Hiring An Apprentice? You May Be Eligible For $10,000 In State Government Incentives Via The Jobs Accelerator Grant


The Job Accelerator Grant is available for businesses that take on additional employees and maintain that increase over a 12 and 24 month period.

To be eligible for the Job Accelerator Grant scheme the new position needs to meet the following conditions:

  • the person is employed in a new job on a full-time, part-time or casual basis, but not on a seasonal basis;
  • the employment commences between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2018 inclusive;
  • the employment is maintained for a period of 2 years to be eligible for the full grant, or 12 months to be eligible for the partial grant;
  • the services of the employee are performed wholly or mainly in SA; and
  • the employee is a South Australian resident.

For businesses liable for payroll tax in South Australia, a grant of up to $5 000 is available for each new job created and the increase is maintained for at least 12 months, and up to $10 000 if the increase in full-time equivalent employees is maintained for 2 years. For part time and casual employees, the grant is pro-rated, and will be paid based on actual hours worked.

Businesses that are not liable for payroll tax in South Australia, or any organisation exempt from payroll tax in South Australia, a grant of up to $2 000 is available for each new job created and the increase is maintained for at least 12 months, and up to $4 000 if the increase in employees is maintained for 2 years. An additional requirement for this grant is that the new employee, regardless whether it is a full time, part time or casual position must work on average 22 hours or more per week across the grant period to be eligible.

As part of the 2017-18 State Government Budget announcement, businesses that register a new employee for a Job Accelerator Grant will receive up to an additional $5000 ($2 500 per year) if that employee is an eligible apprentice or trainee where the position is also deemed to be eligible for the Job Accelerator Grant.

The grant is paid at the 12 month and 24 month anniversary of the job start date.

More information and to register for the grant can be accessed from http://www.revenuesa.sa.gov.au/jobs or our staff are available to speak to Monday to Friday 8:30am -5pm (excluding public holidays) on 8226 2210.

 

2017 Budget: Policies To Increase Housing Supply and Affordability


Hidden in the 2017 budget are some details that should help keep the construction industry ticking along even if Sydney and Melbourne have a price correction. SA housing growth has been relatively flat by comparison, but there is a shortage of affordable rental properties and opportunities for first home buyers.

Around $1.3 billion worth of Federal Government money currently given to states to help subsidise affordable rental homes will be conditional upon states delivering upon housing supply targets and reforming their planning systems as part of a suite of new measures designed to increase housing supply and affordability.

Unveiled by Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison in his Budget Speech 2017, the measure is part of a package of measures designed to unlock critical housing supply across major cities.

Under the measures, the Federal Government will replace the current National Affordable Housing Agreement which provides $1.3 billion each and every year to the state and territories with a new set of agreements which will contain the same levels of funding but which will be conditional upon states delivering upon housing supply targets and reforming their planning systems.

Other measures included on the supply side of the equation include:

  • Establishment of a new $1 billion National Housing Infrastructure Facility based on a UK model to fund ‘micro’ city deals which remove infrastructure impediments to developing new homes.
  • Establish a Commonwealth land registry detailing Commonwealth sites on which land could be made available for residential development.
  • Establish a new National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation to provide long-term, low cost finance to support more affordable rental housing. States and territories will also be encouraged to transfer stock to the community housing sector.
  • Enabling Managed Investment Trusts to be used to develop and own affordable housing, providing investors in affordable housing with greater income certainty by enabling a direct deduction of welfare payments.
  • Increasing the capital gains tax discount to 60 percent for affordable housing.
  • Extending homelessness funding to the states by $375 million.
  • Encouraging older Australians to free up housing stock by enabling downsizers over the age of 65 to make a non-concessional contribution of up to $300,000 into their superannuation fund from the proceeds of the sale of their principal home.
  • Applying an annual foreign investment levy of at least $5,000 on all future foreign investors who fail to either occupy or lease their property for at least six months each year.

Morrison said the measures were significant. In Melbourne, for instance, land for a new suburb which could cater for 6,000 new homes will be unlocked just 10 kilometres from the CBD in Maribyrnong by releasing surplus Defence Land.

As for the measures regarding managed investment trusts and capital gains tax, Morrison said these would help to facilitate states and territories to implement inclusionary zoning requirements on new development sites.

Morrison said a comprehensive approach was needed in order to make housing more affordable.

“If a family or an individual has a roof over their head that they can rely on, then all of life’s other challenges become more manageable,” Morrison said.

“Whether you are saving to buy a home, spending a high proportion of income on your rent, waiting for subsidised housing, or you’re homeless, this is an important issue to you.”

Originally published: https://sourceable.net/federal-government-beefs-up-housing-supply/

Federal Government Beefs Up Housing Supply, May 12th, 2017 by  Andrew Heaton

Six lessons from the worst bullying cases in Australia


By Michael Mead, Head of Workplace Relations Consulting Services, Ai Group

For a nation that prides itself on a right to a ‘fair go’, Australia has an arguably embarrassing record when it comes to bullying in the workplace.

According to research by the University of South Australia, when compared to 31 European countries, Australia ranked sixth highest for workplace bullying, with seven per cent of Australian workers reporting instances of bullying at work in the six months prior to the study’s publication.

Workplace bullying can have a devastating impact on its victims – something that’s now being reflected in the consequences negligent employers can potentially face. In the past year, judgements handed down around the country have resulted in damages in bullying cases being paid in hundreds of thousands of dollars – not to mention a new law in Victoria providing for up to 10 years imprisonment for serious bullying. The incentives for businesses to create firm anti-bullying policies have never been greater.

More: Watch Ai Group’s webinar ‘Boss or bully’ on giving constructive feedback and correctly handling negative performance reviews.

In safeguarding your own workplace against a potentially expensive bullying claim, what can you learn from some of Australia’s worst bullies?

Lesson 1: Never ignore complaints of bullying

Whether or not you believe there is any merit in a bullying complaint, it is never wise to dismiss it out of hand without proper investigation.

Take the case of a worker who was promoted to a new role by her employer ahead of her former manager. In team meetings, she was openly demeaned and denigrated, before being excluded from a meeting called specifically to undermine her.

Despite her complaints, her supervisor resisted measures to address the situation, dismissing her reaction as “groundless and obtuse”. The Supreme Court of NSW disagreed, finding her employer had been “negligently passive” in its response to her requests for help over two years, confirming on appeal an award of almost $340,000for psychiatric injury.

Lesson 2: Ensure your managers are trained in complaint handling procedures

Over a two-year period, a female labourer was shown pornographic material, slapped on the bottom, grabbed from behind, had a sex act simulated on her and told by a male colleague that he would follow her home.

In such a situation, the woman should have been able to turn to a capable manager aware of his responsibilities – but when she did complain, her supervisor responded by laughing. While eventually moved to a different area for nine months, she was inexplicably returned and the previous behaviours resumed.

The Supreme Court of Victoria accepted she was unlikely to ever work again as a result of her treatment and the severe psychiatric condition it left her with, imposing $1.36 million in damages.

Lesson 3: Ensure your employees know how to raise a complaint

Employers have a duty of care to their employees in ensuring a safe working environment. An important part of that duty is making sure your staff know what to do when they are subject to, or witness, bullying in the workplace.

If a security guard, subjected to extensive bullying at the hands of his manager over a five-year period, had been afforded such assistance from his fellow employees – who witnessed the poor conduct – he may have been saved from years of abuse, and his employers may have avoided the imposition of almost $2 million in damages.

Lesson 4: Promptly take action

A female sales assistant worked in a university law book shop, alone with a single male supervisor who habitually subjected her to “sarcasm, hostility and rudeness” – culminating in an incident in which he violently threw a book at her.

The sales assistant brought the behaviour to the attention of the board, which promised to take measures to improve the situation, but failed to follow through – a pattern that subsequently continued across a further five years of torment.

Eventually succumbing to a major depressive and anxiety disorder that rendered her indefinitely unfit for work, the sales assistant was awarded more than $290,000 by theSupreme Court of Victoria for loss of past and future earnings, along with $300,000 in damages.

Lesson 5: Do not tolerate bad behaviour

Brodie Panlock was a 19-year-old café worker who suffered bullying six days a week for more than a year. She was spat upon and derided for her appearance, held down by her workmates, was teased about a failed suicide bid, and had rat poison left in her pay envelope, with encouragement to succeed in her next attempt at suicide.

The owner of the business was not only aware of some aspects of the bullying, but was present on occasions and sometimes condoned it.

Brodie eventually did take her own life, leading to the prosecution of her employer – who was personally fined $30,000, together with a $220,000 fine for his company – and the three responsible employees, who received fines ranging from $10,000 to $45,000.

Brodie’s enduring legacy is Victoria’s anti-bullying legislation, known as Brodie’s Law – making bullying punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Lesson 6: Be confident and reasonable in performance management

 Ai Group’s members are telling us that their managers are increasingly reluctant to manage performance issues for fear of being accused of bullying.

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has clarified that in the context of performance management – as distinct from ‘bullying’ – management actions do not need to be perfect to be considered ‘reasonable’. Offer a clear performance improvement policy to give assurance to workers about the process that should be followed and to give managers the confidence to manage.

The FWC has also indicated what ‘unreasonable’ management action might look like. In one recent case subject to an anti-bullying order, the unreasonable actions included: issuing a warning to an employee without having raised the concerns with him and considering his response; publicly humiliating the worker in front of clients; sending him a text message late at night and requesting him to respond at a meeting the next morning; and then not attending that meeting.

AI GROUP |

SNOBBERY, policy neglect and funding cuts are steadily eroding Australia’s vocational education and training sector, a leading academic has warned.


On a per-student basis, spending has gone backwards. Between 1999and 2011 per student government VET spending fell by 25 per cent against a 30 per cent rise in spending per primary school student and a20 per cent rise per secondary school student. In higher education, per student spending has been largely flat.

FCTA Feedback & Continuous Improvement


FCTA – Building Careers is committed to improving our level of service and processes. If you have any feedback on how we could improve our service, email us at info@fcta.com.au. Alternatively fill in our survey for confidential feedback

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JX9WF5T

We offer a flexible service, giving employers the flexibility to send their apprentices in when it best suits their business. Apprentices are not required to stick to allocated weeks to attend trade school, just call or email to organise a time outside of our suggested dates. Onsite assessments are available for all first year units, and some second and third year subjects. There are some subjects that cannot be completed onsite unless a specific project is being completed, this includes mosaic tiling, running moulds, decorative brickwork and other more advanced units in brick & block laying, rendering, solid plastering, tiling, and wall & ceiling lining.

 

Onsite Assessments


Our goal at FCTA – Building Careers is to offer employers flexibility with training. We can co-ordinate onsite assessments of units where apprentices are completing specific tasks – for example mosaic tiling, applying basic levelling procedures, constructing bulkheads and other units. We offer flexibility in timing, so an apprentice can be sent in to trade school when you are in between jobs, ill, on holiday or without enough work for all your employees. We can train apprentices on a specific unit if you have a job coming up that requires specific skills, such as installing pre-cast mouldings, or building a fireplace.

FCTA – Building Careers has been offering onsite assessments for apprentices for over 10 years. Occasionally during this time we have had employers request full onsite assessment, with no attendance at trade school. This is not possible. Quality training of all units of an apprenticeship cannot be delivered solely onsite. Some examples of these units are decorative bricklaying, glass block work, fireplaces, tiling curved surfaces and restoring solid plasterwork, to name a few. These units are not part of most builders everyday jobs. They do form part of the training package for apprentices though, and we are obligated to ensure apprentices are trained in all areas of their qualification.

For regional apprentices we offer help in finding accommodation when attendance is required. For apprentices with prior experience we can offer ‘Recognition of Prior Learning’ (RPL) assessment, that may reduce the time required at trade school. For employers snowed under by paperwork, we can offer assistance with claiming incentives. If at any time you need advice or help about your apprentice we are available on phone, or email. We offer quality training, and provide assistance and flexibility to all employers and their apprentices.