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National licence recognition for tradies

Builders, electricians, plumbers, architects, real estate agents, security guards and other workers who hold an occupational licence in their home state or territory and who want to do the same work in another state or territory will soon be automatically deemed to have the necessary licence. 

JobMaker fails to boost employment

The Government's JobMaker scheme has created 609 new jobs since registrations opened on 1 February 2021, despite around 15,000 businesses registering their interest in the scheme.

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The ATO has clarified the tax treatment of JobKeeper payments handed back to the Government. The clarification comes after the Super Retail Group, Dominos Pizza and Toyota collectively returned more than $20 million in JobKeeper payments after reporting exceptional trading results.

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The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has been concerned for some time about how many professional services firms are structured – specifically, professional practices such as lawyers, medical practices, engineers, architects etc., operating through trusts, companies and partnerships of discretionary trusts and how the profits from these practices are being taxed.

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The 1 July 2021 Superannuation Changes

Changes from 1 July 2021 will impact on how much money you can contribute to superannuation and how much you can have in your retirement phase superannuation account.  

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Super Retail Group - owner of the Supercheap Auto, Rebel, BCF and Macpac brands - handed back $1.7 million in JobKeeper payments in January after releasing a trading update showing sales growth of 23% to December 2020. Toyota announced that it will return $18 million in JobKeeper payments after a record fourth quarter. And, Domino's Pizza has also handed back $792,000 of JobKeeper payments.

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COVID-19 Vaccinations and the Workplace

The first COVID-19 vaccination in Australia rolled out on 21 February 2021 preceded by a wave of protests. With the rollout, comes a thorny question for employers about individual rights, workplace health and safety, and vaccination enforcement. 

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FBT 2021: Tax & Employee Benefits

Fringe benefits tax (FBT) is one of Australia's most disliked taxes because it's cumbersome and generates a lot of paperwork. The COVID-19 lockdowns have added another layer of complexity as many work patterns and behaviours changed. 

The Pandemic Productivity Gap

A recent article published in the Harvard Business Review by Bain & Co suggests that the pandemic has widened the productivity gap between top performing companies and others stating, "Some have remained remarkably productive during the Covid-era, capitalizing on the latest technology to collaborate effectively and efficiently. Most, however, are less productive now than they were 12 months ago. The key difference between the best and the rest is how successful they were at managing the scarce time, talent, and energy of their workforces before Covid-19."   

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On 1 January 2021, new laws came into effect that introduce a new, simplified debt restructuring and liquidation framework for small business. 

Drawing on key features of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy model in the United States, the new system aims to speed up the insolvency process, reduce costs and where possible, restructure to help the business survive. Where survival is not possible, it's hoped that the quicker insolvency process will deliver greater returns for creditors and employees.

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