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Budget notes

For Key points and assessment of the Federal Government's COVID-delayed budget, please read our Budget Notes -  at least the Budget and its analysis nudged COVID off the headlines of newspapers ... for a little bit anyway. 

2020 has been a long, hard year for many, and the long weekend seemed to have come at a good time for a lot of people - a time when we usually find ourselves starting to look forward to the end of the year and the Summer break, but especially so this year. 

When we stop and think about about it though, a lot still lies ahead:

  • the Queensland State election
  • decisions around border restrictions - will they or won't they lift them ... and when?
  • how will JobKeeper R2 and other economic measures impact conditions and confidence
  • the US Presidential election - not to mention the debates!
  • Term 4 for schools - always a busy and challenging time for kids and parents alike
  • NRL and AFL finals - with the AFL Grand Final being historically hosted here in Brisbane (go the Lions)
  • Melbourne Cup Carnival - although this year, perhaps not as we know and love it

And of course the imminent countdown to Christmas and the New Year ... what will 2021 bring? Dare we imagine!

Nonetheless, in the meantime, let's see what Budget measures get over the line.

 

Apprentice subsidy continues - and expands

The Australian Government has announced the extension and expansion of the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy, to include medium-sized businesses who had an apprentice in place on 1 July 2020.

Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50% of an eligible apprentice or trainee's wages paid until 31 March 2021. In addition to the existing support for small businesses, medium-sized businesses will now be eligible for the subsidy, for wages paid from 1 July 2020 to 31 March 2021.

Further information about eligibility can be found on the government website for Employment or at the Employment Department newsroom.

For information on how to apply for the subsidy, contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network Provider.


Wage theft is now criminal

The Wage Theft Act commenced on 14/9/2020 and amends the Queensland Criminal Code to provide that employee entitlements are a thing capable of being stolen and the QPS has been given jurisdiction to investigate claims of wage theft. Penalties include imprisonment. It might be time to consider reviewing employment agreements and conducting annual internal payroll reviews. For more, see our announcement.

What is cyber protection insurance?

Interesting question isn't it.

In short, it's insurance that's designed to help protect your business from the financial impact of computer hacking or a data breach - incidences of which are increasing at an alarming rate and malicious actors are rapidly evolving. There's a range of policy types, but they include: business interruption losses; Cyber Extortion; Defence costs; Electronic Data Replacement; and Regulatory Breach Liability - as well as coverage to help with the extra expenses involved in Crisis Management and Notification & Monitoring expenses.  The issue of compromises by cyber attack is real and the associated financial and reputational damage costs are high.  Call Sean Kenny at Perrier Ryan General Insurance today to talk about your circumstances and he'll work with you to tailor a solution that fits. Call the office on 3391 7566 in the first instance.

WorkCover Queensland today released important information on legislative amendments that came into effect 1 July 2020.

The Queensland Government's five year review identified a number of recommendations to ensure the WorkCover scheme is "well placed to respond to emerging issues into the future".

Matters identified are:

  • Reporting of injuries and payments even if a claim is not made
  • unpaid interns are now covered under workers' compensation
  • Details, qualifications and training of your RRTWC are now required

The information they've prepared about the changes that you may need to make to ensure you have up-to-date practices, can be found here.

An ABC news report has come out today regarding TAL LIfe adding COVID-19 exclusions to NEW insurance policies. 

We have spoken to TAL and to clarify:

The exclusion is not being placed on any EXISTING polices and is not being placed on all new policies as a blanket exclusion. It is only being applied for those who may be in a higher risk area of contracting COVID-19. 

Whilst this seems unfair for any clients in these categories the rationale behind it (and no,I am not defending the position entirely, but can understand it) is that for the clients who already have cover with TAL Life if they (TAL) had an increase in claims on policies for COVID then this would force premiums up (further) in the future. Therefore they are trying to protect the existing clients from paying for the new disease.

Will other insurers follow suit? They are all considering it for new business, however all may not go to the same extremes. The pressure actually comes from the re-insurers to place the exclusion on the new policies. This is because the re-insurers are global and they are exposed to possible massive claims due to COVID so they to are trying to flatten their curve....

If you have any questions regarding this please do not hesitate to call Ben, Cara or Stuart in the financial planning team.


APRA and ASIC announce new regulatory approaches amid COVID-19 pandemic

Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the prudential and financial services regulators have announced new regulatory approaches including attitudes to payment holidays.

Commonwealth Bank also makes an announcement about payment deferrals for eligible small business loans.

See out latest update.

Update at 24/3/2020 - new Payroll Tax measures and other Coronavirus support

Banking industry moves to support SME and distressed mortgage customers + Payroll tax deferral package announced - see our latest update (posted 20/3/2020)

 

Announcements by the Federal Government with regard to the Coronavirus stimulus package have been released with full details of the package to be tabled to Parliament on 23 March 2020. The Queensland State Government has also released details of their measures. BCC have just released details of various fee waivers. Read a summary here - and remember to call us with any queries or questions.

updated 19/3/2020

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Ph. 07 3391 7566
Fax. 07 3391 7726

E. contact@perrierryan.com.au

Level 1, 30 Lisburn Street
East Brisbane Qld 4169
PO Box 1420
Coorparoo DC Qld 4151

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