Australia should gradually raise the pension age from 65 to 67, according to a report from national economic think tank CEDA. The report says rising life expectancies and the ageing of the population will justify a higher pension age by 2015, and eventually Australia should link the pension age to life expectancy on an ongoing basis. CEDA’s chief executive, David Byers, noted that other nations, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Denmark, are already moving their pension age to 67 or 68. Iceland and Norway, two of the world’s most prosperous countries, already wait until 67 to confer the age pension. “We need to alter the preconception about when you are ‘too old’ to work. You can still be highly productive at 65,” he said.
Climbing corporate ladder more stressful than divorce
Leadership promotions rank first among life’s most stressful events, according to a recent DDI study of global leaders. When given the opportunity to rate life challenges in order of difficulty, 17 per cent of leaders rated being promoted as the number one greatest challenge, superseding personal stressors like coping with bereavement, divorce and relocation. However, more than half said it had a positive effect on their personal life and 20 per cent said it didn’t change anything at all. As employees move further up the corporate ladder, they are far more likely to report an impact on their life given the intense time and professional commitment required for leadership positions.
Christmas parties – three times the fun this year
With Christmas just around the corner, employers should consider the tax effectiveness of their corporate entertainment and enjoy the increase of the minor fringe benefits threshold from $100 to $300, according to Deloitte global employer services partner Frank Klasic. “In order to determine the FBT status of the function, you need to consider such things as the income tax status of the employer, where the function is held, who attends, what was provided, how much it costs and how similar functions are treated,” he said. Based on a draft ruling issued by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in June this year, the $300 limit provides opportunities to treat end-of-year entertainment as exempt from FBT.
The bigger picture matters to candidates
Salary just tops the list of most important factors when accepting a job, according to a poll by Hamilton James & Bruce. It found that 32 per cent of respondents said that salary was the most important factor when accepting a job, closely followed by culture at 30 per cent and career development at 28 per cent. “Candidates are clearly looking at the bigger picture when considering job offers from potential employees,” said Susanne Lyall, general manager of Hamilton James & Bruce’s Sydney office. “The people within the organisation and how they interact with each other, as well as the chance to develop their careers, clearly all form part of a candidate’s consideration set.”
$170,000 fine for AWA duress on family responsibilities
Equal Opportunity Commissioner Yvonne Henderson has welcomed a recent Federal Court decision relating to breaches of the Workplace Relations Act, that reaffirms that family responsibility discrimination is unlawful. The Federal Court ordered that a Tasmanian hotel pay $17,000 for each of 10 breaches to the Workplace Relations Act, nine of the breaches being for applying duress to force five employees to sign Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs). In his decision Justice Heerey noted that two of the five respondents had family responsibilities that restricted the hours of casual work they could undertake, and the company used this knowledge to apply pressure on them to sign AWAs.
IT jobs to boom
Spending on information technology in Australia is predicted to create more than 40,000 new jobs over the next four years and create more than 1,200 new IT companies, according to a global study released by International Data Corporation (IDC). The research predicts that in 2007 Microsoft-related activities will be responsible for 128,000 jobs from an IT industry total of 320,000 jobs – 40 per cent of total IT employment in Australia. The study also showed that the Microsoft ecosystem – defined as people working at IT companies and IT professionals who create, sell, or distribute products that run on Microsoft platforms – plays a key role in driving the IT industry’s overall contribution to job growth and economic development.