Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

Queensland Orders Hundreds to Restart Quarantine

After a cluster of the new COVID variant was discovered at the Grand Chancellor quarantine hotel, all those in the hotel will have to restart their quarantine period.

According to Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, the remaining 129 guests are going to be moved to other hotels and will be tested. Two hundred and fifty quarantined guests who have left the hotel since December 30 are currently being contacted for quarantine and testing.

Government To Give Over $2M to Small Businesses

The Federal Government is set to give over $2 million in grants to small- and medium-sized businesses as part of the latest round of the Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII).

Under the program, businesses will be granted around $100,000 to produce a feasibility study for their creative solutions to challenges laid out by the government. If successful, the business will be eligible for a further grant of up to $1 million to create a prototype of proof of concept.

If you need assistance with your application or need help in exploring other funding options you may be eligible for, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Upcoming JobKeeper Key Dates

The following are the upcoming key dates and required actions for entities:

28 January 2021 – business monthly declarations due for December JobKeeper fortnights

Eligible entities can complete their business monthly declaration from 4 January 2021 to be reimbursed for payments made to their eligible employees in JobKeeper fortnights 18, 19 and 20 (23 November 2020 to 3 January 2021).

The ATO will continue to process monthly declarations to reimburse employers for payments for the month of December past the usual due date of the 14th of the month, until Thursday 28 January 2021.

31 January 2021 – meet wage condition for JobKeeper fortnights 21 and 22

For the JobKeeper fortnights 21 and 22 (starting 4 January 2021 and 18 January 2021), the ATO is allowing employers until Sunday 31 January 2021 to meet the wage condition for their eligible employees.

This is to make sure that employers have paid their eligible employees before claiming JobKeeper payments in their February monthly business declarations.

Contact us if you have any questions.

Upcoming Tax and Superannuation Deadlines

Here are the upcoming due dates you need to look out for:

15 January 2021

Lodge tax return for taxable large/medium entities as per the latest year lodged
Payment for large/medium entities with a 15 January due date is: 1 December 2020 – for companies and super funds

21 January 2021

Lodge and pay quarter 2, 2020–21 PAYG instalment activity statement for head companies of consolidated groups.
Lodge and pay December 2020 monthly business activity statement except for business clients with up to $10 million turnover who report GST monthly and lodge electronically.

28 January 2021

Make quarter 2, 2020–21 super guarantee contributions to funds by this date. Those who fail to pay minimum super contributions for quarter 2 by this date must pay the super guarantee charge and lodge a Superannuation guarantee charge statement – quarterly (NAT 9599) by 28 February 2021.

31 January 2021

Lodge TFN report for closely held trusts if any beneficiary quoted their TFN to a trustee in quarter 2, 2020–21.

If you need help with your taxes or superannuation, drop us a message so we can do it for you.

Government-backed COVID-19 Loans Extended

The government is extending its small business COVID-19 loans scheme until June 2021. If you need help to access these loans or you want to find out if you are eligible, don’t hesitate to drop us a message.

Workplace Trends to Watch Out for in 2021

The significant changes brought about by COVID-19 are expected to have long-lasting impacts on our work life. In a Forbes article, a Retained Search Advisor and Talent Specialist discussed some trends that we can expect to see in 2021 including:

  • Safer work environments– Employers need to have policies and procedures to make sure their workers feel safe.
  • Schedule flexibility– Offering flexibility doesn’t only attract and retain talent, but also boosts morale and productivity.
  • Virtual company culture– Online meetings, networking, and team-building in a virtual setting can promote employee engagement.
  • Mental health and wellness benefits– Added focus on healthcare benefit and mental wellness initiatives can serve as major differentiators in retaining your talent.
  • Increased online presence– Digital presence is important now more than ever and businesses should consider adopting innovative technologies and digital events.
  • Selective candidates– Candidates are being selective in their job moves despite higher unemployment levels. Approach with a strong initial offer as many people are hesitant to make a move amid the pandemic.
  • Additional cybersecurity– With a huge chunk of the workforce accessing systems from home, cyberthieves will exploit weak points to steal pertinent data. Invest in a strong IT function and ensure your workers have proper resources and support from your IT.
  • Local operations– As the pandemic disrupts global supply chains, there will be greater emphasis on local production and a shift in operations to a domestic level.
  • More innovation– Innovation will be at the forefront this year, as COVID-19 forced many businesses to pivot and innovate to stay afloat.

In order to be better suited to face obstacles that may lie ahead, it is important to adapt and make changes to the workplace. If you need expert tips, get in touch with us so we can work out a plan for your specific situation.

Get in touch

Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.

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