pay Payroll Tax in South Australia.
Businesses that are already registered will need to remain registered for the 2018/19 financial year even if below the new threshold. If they advise RevenueSA that their estimated Australia wide wages (or group wages) for the 2018/19 financial year are under $1.5 million, they will be converted to an annual cycle and will need to complete their 2018/19 Annual Reconciliation by 22 July 2019.
Businesses with estimated wages over $1.7 million for 2018/19 will not have any changes, they will need to continue to lodge monthly and annual reconciliations as per normal.
Please contact your Brentnalls SA team member if you would like to discuss any of the above.
*Article sourced from EMA Consulting https://emaconsulting.com.au/
Out-of-hours conduct can often become 'work-related', creating a risk for employers. This is increasingly important with the 'silly season' approaching. Here are our top tips for planning your Christmas function.
What's the Risk?
Christmas parties and other work-related functions often see mismanagement of issues that would otherwise be carefully considered by managers or, managers do not understand that sometimes misconduct that occurs after the official function may still be work-related. Failure to manage misconduct that occurs at work functions, such as harassment, can create a culture of tolerance or acceptance, or expose the employer to a breach of its duties under safety legislation. It can also be used as evidence of unfairness if the same conduct occurs at the workplace later and is managed inconsistently.
On the other hand, employers sometimes over-react to misconduct that occurs at a work function. This can expose the employer to risk of successful unfair dismissal claims because, for example, the matter was not investigated thoroughly, the conduct was not misconduct, or the conduct was not sufficiently connected to work. Even if there is a valid reason, the dismissal may be rendered harsh because the employer did not take steps to manage the function appropriately in the first place.
In addition, an employer can also be vicariously liable for the unlawful acts or omissions of employees - such as harassment - that occur in the course of their employment, which can include acts committed at work functions. An employer is not vicariously liable where they can establish that 'reasonable steps' had been taken to prevent the unlawful act or omission from occurring.
When can you manage out-of-hours conduct?
Where there is a sufficient connection to employment and the actions of employees have the potential to damage the employment relationship or the employer's reputation/brand, an employer can investigate the out of hours conduct of its employees (including work-related functions, use of social media, etc.) and manage accordingly. Employers should have clear policies to deal with the issue at hand, ensure that relevant personnel are educated and understand those policies and, importantly, must manage all non-compliance issues accordingly.
Top Tips for planning your function
Be prepared. Proper management of out-of-hours conduct starts before the conduct occurs. Here are our top tips for planning your function to minimise the risks to your business.
- Check that your insurance policy covers Christmas party activities.
- Outline clear start and finish times.
- Select a venue that employees will have to vacate at the end of the function – ensure a clear distinction between the function and private time.
- Ensure that plenty of food and non-alcoholic drinks are provided.
- Ensure that employees who are minors will not be supplied with alcohol.
- Ensure waiting staff are briefed in relation to the responsible service of alcohol.
- Assist employees with planning how to get home, ie small gifts for designated drivers, provision of cab charges to employees, organising a mini-bus, or holding the event in a location close to public transport.
- Ensure that employees are aware of company expectations leading up to the event, specifically sexual harassment, bullying, discrimination, drug and alcohol use, conduct, and confidentiality. Consolidate policies through training and awareness.
- Conduct a risk assessment of the facility. Be aware of access and egress, and designate an emergency meeting point.
- Provide a generic function letter/memo for employees.
Your letter (tip no. 10) should include the start and finish time of the function, the expected behaviour at function and the application of policies/policy breaches, and details about drink driving/cab-charges/public transport, and the emergency meeting point.
Require further information/assistance?
If you require further information or advice, please contact one of our team members.
5% of Australians experience identity crime that results in financial loss, making it more common than assault or car theft.*
This means it is becoming ever more important to secure our information online.
Here are 10 tips to help protect your business and personal information.
- Realise you're a potential target, don't say "it won't happen to me". If you are aware, you are more vigilant about checking the authenticity of emails etc. Be suspicious of people offering something for nothing.
- Ensure you update operating software, firewalls and antivirus software on all devices.
- Use secure passwords (16 characters or more including letters, numbers and symbols) and use different passwords for every site. Use 2 Factor authentication where possible. Update passwords regularly.
- Use secure websites (https not http) when shopping online and check you are on a genuine site by typing the address into the browser not following links from emails.
- Never use public wifi for internet banking or online shopping.
- Regularly check your bank and credit card statements for unusual activity. Contact your bank if you see something suspicious.
- Change the default administrator password on your router. These are often publicly available.
- Back up your data regularly.
- Beware of information you share. Criminals gather information from social media and unsolicited phone calls in order to steal identities or access more valuable information.
- Be prepared for the worst. Have a disaster recovery plan to deal with a cyber incident and consider cyber insurance.
*Australia's cyber security strategy 2016
From 1st December 2018 modern awards will include new rules about requesting flexible work arrangements.
Employees (other than casuals) can request a flexible working arrangement if they have worked with the same employer for at least 12 months. Casual employees can make a request if they've been working for the same employer regularly and systematically for at least 12 months and there is a reasonable expectation of continuing work with the employer on a regular and systematic basis.
Eligible employees can request flexible work arrangements if they:
Are a carer (under the Carer Recognition Act 2010)
Have a disability
- Are 55 years or older
- Are experiencing family or domestic violence or
- Providing care or support to a member of their household or immediate family who requires care and support because of family or domestic violence
An employer must first discuss the request with the employee to try to reach an agreement about a change to their working arrangements. Employers should take into consideration the needs of the employee, the consequences for the employee if changes in working arrangements aren't made and any reasonable business grounds for refusing the employee's request (e.g. too costly, significant negative impact on customer service, efficiency, productivity, impractical to recruit new employees or no capacity to change other employees working arrangements).
If a request is refused, the employer must provide the employee with a written response within 21 days, which outlines whether the request is approved or refused and the reason for refusal. More information can be found on the Fair Work website.
The National Employment Standards do not require the employer to choose between granting an employee's request in full or refusing the request. Rather, employers and employees are encouraged to discuss their working arrangements and, where possible, reach an agreement that balances both their needs. If the employer and employee reach an agreement on a change in working arrangements, the employer must provide the employee with a written response, setting out the agreed changes.
What is it?
Google Docs is a free Web-based application for creating and modifying word processing and spreadsheet documents. These files can be easily accessed with any computer with internet access and a functional web browser. The ease of access promotes collaboration amongst multiple users at any time.
Who can it help?
Google Docs is ideal for any team undertaking a project. The ability to track edits and for multiple users to work on the same document makes collaboration between multiple users a simple task.
- Google docs has many benefits for small business which include:
- Ability to convert most file types to Google Docs format.
- Invite other people to collaborate on a doc with you, giving them edit, comment or view access.
- Collaborate online in real time and chat with other collaborators.
- View your documents' revision history and roll back to any version.
- Download Google Docs to your desktop as Word, OpenOffice, RTF, PDF, HTML or zip files.
- Translate a document to a different language.
- Using the inbuilt Google search engine to help populate spreadsheets.
- Easy to use integration with Google Images and YouTube to improve presentations and documents.
- There is no software to install, everything is accessible through them Google Docs website.
- Email your documents to other mpeople as attachments.
Google Docs is a free software however you may add additional features for $5 per user a month. These extras include additional storage over the base Google drive online storage offered.
|| We congratulate Dr Roger Absalom and Louise Absalom from Redgum Vet and Pet Boarding for being the major winner at the 2017/18 Rowe Partners Port Augusta Outstanding Business Awards. They won the Rowe Partners Most Outstanding Business Award as well as the Sundrop Farms Excellence in Medium Business Award, shown below.
We congratulate our clients Cadgile on their recent business sale to French engineering company FIVA group. Gary McRae, GM of Cadgile, recently attended the Euronaval Defence Maritime conference in Paris to announce the sale and represent Cadgile at the conference.
Congratulations to Emily Hunt and partner Dane on the birth of their son Oliver.
We welcome Bailey Nisbett who has joined us as an intermediate accountant.
We congratulate all staff recently completing their university exams, particularly those who have now finished their degrees.
We farewell Rafal Stawicki and Caitlin Smith and wish them all the best for their future endeavours.
In October, Brentnalls SA supported the Cora Barclay Centre in their Loud Shirt Day.
We would like to advise that our office will be closed for Christmas and New Year
from Friday 21 December 2018 at 12 noon and will re-open on Monday 7 January 2019.
||This Christmas, instead of sending Christmas gifts, we've made a life changing donation to Make-A-Wish.
I started working at Brentnalls SA just under two years ago as an intermediate accountant. Having completed my CPA at the beginning of this year, I moved up to the position of senior accountant, with a greater emphasis on providing support to the more junior members of the team. This is a role I really enjoy as I love helping people in general and it enables me to pass my knowledge of the job on to those less experienced. I love how the culture of Brentnalls SA really puts an emphasis on growing you as an individual but also as an accountant. My aim is to one day fill a more managerial role within the firm.
In my spare time I love exercising, hanging with friends and exploring new places with my partner and dogs. I love to travel, when time permits, and recently returned from a four week trip to the UK and Europe. I'm also a huge Formula 1 fan and follow the sport closely. I was lucky enough to attend the Italian Grand Prix in Monza earlier this year.