Australia - Final Living-Away-From-Home legislation introduced into Parliament

Global Watch ()

Today, the Australian Government has introduced into Parliament the bill in relation to the new rules for Living-Away-From-Home (LAFH) concessions.

This bill is not yet law and, as Parliament’s winter session ends today, it is unlikely to be considered by Parliament until it resumes on August 14, 2012.

Based on our initial reading and analysis, the bill appears consistent with the previously released draft legislation with the exception of the following items:

  1. A new start date of October 1, 2012 (rather than July 1, 2012) - a welcome change;
  2. Guidance on when an employment contract would be considered to be "varied" for those employees who may fall within the transitional provisions especially in relation to contract extensions, pay increases, promotions and changes to working hours;
  3. Clarification on the start date of the 12 month period for claiming LAFH benefits for employees who are living away from home on October 1, 2012 and qualify for LAFH concessions under the new rules; and
  4. A change to the "ordinary weekly food and drink" amounts back to A$42 per adult and A$21 per child under 12.