Author: Editor

How Will Your Organisation Continue to Operate During a Pandemic?

We are now seeing the economic and social effects of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) in Australia, particularly in terms of public health controls. Some of these are quarantine, self-isolation and international travel restrictions. If we assume that the virus will continue to spread throughout Australia, then organisations need to plan how to manage significant numbers of staff being unable to attend work, and how to continue to serve clients and investors.

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ASX Updates

ASX Amendments to Appendix 4C and Appendix 5B – Quarterly Cash Flow Reports are now effective facebook Twitter LinkedIn RSS Just a quick update that, following on from ASX consultation regarding the proposed changes to Appendix 4C and 5B Quarterly Cash Flow Reports, ASX has confirmed that these changes are now effective. The details of the changes were outlined in our previous blog on this subject. This means listed entities with a 30 September 2016 quarter end filing Appendices 4C or 5B will need to use the new form for their September quarter filings, and all subsequent filings. The forms...

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Happy New (Financial) Year! Don’t miss important wage and super changes in FY16

Increase in minimum wage facebook Twitter LinkedIn RSS From the 1st July 2015, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has increased the national minimum wage by 2.5%.  This change will result in an increase from $640.90 to $656.90 per week or $17.29 per hour. The slightly lower increase from last financial year’s 3% increase, is due to several factors including the: growth in unemployment rate from its recent low of 4.9 per cent in March 2011, to 6.1 per cent in April 2015; and lower growth in consumer prices and aggregate wages growth over the past year. This change will...

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Financial Services Update: Proposed New Ways to Deliver Notice of Meetings to Shareholders

Proposed new ways to deliver notice of meetings to shareholders facebook Twitter LinkedIn RSS In this edition: Proposed new ways to deliver notice of meetings to shareholders; Federal Budget: Proposed introduction of new Collective Investment Vehicles – what they are what this means for funds managers; and  Australian fintechs get a ‘regulatory sandbox’ in the budget.   Proposed new ways to deliver notice of meetings to shareholders Currently, all companies must give notice of upcoming meetings to shareholders in person or by post unless an individual shareholder elects to receive notice electronically. There are a number of problems with this approach: It restricts the use of digital services and is not reflective of current tech use. The ‘opt in’ approach results in companies incurring the significant economic and environmental costs of printing and posting notices to shareholders who have not actively chosen to receive an electronic copy of the notice. The creation a cost barrier to companies using more effective and efficient means of communication (for example, a company website) as the key distribution method for company related information. To facilitate innovation and reduce costs for companies while maintaining appropriate level of shareholder engagement, the Government proposes a technology neutral mode of distributing meeting notices and materials. In recognition of this issue, the Federal Government has released a proposal paper to modernise the methods companies may use to notify shareholders of...

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4 April: Workplace Relations Update for Executives On-the-Go

Worker awarded $1.36 million in damages following abuse, bullying and sexual harassment facebook Twitter LinkedIn RSS In this edition: Worker awarded $1.36 million in damages following abuse, bullying and sexual harassment; Company breaches privacy laws by unlawfully obtaining and distributing tax file number; Employers allowed to spy on workers’ personal emails in Europe; and Don’t treat employees’ safety breaches differently: Fair Work Commission.   Worker awarded $1.36 million in damages following abuse, bullying and sexual harassment The Supreme Court of Victoria has awarded the former worker of a large construction company $1,360,027 in damages after repeated sexual harassment. The worker, Ms M, worked at the company, WC Pty Ltd (WC), for two years and was subject to sexual comments and occasionally violent threats as part of her work as a labourer. Justice Forrest found that Ms M sustained “very considerable psychiatric injuries as a direct consequence of the bullying, abuse and sexual harassment levelled at her by employees and subcontractors” of WC. WC admitted negligence and only contested the quantum of damages. Workplace harassment Ms M worked at WC from August 2008 to early July 2010. During this period, her colleague CH made several offensive and threatening statements to her, including “I will take you into the container and f*** you”, “you have a great f****** a***” and, after Ms M said she was going to lunch in July 2010,...

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21 December: Workplace Relations Update for Executives On-the-Go

Australia Post liable after “no real follow-up” on discriminatory behaviour in the workplace facebook Twitter LinkedIn RSS In this edition: Australia Post liable after ‘no real follow-up’ on discriminatory behaviour in the workplace; Fair Work Commission publishes Annual Report 2014/2015: 352% rise in anti-bullying applications; and Worker’s dismissal was harsh and unjust despite failing a breathalyser at work. Australia Post liable after “no real follow-up” on discriminatory behaviour in the workplace Australia Post has been found vicariously liable for the discriminatory behaviour of one of their employees. The Federal Circuit Court in Murugesu v Australia Postal Corporation & Anor found that the actions of Mr B, a supervisor at Australia Post, violated the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) and that Australia Post failed to take reasonable steps to address the racial abuse which occurred in the workplace. Discriminatory language The applicant Mr Murugesu worked for Australia Post between 2007 and 2011 as a truck driver. Mr Murugesu was born in Sri Lanka and migrated to Australia in 1983. During this period, Mr B worked as the afternoon supervisor who organised the loading of the trucks. Mr Murugesu claimed that during this period, Mr B regularly called him or referred to him as a “black bastard”, and suggested that he should do “slave jobs”. On other occasions, he was told to “go back to Sri Lanka” and to “go back by...

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Financial Services Update: ASIC accepts enforceable undertaking from J.P. Morgan regarding failure to comply with disclosure requirements

ASIC accepts enforceable undertaking from J. P. Morgan regarding failure to comply with disclosure requirements facebook Twitter LinkedIn RSS In this edition: ASIC accepts enforceable undertaking from J. P. Morgan regarding failure to comply with disclosure requirements; and Misleading and deceptive conduct targeted by ASIC. ASIC accepts enforceable undertaking from J. P. Morgan regarding failure to comply with disclosure requirements Three J.P. Morgan foreign financial service providers have together proposed an enforceable undertaking (EU) which has been accepted by ASIC. This follows the companies’ admissions that there had been breaches of their disclosure requirements that involved up to 884 wholesale clients. The EU includes obligations to appoint an Independent Expert who will conduct reviews into the systems in place at the J.P. Morgan entities and to make any reasonable changes to their systems to ensure compliance. EUs are not an admission that a company has contravened the relevant legislation (the Corporations Act 2001), but where an alleged breach has occurred, they are an alternative remedy to civil or administrative action by ASIC. The breaches The EU relates to the conduct of three entities that are part of the J.P. Morgan group: J.P. Morgan Securities plc (incorporated under the laws of the United Kingdom); J.P. Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd (incorporated under the laws of Hong Kong); and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (incorporated under the laws of the United States). They will...

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Study Shows Financial Sustainability Remains Key Issue For Not-For-Profit Directors

facebook Twitter LinkedIn RSS The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) has published its 2015 NFP Governance and Performance Study (Study), which contains numerous interesting insights into the operation of boards in the NFP sector. The study was based on the findings of a survey which received over 2,750 responses from current non-executive directors of NFPs. The study also involved ten focus groups located in six different cities that discussed contemporary challenges faced by NFPs. Key findings The study focused on the demographics, priorities and concerns of board directors. The key findings included: financial sustainability is the core issue; directors want a more collaborative relationship with government; NFP boards are leading on diversity – in both implementation and awareness; the quality of board governance is perceived to be improving; and federated organisations carry additional complexities for board members. Financial sustainability: Efficiency is a concern Four of the directors’ six top priorities were directly related to the financial health of their organisation. Concerns included cost management and diversifying income streams. The focus on financial sustainability is closely related to the idea of efficiency within the organisation. The Productivity Commission stated in 2010 that productivity was an alien concept to many NFPs and that some eschew all ideas of efficiency and effectiveness. The AICD pointed out that these claims were not substantiated with any evidence comparing NFPs to for-profit organisations, but the...

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