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The Federal Coalition Government has drafted proposed changes to superannuation law which, if passed, will mean that the increase from 9.25% to 9.5% for employee superannuation contributions will be deferred from 1 July 2014 to 1 July 2016. Subsequent increases would be 0.5% each year, reaching 12% for 1 July 2021 onwards. At this stage,…

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Are you considering taking on new staff but not sure if they will be an employee or contractor? Sometimes the decision is not as easy as you first thought. To help you work it out, the ATO developed an Employee/contractor decision tool http://ato.gov.au/Calculators-and-tools/Employee-or-contractor/ Based on your answers to some simple questions, you’ll be provided with…

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CASUAL EMPLOYMENT

Question How long can an employee be employed on a casual basis? Answer There is no limit in the Fair Work Act on how long someone can be engaged as a casual employee, but award or industrial agreements may place limits after which the employee must be offered permanent employment. For example, the Private Sector…

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SALARY SACRIFICE ON TERMINATION

Question Can an employee salary sacrifice their annual and/or long service leave upon termination to superannuation? Answer No. To be an effective salary-sacrifice for termination lump sum leave entitlements, a written agreement must be entered into prior to the leave accruing. For example, if an employee is to retire in one year’s time, the employee…

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Stand Downs/Shut Downs

Q/ Our warehouse had its annual stocktake last Thursday and Friday. We required over 30 employees be ‘stood down’ during this time as there was no effective work for them to do. Are we allowed to stand them down without pay? A/ According to the Fair Work Act, a stand down may only happen in…

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Payslip FAQs

1. Do I have to show leave balances on the payslip? 2. Do I have to show the Award or classification on the payslip? 3. Do I have to show the date super was paid on the payslip? A/ The answer to all 3 questions is, according to the Fair Work Regulations, currently no. 1…

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ATO Compliance Focus

The ATO has released its compliance focus for 2013–2014. For employers, it will be focussing on four main areas that can affect payroll staff: correct withholding and reporting of PAYG tax; fringe benefits tax – identifying non-reported fringe benefits; workers incorrectly treated as contractors rather than employees; and payment of superannuation guarantee.

Q/ This financial year we will have 53 weekly (or 27 fortnightly) pay periods. What should we tell employees about this? A/ Occasionally in your cycle of weekly or fortnightly pays, you may have a financial year that has 53 weeks or 27 fortnights instead of the “standard” 52 and 26 pays assumed in the…

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SUPER AND ALLOWANCES

Q/ We currently pay superannuation on our tool and fixed rate car allowances based on advice from the ATO we’ve had in the past. However, I noticed the ATO has recently changed its “Withholding from Allowances” document to include a superannuation column. It says these allowances are not superable. Can you assist with what is…

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TAX SCALES – 2013/2014

For the 2013/14 income tax year there are no changes to the income tax rates or thresholds, therefore most tax tables currently used by employers can continue to be used for the next financial year. However, there will be changes to tax tables for 2013/14 where employers have employees that: have a Higher education loan…

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