Norman Waterhouse

 

 

Normans Briefly

In this issue

Welcome to the February edition of our Corporate and Commercial Briefly.

>   Walking the Talk - Industrial Relations in the Real World
>   Employment – Contracts, policies, and the importance of avoiding self-inflicted claims
>   Estate planning – Will kits, what could go wrong?
>   Corporate and Commercial - ATO fires warning shot on Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements (LRBAs)
>   Employment – No more State-based redundancy entitlements
>   Building Upgrade Agreements – An update

Walking the Talk - Industrial Relations in the Real World

Following our highly successful industrial relations conference in 2014, the Norman Waterhouse Employment and Industrial Relations Team invites you to join them again for a full day of in-depth and interactive analysis of workplace issues on the 10th of April 2015.

Please click here to view the program and register.


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Employment – Contracts, policies, and the importance of avoiding self-inflicted claims

An employment contract is a legally binding agreement between an employer and employee. The failure to abide by an employment contract has legal consequences under contract law. 

On the other hand, policies and procedures are sets of rules which regulate workplaces by setting behavioural and other standards and expectations. Unlike an employment contract, employment policies and procedures are generally not contractually binding, and breach of such policy or procedure does not have direct legal consequences.

Click here to read more.



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Estate planning – Will kits, what could go wrong?

We are often asked why a client should have their will drawn by a lawyer rather than using a will kit and (apparently) saving some money. It’s a fair question because using a will kit is likely to result in a client having a will which sets out their wishes.

However, what this does not take into account is the fact that a will kit may not facilitate the most efficient estate planning solution and may end up costing a client’s beneficiaries thousands of dollars annually. It also does not take into account the potential for increased costs of administration of an estate.

Click here to read more.



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Corporate and Commercial - ATO fires warning shot on Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements (LRBAs)

The ATO has recently released two Interpretative Decisions which have created significant concern for self managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) who have entered into LRBAs with related parties. The ATO’s position may result in large tax assessments where SMSFs otherwise believed that little or no tax was payable.

Background

SMSFs enjoy generous concessional rates of taxation on their earnings (15% in accumulation phase, 10% on capital gains and 0% in pension mode).

Click here to read more.



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Employment – No more State-based redundancy entitlements

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) provides for basic employment conditions applicable to all national system employees, called the National Employment Standards (NES). Under the NES, certain employees are entitled to redundancy pay upon the termination of their employment for redundancy.

Other redundancy entitlements may prevail due to more favourable terms in individual contracts of employment or enterprise agreements within specific businesses. Some modern awards also have industry-specific redundancy schemes. However, those circumstances aside, an employee’s right to redundancy pay is generally found in the NES.

Click here to read more.



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Building Upgrade Agreements – An update

We have discussed the issue of building upgrade agreements in a previous briefly on this topic. Now the Local Government (Building Upgrade Agreements) Amendment Bill 2015 (the Bill) was introduced to Parliament on 11 February 2015. If enacted, the Bill will introduce building upgrade finance for (initially) commercial and industrial buildings in South Australia based on models currently in place in Victoria and New South Wales. 

Building upgrade finance would allow owners to obtain loans to upgrade the energy, water and environmental efficiency of their buildings. A loan would then be tied to the land, with repayments being made to the relevant council via a charge on the land. The council would then pass on the repayments to the financier.

Click here to read more.



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