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DP O’Keefe Macquarie Law is a legal office in Dubbo NSW Australia.

Dan O’Keefe is an experienced solicitor, accredited business law specialist, mediator and notary public.

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Law full news items

Downsizer (upsizer or same sizer) incentiveTiny house trailer

The incentive intended for older people to downsize allows each owner to use up to $300,000 of the proceeds from the sale of the family home to go into super.

There are a number of conditions to be met (e.g. age, period of ownership of principal place of residence, contirbution deadline) but as long as they are met it doesn't seem to matter whether you are actually moving into a smaller home or not.

(Read article by Bob Deutsch Senior Tax Counsel The Tax Institute)

"Be nice to your children. They pick your nursing home."

Currently roughly 3.6 Australians work for every Australian retiree. By 2040, the Australian ratio is expected to drop to 2.6.

What can we do? Do more with superannuation? How do we get younger skilled workers to work longer? Lower interest rates may not be helping retirees.

(UN World Population Prospects 2019: Highlights)

Gagged public servantEmployees must watch what they say, even anonymously

The recent High Court case of Comcare v Banerji [2019] HCA 23 in line with numerous other cases upheld the right of an employer to take issue with an employee's public statements that could damage the employer.

Over six years a public servant had sent about 9,000 tweets many of which were critical of her department, the government and opposition. The the public service code of conduct requires an employee to uphold the good reputation of the public service and values being apolitical, impartial and professional. Her termination for breach of the public service code of conduct was held to be reasonable.

It did not matter that a tweeter's identity may not be known but it was noted by the court that when posting things on social media people "shoud assume that at some point his or her identity and the nature of his or her employment will be revealed."

"... like an employee in the private sector, a public sector employee cannot contravene the behavioural expectations of their employer and expect immunity under the guise of exercising freedom of speech. The employer's reasonable and lawful instructions about an employee's conduct, typically expressed in the form of a Code of Conduct and associated social media policy, remain paramount - for so long as the employee and employer choose to remain in an employement relationship." (Public Servants all atwitter: HCA has its say on "free speech" by Jack de Flamingh & Daniel Argyris NSW Law Society Journal September 2019)

(See also Freedom of speech in a master/servant relationship by Jack de Flamingh NSW Law Society Journal June 2019)

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