Sky Update – October 2018

By Sky Acccountants

In this Sky Update, we bring you all the latest tax news along with some other items that may pique your interest.

Casual employees and leave entitlements

In our September Sky Update we wrote about the WorkPac v Skene case involving a casual employee that was found to be entitled to annual leave. This court decision has caused significant concerns in the business community and has left many employers feeling very uncertain about their obligations.

In recent developments, WorkPac has commenced proceedings in a new case (Workpac v Rossato) to be heard by the Federal Court.  This case is expected to test the findings in the earlier WorkPac v Skene case.

The decision in the latest case is expected to be of significant importance in clarifying the position of employers engaging casual employees.  So much so that Kelly O’Dwyer has decided to make the Commonwealth a party to the latest proceedings in an attempt to bring certainty to the issue. For more information about casual employees and their leave entitlements, please get in touch.

Do you have any lost superannuation?

There is currently $17.5 billion of lost & unclaimed superannuation across Australia.  Some of this could be yours.

If you believe that you may have some lost or unclaimed superannuation, you can do a search using the ATO system or contact us for more information.

New Victorian Long Service Leave Act

The new Long Service Leave Act 2018 is set to come into effect on 1 November superseding the old 1992 Act.

Whilst much of the new act is very similar to the old, Victorian employers will need to familiarise themselves with the changes which include:

  • greater flexibility for women, families and people transitioning to retirement;
  • access to long service leave after seven years, not ten;
  • allowing employees to take long service leave in smaller increments (i.e. for any period of one day or more);
  • most absences from work do not break continuous employment;
  • unpaid leave, including parental leave, counts towards long service leave; and
  • increased penalties for employers who do not keep records or do not produce them when requested.

The Business Victoria website is a great resource for Victorian employers who need to get up to speed with the new Act. For more information, do not hesitate to contact us.

New rules for gift cards

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Gift Cards) Bill 2018 has been passed by both houses of Parliament and currently awaits royal assent.

This Bill introduces a national regime to regulate gift cards, including requirements that:

  • Gift cards have a minimum three year expiry period; and
  • Information about the expiry of a gift card must be displayed prominently on the card itself.

Under the legislation, a gift card is defined to mean an article that is commonly known to be a gift card or voucher, whether in physical or electronic form and is redeemable for goods and services.

Businesses that issue gift cards will need to ensure that their gift cards and associated policies are compliant with the new rules.

The new regime is expected to impact the current approach of many businesses operating in the retail, hospitality and tourism industries where gift cards are commonly used. If you have any questions about gift cards, please get in touch.

The Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) Deadline is approaching fast

If you run a SME Australian business, you may be eligible for grants representing up to 50% of your eligible export promotion expenses.  The scheme is open to exporters of products and services along with inbound tourism operators and organizers of conferences and events in Australia.

Businesses seeking to claim the EMDG for 2017-2018 year need to focus on completing their applications to ensure they do not miss the 30 November deadline. Contact us for more information.

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