Category: Legal

What to consider before signing a franchise agreement

It is essential to understand what your legal rights and responsibilities as a franchisee entail before buying a franchise. The franchise agreement is a legal document that includes the rights and responsibilities…

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What is an unfair dismissal?

When you are let go by your employer, it is important to know if you have been sacked for a valid reason or unfairly dismissed. When you believe you have been unfairly…

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Understanding redundancy

It is important to understand what your legal obligations entail before you make an employee redundant. You must make sure it is a ‘genuine redundancy’. Otherwise, you risk the employee lodging an…

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Dealing with separation

Separating from a partner can be a stressful time. There are many legal considerations to factor in when protecting your finances. To set yourself up for the future, consider the following upon…

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Sham Contracting: What you need to know

Employers who hire and treat an employee as a contractor could face serious penalties as well as claims for super contributions and worker entitlements. A sham contracting arrangement refers to an employer…

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Minimum wage to rise

The Fair Work Commission has announced they will increase the national minimum wage by 3.5 per cent from 1 July 2018. The current national minimum hourly wage of $18.29 will rise to…

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Who can challenge your Will?

It is a common misbelief that a Will is executed in a way the Testator originally plans it. When preparing your Will, it is important first to understand how another individual can…

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Email marketing laws

When using an email marketing service for your business, it is important to ensure you are complying with Australian email marketing laws. The Spam Act 2003 (Cth) governs email marketing and messages…

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Big four banks remove unfair contract terms

Following new legislation introduced in November 2016 to provide protections to unfair contract terms for small business, the big four banks have changed their terms to meet new standards. The Australian Securities…

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Workplace bullying

Workplace bullying can only impact a business negatively. It is imperative to be on the ball and stringent in creating an open and inclusive work environment for all who come into contact…

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Revisiting your Workplace Health and Safety policy this New Year

The beginning of the calendar year is the perfect time to revisit many of the business’ policies and procedures, including the workplace health and safety policy. It is common for these policies…

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Changes to entitlements in some awards

From 1 January 2018, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has made some changes to casual and part-time entitlements in some awards. The FWC introduced overtime rates for casual employees in many awards…

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Penalties for breaches imposed by financial services licensees

Hefty penalties have been introduced in the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) obligations by ASIC for financial services licensees breaching best interests duty. A civil penalty of over $1 million was imposed…

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Loan or gift?

Giving your children a helping hand financially seems like the right thing to do, but it can easily go awry without proper documentation. Providing money to your adult children can pose all…

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Sexual harassment and the workplace

In a perfect world, sexual harassment would never occur, let alone in the workplace, but unfortunately, that is not the case. Sexual harassment, while it has reduced over the past decade due…

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Internships and unpaid work

Hiring an intern can bring about mutual benefits for the intern and your business, but you could be supporting an unlawful business relationship if you aren’t careful. According to Fair Work Australia,…

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Legalities of reaching settlement with the ATO

If you find yourself in a position where you need to come to a settlement with the ATO, it is critical you understand the legalities behind the said settlement. Firstly, understand what…

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Legislation passed to protect vulnerable workers

Vulnerable workers are set to receive better protection after the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017 passed on 5 September. The Bill contains measures such as an increase in the…

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New dispute resolution body introduced

As announced in the 2017 Federal Budget, the Government has created a new dispute resolution body – the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) which will come into force by 1 July 2018.…

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Why sole company directors and shareholders need a Will

Dying intestate (without a Will) can pose many complications for the ordinary person. But when a sole director and shareholder of a company dies without a Will it can have an even…

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Casuals may soon have rights to become permanent staff

In the Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) 4 yearly review of modern awards, the FWC has developed a draft model for 85 modern awards to contain a provision which will allow casual employees…

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Changes to workplace laws

The start of the new financial year has seen some important changes to Australia’s employment laws. Not only do employers need to remain up to date and aware of amendments but they…

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Clarity surrounding death benefit pensions above transfer balance cap

Information released in the ATO’s Practical Compliance Guideline 2017/6 has clarified much confusion surrounding superannuation reforms and the commutation of a death benefit income stream before 1 July 2017. When an individual…

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Minimum wage increase from 1 July 2017

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has announced a 3.3 per cent increase in minimum wages starting from 1 July 2017. The new national minimum wage will be $694.90 per week or $18.29…

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ACCC compliance priorities for 2017

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has named its key enforcement and compliance focuses for 2017, including misleading and deceptive practices, anti-competitive conduct and unfair contract terms affecting small businesses. The…

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Planning your estate

Estate planning is an important aspect of managing your financial health. Having your affairs in order will help protect your assets and give you peace of mind. Here are three things to…

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SMSF: Corporate vs individual trustee?

Setting up a self-managed super fund (SMSF) requires members to choose between using an individual or a corporate trustee. Each trustee structure has varying requirements and implications for the members of the…

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Protect your small business from legal mishap

When starting a business there are a multitude of things to consider: having enough money, will it be a success, how busy will you be, will it pay off, what kind of…

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Protecting your staff from workplace bullying

Protecting your staff from workplace bullying is necessary in this day and age; just as is protecting your business from potential lawsuits as a result of workplace bullying. According to the Fair…

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Reviewing your trust deed before 1 July

With changes to Australia’s superannuation rules coming into play on 1 July 2017, self-managed super fund (SMSF) trustees would do well to review their fund’s trust deed. Despite the fact that maintaining…

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Reasons to make a valid Will

Without an up-to-date and valid Will, you are missing out on a critical opportunity to make proper arrangements for your family’s future. For a Will to be considered valid: it must be…

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A guide to workplace discrimination

Employers hold the responsibility of providing a workplace environment which is free from discrimination. Under the Fair Work Act 2009, unlawful workplace discrimination occurs when an employer takes adverse action against an…

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Protecting your finances after separation

The end of a relationship is a particularly difficult time for most individuals – among the emotional pain comes the burdensome administrative tasks such as sorting out finances. Although these tasks may…

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Ending employment

Most businesses from time to time will need to dismiss a staff member. Employers must ensure they follow the correct procedures to ensure dismissal is not considered harsh, unjust or unreasonable. Small…

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Protecting confidential business information

Confidential business information can be one of a business’ biggest assets. When employees leave a business, this data can be compromised and potentially lose a business’ competitive advantage. It is important for…

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What to consider before signing a personal guarantee

Personal guarantees are a standard business practice in commercial transactions, however, they are often misunderstood and can pose significant financial risks. A personal guarantee is an agreement of one party to answer…

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Managing employee absenteeism

Employers must be mindful of the legal consequences that may occur if they terminate an employee on the basis of excessive absenteeism. Under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) an employee whose…

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Separation and super

Since superannuation forms one of a couple’s biggest assets, splitting superannuation after a separation can be a complex process. Superannuation is treated as property under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth). Once…

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Recovering debt

Most businesses will need to recover debt at some stage. Adopting credit control practices and a debt recovery procedure can help prevent debt and promptly collect outstanding payments. To minimise your risk…

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Unfair contract terms extended to small business

A new law, introduced from 12 November 2016, will protect small businesses from unfair terms in standard form contracts. A standard form contract is one that has been prepared by one party…

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Meeting your employee obligations

Employees are arguably a business’s greatest asset and are vital to its growth and prosperity. But to make the most of this valuable resource, employers must ensure that they fulfil their legal…

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Mutual Will Agreements

Many of today’s Australians embark on second and marriages early in life. Quite often, each partner to the new the marriage has children from a prior marriage, and the two families merge…

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New high income threshold

The Fair Work Commission has increased the high income threshold for unfair dismissals from $136,700 to $138,900 per annum, with effect from 1 July 2016. Under the Fair Work Act 2009, employees…

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Intellectual property law basics

While intellectual property can be a valuable business asset for business owners, it must be legally protected if a business owner wants to increase the value of their business. Intellectual property can…

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Five reasons to write a Will

Those who don’t have a valid Will are overlooking a significant opportunity to plan for their family’s future. Writing a Will can help when distributing assets upon death, choosing executors, setting out…

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Social media and employee termination

Terminating an employee over inappropriate social media use may seem like appropriate action; however, employers need to be mindful of the legal minefields that can occur if the termination is unfair. Social…

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Changes to Australia’s employment laws

The start of the new 2016/17 financial year has seen some important changes to Australia’s employment laws. Every Australian employer has a responsibility to remain up to date and aware of any…

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Misleading conduct on social media

Businesses are becoming increasingly dependent on social media as a marketing tool and way to interact with existing and potential customers. Although social media draws many benefits for businesses and customers alike;…

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Increase to Australia’s national minimum wage

On 31 May 2016, the Fair Work Commission lifted the Australia’s national minimum wage by 2.4 per cent, constituting an increase of $15.80 per week for the country’s lowest paid workers. The…

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Running an online business

For start-ups establishing an online business, there are many legal issues to be considered before your business kicks off. Businesses must comply with their legal obligations to ensure their business and consumers…

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