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Set-off shield to unfair preference claims dropped

Last Thursday (16 December 2021), in the decision of Morton as Liquidator of MJ Woodman Electrical Contractors Pty Ltd v Metal Manufacturers Pty Limited [2021] FCAFC 228 (MJ Woodman), the Full Court of the Federal Court delivered a highly anticipated decision surrounding section 553C of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Act) and a liquidator’s unfair preference claim.
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Hicksons Special Counsel, Roslyn Pavey, article featured in SMSF Adviser

When you pass away, it is important to ensure your loved ones are not left with a financial and legal headache.
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Commission muddies the water on whether working from home is a benefit for employees

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Australia in March 2020, there has been significant shifts towards working from home across multiple industries. The NSW Personal Injury Commission has now considered in what circumstances being refused the opportunity to work from home may amount to the withdrawal of an employment benefit or transfer, namely for the purpose of a section 11A defence to a psychological injury condition.
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Remote Witnessing is now a permanent feature of the NSW legal landscape

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, legal practitioners and their clients faced particular challenges with regard to the signing and witnessing of certain legal documents. The stay-at-home orders and self-isolation rules raised an urgent question:
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COVID-19 guidance for employers from the safety regulators

While most businesses are returning to more normal operations following rolling lockdowns, it’s not all smooth sailing for employers and managers. Many business and employment decisions on how to best respond to and plan for COVID-19 related impacts are being made with little guidance from Governments or legal precedents.
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Hicksons Central: streamlining off-the-plan sales for developers

In an increasingly competitive property market, developers require streamlined processes to enable them to secure sales as quickly as possible. The process of converting a sale into an exchanged contract requires a swift and seamless approach – however developers are often let down by slow turnaround times and unreliable processes.
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Company fails to set aside creditor’s statutory demand for payment of debt when application filed late

During 2020, the Commonwealth Government introduced restrictions on the issuing of creditor’s statutory demands for payment of debt to debtor companies, increasing the threshold for debts from $2,000 to $20,000 and the time for compliance from 21 days to 6 months.
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First death benefit claim for contracting COVID-19 while working

In Sara v G & S Sara Pty Ltd [2021] NSWPIC 286 the applicant made a claim for compensation after her husband passed away due to contracting the COVID-19 virus whilst on a work trip in New York. The respondent, G & S Sara Pty Ltd, was one of a group of companies in the Stoneglass Group that provided dental technician products and services across the healthcare sector in Australia and the United States, and the deceased worker was a director of each of the entities in the Stoneglass Group.
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Proposed amendments to give the Personal Injury Commission power to control service providers

The proposed amendments to the Motor Accidents Injuries Act,Workers Compensation Act 1987, and the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998 would give the Personal Injury Commission (PIC) the power to exclude service providers who are overservicing and overcharging.
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Where interstate CTP policies do not respond, the NSW Nominal Defendant will pay statutory benefits

Each State has a different CTP Scheme, few covering the at fault driver. In NSW, the Nominal Defendant will pay statutory benefits in those circumstances.
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Supporting our injured firefighters and emergency service workers – Potential changes to the NSW workers compensation scheme 2021

The NSW government has recently introduced the Motor Accidents and Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 to make changes to the workers compensation legislation largely in response to the catastrophic bush fire season of 2019. It has since passed the Legislative Assembly and awaits scrutiny in the Legislative Council.
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COVID-19 and Vaccinations – The balance employers need to strike

Australia’s employment laws and regulations can be complex when applied to real world situations. Complexity, change and adaptability are challenges that all business and their employees are having to negotiate across 2021 and into 2022. As COVID adapts into increasingly threatening strains, organisations are forced to respond with new policies and approaches to reflect our changing circumstances. Some, but not all, of those changes are either mandated or guided by Government directions, laws and responses. Additionally, not all government directions cover all situations or industries.
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Did you really pay? Who is liable for payment in an invoice redirection scam?

According to the ACCC, Australian businesses lost over $132 million to business email compromise scams in 2019. One example is the invoice redirection scam, which can involve a fraudster hacking into the system of the supplier or intercepting emails and sending altered invoices to customers with different banking details. Payments made to these accounts are likely never recoverable. With work becoming increasingly digital, it is imperative for businesses to protect themselves and their customers from such scams.
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Raising the bar for raising funds – improvements to charitable fundraising rules boast tighter enforcement

From 1 July 2021, new rules apply to charities and appeals. Although there may be less red tape, the most significant changes relate to enforcement.  
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Prevention is always better than a cure – Increased protection in the workplace for sexual harassment

The Commonwealth Government has been under considerable pressure for months to step in to respond to several high-profile incidents of sexual harassment. The recent tabling in the Commonwealth Parliament of a Bill with a raft of amendments to Commonwealth sexual harassment legislation provides additional options for employees to take action in relation to occurrences of sexual harassment. These options are both preventative and potentially much less expensive.

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