3 things to consider when creating an employee contract

Employee contracts are essential for any business looking to expand and take on new staff. These legally binding documents will spell out exactly what you need to provide as an employer and the expectations that come with a new employee.

While this might seem obvious, contract and employment law are notoriously difficult areas to navigate. Not only are there a range of different considerations that need to be taken into account, issues with a contract will often only come to light when something goes wrong.

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Increase in property sales in Greater Brisbane and Redlands

There is growing confidence in the Queensland property market, according to the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ). 

REIQ’s 2014 Queensland Market Monitor (QMM) which was released in June 2014 found that the Queensland property market has entered a recovery phase. This has been helped by strong sales in some of Queensland’s regional tourism hubs and the southeast corner of the state. 

However, there has been a decrease in sales in Queensland’s regional mining centres, according to Anton Kardash, chief executive of REIQ.

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Do you use bitcoins in your organisation?

If your organisation uses bitcoins or other crypto-currencies for any business transactions then new guidance from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) may be useful when completing 2013-14 income tax returns. 

Earlier this month the ATO issued a guidance paper and draft tax rulings on how the ATO treats crypto-currencies within the Australian legislative framework. 

A crypto-currency is a digital unit of money that uses encryption techniques for regulation of the units and to verify fund transfers. Bitcoin was the first crypto-currency used and became available in 2009. Crypto-currencies operate independently of a central authority. 

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Small business is an integral part of the Queensland economy

The Queensland government will emphasise the importance of small business to the Queensland economy during Small Business Week in September. 

In a newsletter regarding small business week, the Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey said small businesses are vital to increasing employment and economic progress throughout Queensland. 

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Dispute resolution becoming easier for small businesses

When small-business owners run into problems with other companies over a commercial contract, it can be difficult to know where to turn to. Obviously, contacting a lawyer is a good start. Our lawyers offer personalised advice to suit your needs.

Another option that small-business owners can take is to investigate the various alternative dispute resolution mechanisms that are available for companies looking to solve a disagreement without going to court. To help make this step, the federal government released a new online tool on the 24th of June that can help direct business owners to the right avenues for their disagreement.

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Directors under the spotlight in recent appeal case

A recent appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Australia has highlighted the very real risks that directors face when overseeing the operations of a business.

The appeal was made by two directors who had previously been disqualified from directing a company by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). The two men, who were both barred from holding a directorship for 12 months, were unsuccessful in their appeal, with one having their sentence extended further by the Appeals Tribunal.

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Queensland Supreme Court decide beneficiary in imprecise will

A recent case at the Queensland Supreme Court highlights the importance of estate planning and regularly updating your will.

The case concerned an imprecise will. The deceased had had two wills made up within nine days of each other in August 1998. He died in 2003, but by 2014 the administration of the estate had not been completed. 

The first will, dated August 11, stipulated that the deceased’s estate should be split between three residual beneficiaries, the respondent’s three children. The second will made on August 20 added that his house, or the proceeds of the sale, be given to his late wife’s niece. The August 20 will was admitted to probate on September 15 2010.

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Victorian businesses audited by Fair Work Ombudsman

More than 200 Victorian businesses are being checked out by the Fair Work Ombudsman to make sure they are complying to federal workplace laws. 

The employers have all previously been found to be in breach of the laws in the last 12 months, so a second audit of their employment records is being undertaken.

Acts of previous noncompliance include underpaying employees or pay slip and record-keeping mistakes.

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Privacy is vital for good customer relationships

Privacy is an important consideration when businesses are collecting personal and confidential information. 

The Queensland Business and Industry Portal states that educating staff can ensure a culture of security within an organisation where privacy is key. 

On March 12 2014, the Australian government introduced new privacy laws, which include the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012, Privacy Regulation 2013, the Credit Reporting Privacy Code. As part of the amendment Act, the federal government introduced 13 new privacy principles.

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A strong spring expected for the Queensland property market

Increased buyer confidence may contribute to growth in the Queensland residential property market in the next quarter, according to the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ).

REIQ Acting CEO Antonia Mercorella made this comment following the recent release of the REIQ June Quarter 2014 Housing Market Review, in an August 16 release. 

Ms Mercorella said the review illustrates that the Queensland real estate market should experience growth in the spring selling season. 

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