Some of the mistakes that businesses make when it comes to compliance are very simple, and because of that we are launching a series of posts looking at some of the matters which can be very easily rectified.

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Need to look at the bigger picture?  Contact us on 1300 602 880 or via the website for an initial discussion as to how Compliance Essentials can help your business.


Changes to Fair Work came into effect on 1 January 2013.  What do these mean to an employer?

Over arching all the changes, Fair Work Australia was renamed the Fair Work Commission; the web address for information is now

Included in the legislative changes:

  • The time limit for lodging an unfair dismissal claim increases from 14 to 21 days;
  • the time limit for loding a general protections dismissal claim reduces from 60 to 21 days from the date of dismissal;
  • Changes come into effect with regard to enterprise agreements

For more information go to  Need help with HR management or other compliance matters?  Contact Compliance Essentials on 1300 602 880 or via our website at


The name of your business is a powerful intangible asset; a business name is the foundation for building a good reputation and customer loyalty.

The question then is are you protecting your business’ reputation?  Once reputation is tarnished it can be difficult to regain customer confidence and maintain market position.

Question number two, how to protect the standing of business reputation and brand?  Taking steps to ensure that a business operates within relevant legislation and regulations are part of this process hand in glove with identifying existing and ancticipated areas of risk exposure and treating risks in order of priority i.e. the greater the risk to a business the higher the ranking on an action plan.

Starting off with a business health check will identify areas of risk and potential non-compliance and enable decision makers in the business to formulate a program to remedy matters identified in the gap analysis.

Want to take steps to protect your organisation’s reputation?  Compliance Essentials can assist in the process; free phone 1300 602 880 to arrange a meeting for an initial discussion.

So what is the issue with ‘compliance’?  Has the word acquired a bad image or does it go deeper?

One of the issues –  the decision makers in some organisations fail to admit that ‘compliance’ is relevant to what they do, whereas in fact every organisation has compliance obligations.

Forget the handle and move away from the concept of policing.  The issue does not necessarily lie with the concept of compliance, the issue rests with not acknowledging and accepting that adopting a compliant culture can bring benefits.

Organisations that can’t see the gain unfortunately don’t acknowledge the potential of pain until it happens to them.  Using the analogy of insurances, it isn’t common practice to wait, for example until there has been a theft or involvement in a car accident, to think about insurances; most of us buy the required policies to protect ourselves and/or our businesses in case the bad things happen outside of our control.  In a similar way, using best endeavours to proactively implement compliance in an organisational environment is a means of taking control as well as protecting a business from the risk of serious compliance breaches that could, amongst other outcomes, cause injury, have a financial impact, damage reputation.

Why not take the benefits, which are manifold, and will ultimately make a contribution to the bottom line.

By the way, it is calculated to be far more costly to remedy a proven compliance breach than to be in control with the implementation of a compliance plan………….

The Compliance Essentials Team

The philosophy of allegiance to good customer service doesn’t always loom large in discussions of legal and regulatory compliance, but poor customer service certainly presents an organisational risk that needs to be managed in tandem with other operational matters.

Where there are examples of poor customer interaction and telephone communication there’s a chance that the number of complaints are less – but deterring consumers in this way does not fix any problem.  Good customer service identifies operational and/or product issues, allows management to provide solutions and so protects reputation and equally important keeps the customer happy.

A current newsworthy item is complaints to the Telco Ombudsman and in that industry compliance is part of customer service; the revised Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code came into effect on 1 September, a part of the code is for telco suppliers to work towards the preparation and implementation of compliance framework in relation to this revised code. It goes without saying that telco customers can change their service provider, however this principle applies to continuing or terminating relationships with other suppliers.  In simple terms, a loss of a customer is a loss of revenue, wherein lies an element of the risk.

Compliance Essentials can assist your business with risk management and compliance strategies; contact us on 1300 602 880 for an initial discussion


The Melbourne press this weekend has been abuzz with the story of, and alleged reasons for, the sacking of the Principal of Methodist Ladies College.  It isn’t appropriate to pass judgement on the matter without the full facts however the stories indicate that the Board of MLC were not in full possession of facts on all the operational matters of the school.

Last year the judgement in the Centro case (CESept2011e-bulletin) specified that Board members do not need to be financial experts but do need to be able to understand financial reports and also that Board members should familiarise themselves with operational matters.

Compliance Essentials is available for governance support and mentoring; contact us on 1300 602 800 or via our website

As with a lot of individual definitions of ‘compliance’ being OH&S compliant can trigger a lot of different interpretations; not always are employers aware of the bigger picture.

Let’s go back to the dictionary definition of Compliance; a noun with the meaning of conforming to a rule, such as a specification,  policy,  standard or law. When applied to OH&S or any other operational function it is therefore important that all aspects of performance and functionality are considered in conjunction with compliance obligations and organisational risk management methodology.

Occupational health and safety is about protecting the workforce, visitors and the general public from physical danger as well as protecting the mental wellbeing of employees. Should something go wrong the most tragic outcome can be death.  The Safework Australia website reports that 75 workplace related deaths occurred between January and April this year with the highest occurrence from public road crashes.

The starting points for improving workplace health and safety are commitment to a safe working environment stemming from a duty of care and implementing well thought out organisational policies and procedures that engage the understanding of all concerned and which can form part of ongoing organisational training and job related briefings.

Compliance Essentials can assist your organisation to put in place robust policies and procedures; contact us on 1300 602 880 for an initial discussion or visit our website at

Despite all the warnings unfortunately some organisations fail to see the down side of taking on someone in the workplace on a ‘self-employed’ basis.  Sometimes engaging a contractor is acceptable practice, other times it can be classified as ‘sham contracting’ and the employer organisation in this latter case is leaving themselves open to penalties and other financial costs where the ATO gets involved.  Sham contracting is not legal; it disadvantages the employee/contractor and is deemed to give an organisation an unfair competitive advantage by engaging staff at reduced costs (e.g. superannuation, leave entitlements).

There is some very good information on the ATO website which sets out the tests to differentiate between contractors and employees.

Compliance Essentials can help with all your organisation’s compliance needs; contact us on 1300 602 880 or via our website


Being in a new financial year doesn’t automatically close out the previous one.  We know as business managers that there are tax, GST and PAYG matters to deal with as well as superannuation; and the deadlines are getting close for each.

Getting caught out can be a costly experience.  There are some useful checklists available on the ATO website that can be used as part of the organisational governance, compliance and risk management process and which can assist businesses in covering off their ATO obligations on an ongoing basis.

If more help is required we can be contacted for a no obligation discussion, on these or other compliance matters, via our website at

The Compliance Essentials Team



For financial year 2012-2013 the ATO require businesses in the building and construction industry to report on payments to all sub-contractors.

An annual return must be made by the entity making payments to the sub-contractor(s) showing the following information in relation to each payee

  • ABN
  • Business or individual’s details
  • Tax withheld where no ABN is provided
  • Amount of GST
  • Total payment

The ATO have released guidelines in advance of the 2011 year end including a sample submission form.  Go to and click on the link to ‘Taxable Payments Annual Report‘ to view the sample form.

Compliance Essentials can assist your business to review systems and process; contact us at 1300 602 880 to arrange a no obligation discussion