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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 Work Ombudsman, workplace bullying is defined as any repeated behaviour towards an individual or individuals by another individual or individuals that is unreasonable and causes any risk to health or safety.

Understanding the difference between reasonable and unreasonable behaviour is important; not all workplace discrepancies are classified as bullying.

Examples of reasonable behaviour according to Safe Work Australia include:
– Transferring a team member to another department
– Reviewing employee performance
– Discussing unreasonable behaviour conducted by an employee with said employee in a private setting
– Setting clear and reasonable employment goals

Unreasonable behaviour includes:
– Any abusive, derogatory, insulting comments or remarks
– Deliberate and obvious exclusion of an employee/s
– Creating unrealistic and unachievable performance goals and deadlines
– Discrimination and sexual harassment
– Physical violence

Your business should consist of appropriate reporting channels should any incidents of workplace bullying arise to protect those involved and your business. An established procedure should be developed to follow in all instances of bullying. The procedure ought to include easy and confidential reporting methods, mediation and ongoing monitoring of how effective management of the incident has been.

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Self-managed super funds (SMSF) aren’t just about financial investment

December 3, 2020

Individuals may be looking to opt for an SMSF because these provide entire control over where the money is invested. While this sounds enticing, the downside is that they involve a lot more time and effort as all investment is managed by the members/trustees.

Firstly, SMSFs require a lot of on-going investment of time:

Data shows that SMSF trustees spend an average of 8 hours per month managing their SMSFs. This adds up to more than 100 hours per year and demonstrates that compared to other superannuation methods, is a lot more time occupying.

Secondly, there are set-up and maintenance costs of SMSFs such as tax advice, financial advice, legal advice and hiring an accredited auditor. These costs are difficult to avoid if you want the best out of your SMSF. A statistical review has shown that on average, the operating cost of an SMSF is $6,152. This data is inclusive of deductible and non-deductible expenses such as auditor fee, management and administration expenses etc., but not inclusive of costs such as investment and insurance expenses.

Thirdly, investing in SMSF requires financial and legal knowledge and skill. Trustees should understand the investment market so that they can build and manage a diversified portfolio. Further, when creating an investment strategy, it is important to assess the risk and plan ahead for retirement, which can be difficult if one is not equipped with the necessary knowledge. In terms of legal knowledge, complying with tax, super and other relevant regulations requires a basic level of understanding at the very least. Finally, insurance for fund members also needs to be organised which can be difficult without additional knowledge.
Although SMSFs have the advantage of autonomy when it comes to investing, this comes at a price. Members/trustees need to invest time and money into managing the fund and on top of this, are required to have some financial and legal knowledge to successfully manage the fund.