Legal Updates

Artificial Intelligence: A Potential Cybersecurity Safeguard or Viable Threat to the Healthcare Industry?

The healthcare industry is still struggling to address its cybersecurity issues as 31 data breaches were reported in February 2019, exposing data from more than 2 million people.  However, the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) may provide tools to reduce cyber risk.

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Financial Services in Focus – Issue 21

Funds and financial products

Further Royal Commission fallout

The fallout from Final Report of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry continues with proposals for legislative reform to implement some of the recommendations.

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David Clark Quoted in “Did Your Doctor Disappear Without a Word? A Noncompete Clause Could Be the Reason”

David J. Clark, Member of the Firm in the Litigation and Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practices, in the firm’s New York office, was quoted in The New York Times, in “Did Your Doctor Disappear Without a Word? A Noncompete Clause Could Be the Reason,” by Michelle Andrews. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

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Talking Tax – Issue 152

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman to look into ATO pursuing early recovery of tax debts

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Has there been ‘Fairness in Franchising’? Key recommendations of the Franchise Inquiry released

On 14 March 2019, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (Committee) released its report on the operation and effectiveness of the Franchising Code of Conduct (Report). The Parliamentary inquiry was established in early 2018 to address alleged systemic issues within the franchising sector.

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Employer ordered to pay $150k for lack of investigation into sexual assault

A steel product manufacturer has been ordered to pay its former employee $130,000 for pain and suffering caused by sexual harassment experienced in the course of her employment (jointly with the perpetrator of the harassment). In addition to this, the company is to pay $20,000 to the employee in the form of aggravated damages.

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Migration services update

New Occupations List

On 11 March, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) released a new list of eligible occupations affecting Subclasses 482, 189, 190, 186, 187, 407 and 485.

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Foreign State tax surcharges on Australian property: what can you do about it?

Have you been assessed or think you might be assessed with a surcharge rate of duty or land tax as a foreign person?

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Supreme Court Re-Affirms the Inclusion of Allowances for Determining Provident Fund Contributions

The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India vide its judgment passed on February 28, 2019 in the case of The Regional Provident Fund Commissioner (II) West Bengal vs. Vivekananda Vidyamandir and Others (clubbed with certain other civil appeals) has re-affirmed the position concerning treatment of allowances for determining the provident fund contribution.

The common question of law which was raised by the appeals for determination by the Hon’ble Supreme Court was whether the special allowances paid by an establishment to its employees would fall within the ambit of the expression ‘basic wages’ under section 2(b)(ii) read with section 6 of the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 (“EPF Act”), for computation of deduction towards provident fund contribution.

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Talking Tax – Issue 151

Welcome decision for expats: Harding appeal clarifies meaning of ‘non-resident’

In Harding v FCT [2019] FCAFC 29, the Full Federal Court allowed the taxpayer’s appeal, finding that an Australian living and working in the Middle East was not an Australian tax resident. This case is a welcome development for expatriates currently working or seeking to work overseas, as it clarifies certain circumstances in which a person will be no longer be considered an Australian tax resident.

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