Legal Developments


Measuring and Reporting on Work Health & Safety

I was recently sent a copy of Safe Work Australia’s report, Measuring and Reporting on Work Health & Safety, and subsequently saw a post on LinkedIn dealing with the same. I made some observations on the report in response to the original post which drew the ire of some commentators (although I may be overstating it and I apologise in advance if I have), but I did promise a more fulsome response, and in the spirit of a heartfelt desire to contribute to the improvement of health and safety in Australia – here it is.

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Stapled Groups Beware!

The ATO released a controversial Taxpayer Alert on 31 January 2017 – TA 2017/1.The Alert explores situations where there is a ‘stapled’ company and a trust, as well as focusing on structures involving a managed investment trust (MIT) (see ‘The New Managed Investment Trust Rules‘) with foreign investors. The structures listed below will be subject to increased audit activity. You should start preparing for this now. Foreign investors need to be especially vigilant (see ‘Withholding Payments‘).

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The New Managed Investment Trust Rules

A new tax regime for attributable managed investment trusts (AMITs) applied for income years commencing on or post 1 July 2016. The provisions are designed to reduce compliance costs and increase flexibility. Previously, there was considerable uncertainty caused by the ordinary trust rules.

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Safety leadership: enabler, excuse or doing harm?

Are there conversations about safety leadership that we are not having and should be? To my mind, the hard work in health and safety management is understanding if, or the extent to which, health and safety risks in our business are being controlled. All too often, however, in my experience ‘leadership’ is an excuse to avoid the hard work of health and safety management.

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Foreign Assets of a Private Client

It is not uncommon for Australian private clients to accumulate assets in different jurisdictions during the course of their lifetime. A legal advisor is required to understand the interactions between the legal systems of different countries.

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All care no responsibility: What is the role of health and safety management?

I was recently involved is some discussion on LinkedIn about the liability of health and safety managers under health and safety legislation. Several responses seemed to suggest that because health and safety managers had no authority, they should not have any accountability either – that safety managers only provide advice and have no authority over others.

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Everything is Green: The delusion of health and safety reporting

Over the past 12 months, I have been engaged in a significant amount of health and safety assurance work, helping organisations to try and understand if the health and safety risks in their business are effectively managed.

Perhaps the most enduring image to come out of the last 12 months for me is the misleading and dangerous assumptions people make based on health and safety reports.

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