Industry News

HRIA Chain of Responsibility Awareness Course

The HRIA launched its online awareness course this month addressing Chain of Responsibility legislation.  The course, covering the safety of transport-related activity, is available online and can be taken by members and non-members such as sub-contractors.  It takes about 1 hour and costs $45 + GST. A statement is awarded upon successful completion and a soft copy of the training is securely stored for reference.  CLICK HERE to enter the HRIA's online awareness course.

The HRIA transport committee identified an administrative need to raise awareness, which led to the online course being developed and an operational need. The HRIA is researching companies who have the capacity to assist members with the opeartional side of CoR training, covering areas which include company procedures, inductions, face to face training, implementation and monitoring all aspects relating to CoR legislation.  Members will be kept up to date via email and newsletters.  Please visit the NHVR site for full details of CoR legislation.  


Is the taxman under your office Christmas tree?

While Santa Claus is making his rounds during this festive season, don’t forget that so is the taxman.  Hosting an office or client Christmas party requires significant planning and it is important to understand the fringe benefits tax (FBT) implications.  Appropriate planning may eliminate the FBT burden entirely.  The tax rules covering entertainment expenses are very complicated, so it’s often difficult to work out how much can be spent on tax deductible food, drink and gifts for employees and business contacts without attracting too much FBT.

“Entertainment” has a specific definition for tax purposes. Generally, an income tax deduction can only be claimed for entertainment expenses that relate to: promotional and advertising activities; seminars; or entertainment liable for fringe benefits tax (FBT).  This includes food, drink, recreation, accommodation and travel. For instance, the ATO states that “The provision of light meals … for example in the context of providing a working lunch, is not considered to be entertainment”.  Therefore a tax deduction can be claimed for the cost of such food and drink without attracting FBT.  But if the business held a Christmas party, then this is usually defined as ‘entertainment’ and therefore subject to FBT.  The type of party, its location and guests, will influence the final FBT payable.  There are two ways to account for FBT, one way is to use actual spend and the alternative is use the 50/50 method. The 50/50 method is the simplest way to account for FBT but it has a major disadvantage you cannot use the exemptions discussed below.

Business premises
If Christmas parties are held on the business premises on a normal work day, expenses such as food and drinks are exempt from FBT, regardless of the amount.  However, no income tax deduction is available for such expenses nor are GST input credits allowable.
If family members of employees attend and the total cost (per family) is under $300, again FBT will not apply and no tax deduction and GST input tax credits will be allowable.
If the total cost per family is above $300, FBT will apply, however an income tax deduction and GST input tax credits will be allowable.

FBT exemption
Under the FBT legislation, a minor benefit exemption is available if the benefit provided is less than $300 per employee and is provided on an irregular basis. The hosting of a Christmas party is considered as an irregular event and, as long as the cost per employee is below $300, the minor benefit exemption can be used to eliminate any FBT implications.

There are no FBT implications on the portion of expenses that relate to clients, regardless of the location of the Christmas party.  As such, no income tax deduction and no GST input tax credits can be claimed for the client’s portion of the Christmas party expenses.

Christmas gifts
Many employers like to give gifts to their employees during the festive season, but these may attract FBT depending on whether they qualify as entertainment or non-entertainment gifts.
Entertainment gifts include items such as tickets to live concert, movies, holiday tickets and the like. Non-entertainment gifts include gift hampers, gift vouchers, flowers, bottle of wine, etc. 

Type of Gifts

Value of Gifts

Does FBT Apply?

Income Tax Deduction / Input Tax Credits available?

Entertainment Gifts

Under $300



Over $300



Non-Entertainment Gifts

Under $300



Over $300



Alternative method being the option to value Christmas parties based on the “50/50 split” method for entertainment, where FBT is paid on 50% of all entertainment benefits for employees and clients whilst the other 50% is not tax deductible.  This may prove to be a better option, depending on specific circumstances.

On top of having to consider where you are going to hold the festive season, you will also have to consider the best way to account for it when doing your FBT return. This can make all the difference on how much you spend per employee or not. I will leave you with the question will the Christmas party cost less then $300 per person inclusive of GST?

Mariana von Lucken, Partner, Tax Consulting, HLB Mann Judd

Funding for Staff Training

HRIA on behalf of its member base has recently appointed Strategic Alignment Training Pty Ltd (SAT) as its preferred training provider, to assist HRIA members with their training needs.

SAT, through its long-standing relationship with Registered Training Organisations and government bodies, can source relevant, targeted training for our industry, and can also where applicable facilitate both State and Federal funding to cover the costs of this training.  In many instances, HRIA members can attract funding which not only covers the cost of training but in addition provides surplus funds to be used in any way suitable to the business. 

SAT has been working with some HRIA members since 2010 and understands the needs of the hire industry.  If you have an immediate training need for your business, your existing staff, or have recently recruited or are considering recruiting new staff we would encourage you to reach out to SAT.  SAT will respond to all emails and phone calls as a matter of priority.

SAT has provided the HRIA with a dedicated Business Development Manager, Stephanie Hiskins. Steph can be contacted on mobile 0488 777 278 or email and


HIRE19 - 22-23 May 2018 Melbourne

The HRIA Convention dates for your diary in 2019 are 22 -23 May when the HRIA will be holding HIRE19 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.  If you are interested in sponsorship or exhibiting please contact Martin Sinclair at the HRIA National office or 02 9998 2255.


Apprenticeships Australia Recruitment Opportunities

Advice from Apprenticeships Australia is to place your advertisements soon to capture the next wave of school leavers.  They provide a free 'Skillsroad' jobs board which feeds through to a free posting on the recruitment website 'Indeed.'   Here is the website link to Skillsroad.  Assistance is available with placing apprentices in your company and a short video about how job seekers are using the service can be seen on their youtube channel.

For more details about Apprenticeships Australia, contact Stephanie Lynch, National Business Development Manager on1300 363 831 or visit

PPSA Reminder

New 2 Year Threshold - A revised PPSA guidance note has been published to replace the previous version. Click HERE for the guidance note.

For quick reference, an abbreviated guidance note with an overview of the current position has been also produced.  This lets members know what to expect in the run up to May 2019, when the first of the long-term (2 year plus) contracts, since the legislation was amended, hit their threshold and how to approach registration in the lead up to this point in time. Click HERE for Quick Reference Guidance Note.

Master Agreement templates have been updated on the HRIA website for members to use along with their own terms and conditions of hire.


Please keep an eye out for the next issue.  The magazine features some fabulous stories about what’s happening in the market place and is packed full of the latest products to help give you and your customers the edge. We’re always keen to share your news, so if you have anything you’d like to see in a future edition, please send it to the editor, Alison Leo, at


State Meetings

For information about State meetings for 2018 please contact the National Office on 02 9998 2255 or visit the HRIA Calendar HERE.