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The Heat is On at Knox Taxation & Business Advisory

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

We trust you’ve enjoyed at least a few days off over the holiday season.  We’re certainly feeling refreshed, if not a little wilted by the weather in the past week, but happy, none-the-less, to welcome your enquiries throughout 2017 at any time.

First of all, we’d like to pass on some information from our trusted professional sources that should be of particular interest to our business clients.

PAYG INSTALMENT VARIATIONS – Are yours being paid in the correct amounts?

The ATO is very much aware that some businesses are not paying the right rates or amounts when lodging Pay As You Go instalments, and a new directive means that they have the power to make contact with your Tax Accountant (that would be us!) to find out more!  We, at Knox Tax, have been advised to make you aware that a General Interest Charge (GIC) may be payable on all PAYG Instalment Variations.  This comes into effect under certain circumstances, where business and/or investment income does not align with figures that are tabulated across the entire income year.

If you’re not sure about whether your PAYG Instalment Variations are compliant, just give us a call at Knox Taxation & Business Advisory.  We’ll double check what you’ve submitted and help you to understand the ruling.  You can rely on us to give you the right advice so that one of those ‘potentially nasty phone calls’ don’t flag you for a hot spot in the naughty corner.  A quick call to one of our friendly team might be all you need to keep things cool and calm, and allay any fears you might have about whether your calculations and payments are indeed correct.

And, secondly, whilst we’re talking about hot stuff, you (as an admin person or manager) may have weathered last Tuesday in an air-conditioned office, but spare a careful thought about how the seriously dangerous Australian summer weather conditions can affect your ground staff.  Our HR Consultant, Sheena, has some timely advice to share in the article below. Do take the time to read and absorb her wise words:

WORKING IN HEAT

There are a number of issues, and the odd myth, around working in hot conditions. Safety is number one – but there are other points to think about too…
Heat stroke is a real danger.  Companies need to think about how to minimise the risks through the OH&S hierarchy (via elimination, substitution, engineering controls, administration, and personal protective equipment). Does the work (your employees do) in direct sun need to be done now, or can it be deferred to cooler weather?  Can you or they start work earlier in the day to beat the heat? Can you provide fans to improve air flow, or institute more breaks, in a cool place, with icypoles?  What about the choice of work clothes made from cool cotton?  And do you have someone trained who can recognise signs of heat stress, so that action can be taken if something still goes wrong?

Sun safety is important too, with skin cancer still a big issue for workplaces, as well as the potential of painful sunburn.  Your insistence that your employees wear sunscreen, hats and suitable protective clothing is a lawful and reasonable order… but also consider that there is no time limit on somebody putting in a WorkCover claim, so sun damage today may be claimable decades down the track!  And you can never delegate or dilute your duty to supervise and enforce safety in your workplace.

Some people think that once the temperature reaches a certain level (38 or 40 degrees) that “the law” says you cannot work and have the right to go home.  False.  Some certified agreements in the Building industry (as registered with the Fair Work Commission) have these limits built-in, although this applies only after measurements from recognised weather stations have been observed.  If you do change start and/or finish times to get (yourself and/or your employees) out of the heat of the day, you may need to check your Modern Award to see if penalty rates apply to these different work times.  Also, some Modern Awards contain allowances for working in artificially increased temperatures – such as near a hot furnace or boiler.

Take the time to assess what your risks are, and when, and what you can do it about these potentially health-debilitating conditions.  Even better, consult within your workplace about these issues to try and come up with a solution that works.
Article Courtesy of Sheena Kane
Our Knox Tax HR Consultant (2017)

So, if you feel that there are issues of hot and heavy problems in your company, contact us at Knox Taxation & Business Advisory, and we’ll put you in touch with Sheena.  She has pertinent answers to most of your questions when it comes to protecting your employees and yourself from future litigation.

At Knox Tax, we’re always watchful for articles and ATO targets that may help you and your business prosper, and we never want to see anyone of our clients languish in any kind of heat – be it from non-compliance accounting issues or the blazing sun of not protecting their employees.  And if you’re in any doubt as to where to go for advice and assistance to keep up-to-date, rest assured you can talk to us at Knox Taxation & Business Advisory, in Boronia.  We’ll show you the way forward personally, or put you in touch with the right people to guide you on the right path to ‘bright, sun shiny days’ throughout the year.

Warm Regards,
Coral Page – Principal

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