apprentice wage subsidy

Financial support to hire an apprentice

Apprenticeship wage subsidies and hiring incentives

Get help to hire an Australian Apprentice

If you give an Australian apprentice a job, you may be able to get financial assistance to help you hire, train and keep them.

The Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System (Incentives System) aims to help fill skill shortages in areas of industry that need it most.


The Incentives System provides a range of financial incentives to eligible employers.

The Incentives System, dependent on meeting eligibility requirements, offers employers of an Australian Apprentice:

  • wage subsidies for priority occupations
  • a hiring incentive for other occupations not on the Australian Apprenticeships Priority List
  • Disability Australian Apprentice Wage Support.

Note: From 1 July 2024, support will be available for priority occupations only. Support will include:

  • a hiring incentive for employers
  • training support payments for apprentices.


Australian Apprenticeships website has detailed information on the financial support you could be eligible for as an employer. If you are unsure, you can use the Incentives Explorer to see what payments and incentives you could claim.

Contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider for expert advice on eligibility for support and incentives.

How to claim

The Apprenticeships Data Management System (ADMS) is the platform that supports the delivery of Australian Apprenticeships, including the Incentives System. An Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider can help you with any questions you may have about your claim.

To find out how to access the ADMS, download the Accessing the Apprenticeships Data Management System – Employers fact sheet.

To find out how you can lodge claims via ADMS, go to ADMS Help and Support to find everything you need to successfully process wage subsidy and hiring incentive claims.



Considering Redundancies in your business?

Recent research has found that almost a third of employers intended to make staff redundancies.

Australian HR Institute’s quarterly Australian Work Outlook survey indicated that redundancy intentions have risen sharply to 31% in the December 2023 quarter, up from 17% in the September 2023 quarter.

In correlation with this research, our consultants at Allan Hall HR have recently been experiencing daily calls from clients requesting support and advice on employee redundancies. 

If you are one of these employers considering redundancies in your business, we have outlined below the key components for you to consider. We also highly encourage you to seek professional guidance to help navigate a smooth and legally compliant redundancy process.

Regardless of whether your employees are award covered or not, redundancy terminations are highly complex, and the specific circumstances of each case must always be considered. There are several rules that apply and steps you should take when managing a redundancy to ensure compliance and reduce your risk of receiving a claim (such as an unfair dismissal claim). 

Redundancy Considerations

If you are planning to make an employee redundant, it is important for you to ensure that:  

  • You have taken steps to ensure you no longer require the person’s role to be performed by anyone 
  • All reasonable attempts have been made to find suitable alternative employment within the business for the employee
  • You have considered and complied with any applicable modern award obligations
  • You have undergone a consultation process which is best practice and a requirement under some awards  
  • You have prepared for, documented and communicated the redundancy process thoroughly
  • You pay the employee correctly according to their redundancy entitlements under the National Employment Standards, calculated with reference to their period of continuous service

Allan Hall HR’s Redundancy and Advice Package

At Allan Hall HR we have developed a Redundancy and Advice package which provides employers with an assortment of tools and resources to assist with undertaking a legally compliant redundancy process. The pack includes: 

  • Letter of Notice to the Employee (regarding proposed workplace changes and an invitation to a consulting meeting)
  • Guidance on Consultation Steps and Meeting Discussion Points
  • Redundancy Checklist and Consultation Record
  • Communication Strategies
  • Termination Letter due to Genuine Redundancy. 

If you wish to purchase our Redundancy and Advice Package, please click here We are also able to manage all or part of the redundancy process for you, according to your preference. 

Need Assistance?

Before you consider terminating an employee on the basis of redundancy, we encourage you to call us on 1300 675 393 or contact us here.  To learn more about our HR services, please click here.

using xero on an iphone

Xero research reveals business mistakes

From working for free to hiring the wrong staff

Xero research reveals 83 per cent of business owners admit to costly mistakes

Xero, the small business accounting and bookkeeping platform, has released research revealing some of the most common learnings shared by Australian small business owners. The findings highlight that hiring the wrong or inexperienced staff and working for free or at low cost are considered the most costly business mistakes, impacting more than one in five (22%) small business owners.

The ‘Do Better Business’ research, which surveyed more than 1,000 Australian small business owners and leaders, not only sheds light on the challenges faced, but offers invaluable insights for businesses embarking on a new financial year, and provides helpful learnings for aspiring entrepreneurs.

“We know running a small business can be incredibly rewarding, enabling people to pursue their passions or achieve greater flexibility. But, as our research has highlighted, it also comes with its unique set of challenges, which have only been exacerbated by a turbulent economic climate,” said Will Buckley, Xero Australia Country Manager.

“As the new financial year commences, it’s a timely opportunity for business owners to reflect on the year that was and embrace key learnings that will pave the way for future success.”

Taking risks and learning from setbacks

Owning a small business is a constant learning process, with the majority (83%) of those surveyed admitting to making costly mistakes over the course of running their business. In addition to hiring challenges and working for free, working with the wrong partners, suppliers and investors (18%) and working with family and friends (12%) were other blunders. Additionally, nearly one-fifth (19%) reported spending every dollar of their personal savings in the early years of running their business.

Among the biggest learnings was a need to implement strong financial management practices, with nearly three-quarters (73%) of those surveyed rating this as the top three priorities they believed small businesses starting up should focus on. This was followed by building a strong network of industry contacts (63%), working with an accountant or bookkeeper (46%), and asking for help when struggling (46%).

Greater flexibility driving business ownership

There are many reasons driving Australians to business ownership, but the survey revealed a desire to be their own boss as the number one reason for 64 per cent. This was followed by seeking greater flexibility (61%) and wanting to pursue a passion or dream (41%). Nearly three-quarters (71%) of small business owners, however, admit to delaying starting their own business, with financial concerns being the number one reason holding them back (35%), followed by a fear of failure (21%). Despite this, 65 per cent of business owners surveyed by Xero say there’s never a perfect time to start a business, but they wish they’d done it sooner.

Small business ownership is also not without its sacrifices, with one in five (20%) small business owners from the survey reporting they missed a significant life moment like the birth of their child, a wedding or a birthday in the early years of running their business. The majority of those surveyed (86%) also wish they could prioritise their personal boundaries more while running their business, especially around their physical and mental health (43%) and spending time with their family, friends or partner (40%).

“Fostering an environment where Australians feel confident to pursue business ownership and are supported throughout their entrepreneurial journey is essential to ensuring a prosperous small business community and a resilient economy. We hope that by understanding some of the challenges facing small businesses, together with industry and governments, we can provide the right tools and technology to ensure businesses have the best possible chance to thrive this financial year and into the future,” said Buckley.

The generational divide and young small business owners holding back

The survey revealed it’s tougher for younger people to get into business ownership, with Gen Z reporting they were more likely to face negativity and discouragement from friends, family and associates about starting their own business venture (77%) compared to Baby Boomers (60%).

The fear of failure was also more common amongst young business owners and entrepreneurs with 29 per cent of Millennials saying they delayed starting their business because they didn’t want to fail, compared to just 12 per cent of Baby Boomers. Despite this, the flexibility of being a business owner was a central reason for 68 per cent of Gen X business owners, with 60 per cent saying they are now achieving this goal.

Considering Xero for your business? Alliott NZ’s Xero Certified Advisors in Auckland are here to answer any questions or to help your business upgrade to or optimise using Xero.

About Xero’s research: The research was conducted by YouGov of 1,022 owners and key decision-makers of businesses with fewer than 50 employees in Australia. Fieldwork was undertaken between 22-30 June 2023.

At Allan Hall, we have extensive experience using a wide variety of accounting software packages and can provide advice on which software is right for you.



The 120% technology and skills ‘boost’ deduction

The legislation granting small and medium businesses (SMBs) the opportunity to claim a 120% tax deduction for technology expenses, skills training and training costs has finally passed Parliament, nearly a year after the announcement in the 2022-23 Federal Budget.

However, there are a few timing complexities involved. To benefit from the technology investment boost, you needed to have purchased and installed the technology by 30 June 2023, which was just seven days after the legislation was passed.

Key points

  • Under both the technology and Skills and Training Boost, eligible expenses will be available for the 120% deduction if they were incurred between 29 March 2022 and 30 June 2024
  • The bonus deduction for the technology boost is capped at 20% of the eligible expenditure, up to a limit of $20,000 ($100,000 of eligible expenditure)
  • There is no limit for the skills and training boost.

Who is eligible for the boosts?

Small business entities (including individual sole traders, partnerships, companies or trading trusts) with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $50 million can access the 120% skills and training boost, as well as the technology boost. Aggregated turnover includes the turnover of your business, affiliates and connected entities.

The technology investment Boost

Expenses that may qualify for the technology boost include:

  • Digital enabling items like computer hardware, telecommunications equipment, software, internet costs, computer network systems and services that facilitate their usage.
  • Digital media and marketing expenses including audio and visual content that can be accessed, stored or viewed on digital devices, as well as web page design.
  • E-commerce goods or services that support digitally ordered or platform-enabled online transactions, portable payment devices, digital inventory management, subscriptions to cloud-based services and advice on digital operations or digitisation such as guidance on digital tools for business continuity and growth.
  • Cybersecurity systems, backup management and monitoring services.

The technology must be primarily or substantially used for a business’s digital operations or digitisation. There must be a direct connection to how the business generates income, particularly through its digital operations.

There are several costs that the technology boost does not cover, such as expenses related to staff employment, capital raising, construction of business premises and the cost of goods and services sold by the business. The boost does not apply to:

  • Assets purchased and sold within the relevant period (on or before 30 June 2023)
  • Capital works costs, including improvements to business premises
  • Financing costs like interest expenses
  • Salary or wage costs
  • Training or education costs, meaning that training staff on software or technology does not qualify (refer to Skills and Training Boost below)
  • Trading stock or the cost of trading stock.

The Skills and Training Boost

The Skills and Training Boost is a program that provides SMBs with a 120% tax deduction for external training courses offered to their employees. The primary objective of this boost is to facilitate the growth of SMBs’ workforce by enabling them to hire and upskill less-experienced employees through external training. This initiative aims to enhance their skills and increase overall productivity.

Please note that sole traders, partners in a partnership, independent contractors and other non-employees are not eligible for the boost as it is specifically designed for employees. Similarly, associates such as spouses or partners, as well as trustees of a trust, are not qualified to participate.

To ensure compliance, there are a few rules to be aware of:

  • Registration for the training course must have occurred between 7:30 PM (AEST) on 29 March 2022 and 30 June 2024. If an employee is already enrolled in an eligible training course, enrolments in subsequent courses or classes after 29 March 2022 are considered eligible.
  • The training must be deductible to your business according to ordinary rules, meaning it should be directly related to how your business generates income.
  • The training needs to be provided by a registered training provider who charges your business (either directly or indirectly) for the training. (Please refer to the section on “What organisations can provide training for the boost?” below)
  • The training must be intended for employees of your business and should be delivered either in-person within Australia or through online platforms.
  • The training provider cannot be your business or an associate of your business.

Training expenditure can include costs associated with the training, such as resources or equipment necessary for the course, provided that the training provider charges your business for these expenses.

What organisations can provide training for the boost?

Please note that not all courses offered by training companies will qualify for the boost. Only courses offered by registered training providers within their registration will be eligible. Typically, these providers offer vocational training to acquire a trade or courses that contribute to a formal qualification, rather than purely professional development.

Qualifying training providers will be registered by:

While some desired training may not be delivered by registered training organisations, there is still a wide range of options available. Short courses offered by universities or flexible courses designed for upskilling, rather than obtaining a degree qualification, can still be explored, especially if they align with the development pathway identified through recent performance reviews for your staff.


closed store

Annual Shutdown and Unpaid Leave changes

Understanding the revised regulations for Annual Leave and Unpaid Leave during temporary business shutdowns

Impact on employers and employees

Generally, when businesses temporarily shut down over Christmas/New Year, employers have been able to direct their employees to take annual leave or, where they have no annual leave entitlements available, employers have been able to direct their employees to take unpaid leave

As a result of changes to 78 Awards, from 1 May 2023, employers will no longer be permitted to direct their employees to take unpaid leave where they do not have a sufficient accrual of annual leave to cover the shutdown. 

The recent findings of the Fair Work Commission were, that making a direction to an employee to take unpaid leave was effectively a stand down, and the Fair Work Act 2009 only permitted employees to be stood down in limited circumstances, which did not include a temporary stoppage of operations such as an annual shutdown.   

Award Covered Employees 

Under the changes to the Awards listed in the Commission’s decision here, employers can still issue a direction to employees to take annual leave during a temporary shutdown if the direction is in writing, is reasonable and their employees have accrued sufficient annual leave entitlement. 

In assessing reasonableness, the following factors are relevant:   

  • the needs of the employee and the business   
  • any agreed arrangement with the employee   
  • custom and practice of the business   
  • timing of the direction or requirement to take leave   
  • whether the length of the period of notice given is reasonable. 

Each Award stipulates the period of notice which must be given to all employees of the shutdown (generally between 28 days and two months) unless a shorter period is agreed with the majority of employees, or for employees who are engaged after notice is given, as soon as reasonably practicable after they have been engaged. 

Employers are no longer permitted to direct employees to take unpaid leave where their annual leave entitlements have been exhausted. 

However, under the changes, employers can still: 

  • agree with an employee in writing that they take a period of unpaid leave; or 
  • come to an arrangement with the employee to take annual leave in advance resulting in a negative annual leave balance. 

But, if employees do not agree to the above, then they will be entitled to be paid wages during the shutdown period.  

Award and Agreement Free Employees 

For award and agreement-free employees, employers can still require them to take a period of annual leave if the requirement is reasonable. 

A requirement to take annual leave may be reasonable if, for example: 

  1. the employee has an excessive annual leave balance
  2. the business is being temporarily shut down for a period (such as between Christmas and New Year). 

Just like Award Covered Employees, Award/Agreement Free employees cannot be directed to take unpaid leave if they do not have sufficient accrued annual leave. 

Need Assistance?

If your business is planning a temporary shutdown of its operations, it is important that you are aware of your obligations under each applicable award for your employees and manage employee leave accordingly. Should you require assistance with notification requirements or reaching agreement with your employees regarding shutdown arrangements, please feel free to call us on 1300 675 393 or contact Alan Hall Human Resources here »

outside the building

Closing for a well-deserved end of year break?

It’s time to let your clients and employees know

Act now to ensure your client expectations and employee legislative requirements are met.

Informing Clients of Business Shutdowns

It is common for a workplace to shut down its operations over the Christmas-New Year period because of a reduction in business activity or because the majority of employees request to take annual leave.

It’s up to businesses to determine closure dates and ensure these are clearly communicated to clients as early as possible, so that reasonable expectations are set and deadlines are met without creating any unnecessary worry. Recommended communication includes separate emails to clients, newsletter footers, invoice footers, notes on email signatures or any combination of the above.

To assist with planning your shutdown period, the NSW gazetted public holidays for the upcoming holiday season are:

  • Christmas Day: Sunday 25 December 2022
  • Boxing Day: Monday 26 December 2022
  • Additional Public Holiday for Christmas Day: Tuesday 27 December 2022
  • New Year’s Day: Sunday 1 January 2023
  • Additional Public Holiday for New Year’s Day: Monday 2 January 2023
  • Australia Day: Thursday 26 January 2023

Get ahead of the game. Download our Business Shutdown Client Email template to send to your clients.

Employee Notifications

Employers planning to close over the Christmas-New Year period need to also correctly inform employees from now. Employers are obligated to formally confirm business closure dates and notify staff in accordance with award requirements.

Most awards will contain terms which allow employers to shut down the business for a period and send employees on designated annual leave. This is usually subject to an employer providing at least 4 weeks’ notice of the intention to do so, however certain awards may require a greater notice period.

It’s never too early to start planning. Download our Business Shutdown Employee Notice template.

Employee Leave Considerations

Annual Leave Requests

With the Christmas and Summer Holiday period fast approaching, you may also notice an increased number of annual leave requests waiting for your approval. For those businesses that shut down over this period, approving annual leave is usually a joyous task. However, for smaller businesses continuing to trade during this period, it can be a difficult juggling act to ensure you have enough employees on board to meet your customers’ needs while also ensuring employees receive a well-deserved break.

When reviewing annual leave applications, it is important to remember that you cannot unreasonably refuse to authorise an employee’s request to take annual leave. If you need assistance with understanding the rules surrounding ‘reasonableness,’ please do not hesitate to make contact with our HR team.

Can employees refuse to work on Public Holidays?

Employers can request that employees work on a public holiday if the request is reasonable. Likewise, an employee can refuse to work on a public holiday if the employer’s request is not reasonable. In determining whether the employer’s request is reasonable, under the Fair Work Act a broad range of factors are taken into account. These include:

  • The nature of the employer’s workplace and the nature of the employee’s work
  • The employee’s personal circumstances
  • Whether the employee could reasonably expect the employer might request work on the public holiday
  • Whether the employee is entitled to receive overtime or other penalty payments that reflects the expectation to work public holidays
  • The type of employment of the employee (eg whether full-time, part-time, casual or shift work)
  • The amount of notice in advance of the public holiday given by the employer to the employee
  • The amount of notice given by the employee when refusing a request to work on a public holiday

Unsure of what applies or what steps to take? Don’t guess – seek advice.

Our team at Allan Hall Human Resource Services have years of first-hand experience to guide you and your business to a safe, enjoyable, and carefree festive season.

If you require advice on the conditions relating to your Employer rights or obligations, please get in touch with our highly experienced HR team on (02) 8978 3752 or simply contact us below.   

public holiday australia

One-off Public Holiday on 22 September 2022

Key areas for employers to consider

Thursday 22 September 2022 has been declared a one-off public holiday for the National Day of Mourning for Queen Elizabeth II.

Many of our clients have voiced concerns regarding the impact of this decision on their business, particularly in relation to an unexpected loss of trade, staff rostering, additional overtime payment costs, and reduced cash flow and profits.

Key areas for employers to consider

1. Open for trade – normal public holiday rules and entitlements will apply:

  • Trading rules: Employers who decide to trade on the public holiday must abide by the public holiday trading rules set out by the applicable state/territory government. Further information regarding the public holidays in your state or territory, can be found here: National Day of Mourning and other upcoming public holidays – Fair Work Ombudsman
  • Penalty rates and other award requirements: Employers who choose to remain open on the public holiday are obligated to pay the penalty rates set out in the applicable modern award or enterprise agreement. Other obligations may also apply in relation to the public holiday and your employees. Employers are encouraged to check the applicable modern award/s or enterprise agreement for the current penalty rates and other requirements. Should you need support, our experienced HR Consultants at Allan Hall HR are available to help.

2. Closed for trade:

Permanent employees who would usually work on 22 September are entitled to take the day off, and will be paid their base pay rate for the ordinary hours they would have otherwise worked on that day. The base rate of pay does not include:

  • Incentive based payments
  • Bonuses
  • Loadings
  • Monetary allowances
  • Over time
  • Penalty rates

Employers cannot change an employee’s days/hours to deliberately avoid this payment. Full-time and part-time employees have the right to be absent from work on public holidays, or to be paid the appropriate penalty rates under the applicable award or industrial instrument.

3. Staff scheduling changes:

  • Casual workforce: Employers may need to consider whether they will reduce their casual workforce to save costs or increase their casual workforce to meet an increased demand. Make note of any rostering requirements as per your company policy.
  • Notice regarding a change in roster: An applicable award or industrial instrument may contain requirements in relation to the period of notice required to be given by an employer to change an employee’s roster.

4. Changes to payroll:

  • If payroll is scheduled for 22 September, employers will need to consider delays in bank transfer of wages and whether they may need to move the pay date forward.
  • If an employee already has an annual leave day scheduled on Thursday 22nd, this will now need to be treated as a public holiday for payroll and leave accrual purposes.

Contact us

Our experienced HR Consultants are available to support you with any employee-related questions. Please get in touch with us today on 1300 675 393 or at [email protected].

2022 Consultum award Laura Staddon

Consultum National Conference 2022 Award

Laura Staddon awarded Consultum Support Person of the Year

Financial Planning dealer group Consultum celebrated the achievements of their Financial Planning member firms who stood out over the past year at their national conference in Port Douglas this month.

Allan Hall Paraplanner, Laura Staddon, was named Support Person of the Year and Allan Hall Financial Planning was named a High Achiever Top 15 firm.

AHFP Principal Adviser Mark O’Connell said he could not speak highly enough about Laura’s work ethic, attention to detail and outstanding technical knowledge.

“She has absorbed, dissected and put into place the unbelievably complex compliance requirements that are now imposed upon us,” said Mark.

“Nothing is too much trouble and Laura’s positive, cheerful demeanour never changes.”

The success of a practice depends heavily on the support staff within it.

Assessment for this award is based on capabilities which might be linked back to one or all areas of client engagement, technology enablement, efficiency, process execution, drive and professional conduct.

“Laura is our Senior Paraplanner but also is essentially the Office Manager,” Mark added.

Consultum CEO Peter Ornsby said, “A big congratulations to the finalists and winners of our FY22 Reward & Recognition program. We should be extremely proud of the talent we have within our group, and this year’s award winners are an absolute testament to this exceptional quality.”

Allan Hall Business Advisors was also named Wellness Program of the Year winner by the 2022 Australian Accounting Awards and Best Business Advice Firm, Best Self-Managed Super Fund Firm and Best Auditing Firm by FirmChecker. Allan Hall is a previous award recipient of Australian Firm of the Year (2021) and is an AFR Top 50 accounting firm.


temporary worker people line up

Employers’ Biggest Challenges for 2022

3 Tips for Employers

Attracting and retaining good employees has always been a big challenge for businesses, however we now see it looming as a major obstacle for employers in 2022.

Business is looking to boom, but you will need the right team to be able to take advantage of the opportunities.

Why now?

As we come out of nearly two years of unprecedented business disruption and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, a number of factors have combined to produce an extraordinary set of circumstances, including:

  • business confidence has surged as we come out of lockdown and economic activity is rebounding quickly
  • the Reserve Bank has increased its forecast GDP growth for 2022, to 5.5%
  • recruitment activity is now nearly 50% above pre-pandemic levels and job advertisements are now at historical highs
  • at the same time, unemployment is historically low, and there are now serious and persistent shortages of skilled labour across the country, with trades and technical areas particularly in short supply
  • with easing concerns over COVID-19, a number of employees are taking the opportunity to re-evaluate their careers and how they want to work in the future, and it has been predicted that this trend will develop further next year as the economy takes off. This phenomenon has now come to be known as, “the Great Resignation”.

As you wind down from 2021 and before the new year gets into full swing, we recommend that you get ahead of the game by following these three tips for employers.

3 tips to attract and retain good employees in 2022

Tip 1: Conduct an employee satisfaction/engagement survey

Take the time to understand how satisfied your employees are with their work and how engaged they are with your business. Employees who are satisfied and engaged, rarely leave, even when offered more money. Consider undertaking an employee survey to help you better understand your employees’ thoughts and feelings and identify any “imminent flight risks”.

Tip 2: Review your employee remuneration, benefits and rewards

With surging economic activity, a booming recruitment market, and skilled labour in short supply, there is likely to be pressure on increasing wages and salaries, particularly as they have remained flat for a number of years. Many employers are also looking at new and different benefits and rewards to make their offer more attractive than their competitors.  It is suggested that all employers take the opportunity now to review salaries, wages, benefits and rewards to ensure you remain competitive and well-positioned to retain your valued staff.

Tip 3: Proactively source quality talent

Spend some time forecasting your labour requirements for 2022 and determine if you are likely to need additional skilled staff. The tightening labour market over recent months has seen the number of applicants per job advertised, decline steadily, and clients report that quality candidates are becoming increasingly hard to find. This means that if you are in the market for staff in 2022, you will most likely need to be more creative in how you find the “right” people for your business, and you should consider seeking professional assistance to proactively source the highest quality talent.    

Our highly skilled and experienced team at Allan Hall HR have assisted our clients in all these areas, such as engagement surveys, salary reviews and quality sourcing and recruiting of talent.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss your current business situation and people needs. We would be excited to help you prepare for the year ahead with the right team in place to seize all the opportunities coming your way!

Contact Allan Hall Human Resources in Brookvale