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Managing flexible working arrangements

Posted on March 15, 2016 by admin

In a rapidly changing business environment, it is essential that owners of small businesses get flexible working schemes right. Today’s employees continue to look for more balance between their personal and work lives. While some employers may think this may have a negative effect on their business, flexible working arrangements have been shown to benefit both the employee and the business they work for.

Nonetheless, it remains the employer’s responsibility to address how flexible working arrangements can be implemented in their business so all employees remain happy and satisfied. Here are some suggestions as to how employers can manage flexible working within their company:

No two employees are the same, which means employers shouldn’t take the same approach to every situation. Some workers may need to modify their working hours due to parental commitments, and some others may be more proactive with work if they are allowed to work remotely due to travel time or mobility issues.

If flexible working arrangements will see employees working more outside the office than inside, then it is vital for employers to keep communication consistent. Scheduling regular performance reviews and using a system to calculate work productivity can make employees more productive since they have measurable targets to aim for.

Flexible working schemes are also an obligation under Fair Work Australia. Employers must recognise that there are statutory legal requirements that cover flexible working arrangements for people like parents, those living with a disability and those who are 55 years or age, or older. Therefore, employers need to have the latest updated legal documents, contracts and processes to ensure their business continues to work within legal requirements.

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Avoiding mortgage default

Posted on August 26, 2020 by admin

As individuals struggle with cash flow through the coronavirus, the Australian Bankers Association records that repayments on almost 500,000 mortgages have been deferred for six months. While repayments can be delayed, they cannot be avoided altogether.

Lenders can send you a default notice the day your repayment is overdue. However, they could also wait until your repayment is overdue by 90 or more days. When you receive a default notice, you are given 30 days to repay the amounts you have missed in addition to the regular repayment on your loan. Individuals who are struggling with their home loan repayments can avoid mortgage default by considering the following.

Contact your lender
Lenders are generally willing to work with you through financial hardship. Don’t be afraid to contact your lender to discuss your situation and find out what options are available for you. Lenders are often willing to negotiate short-term variations to repayment schedules that both parties can agree to. However, make sure that you do not agree to unrealistic repayment conditions that cannot be met.

Many Australian banks are offering a six-month deferral on mortgage repayments (including interest) for customers who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. If this is you, contact your bank to see if this is an option.

Apply for a hardship variation
Mortgage holders may be able to change the terms of their loan or temporarily pause or reduce their repayments under a hardship variation. A hardship variation can still be requested after you receive a mortgage default. To apply for one, contact your lender’s “hardship officer” and tell them that you wish to change your loan repayments due to financial hardship. This will usually require you to explain why you are struggling to make payments and to estimate how long your financial problems will continue to determine how much you can afford to repay.

After submitting a hardship variation request, your lender must contact you within 21 days with the outcome of your request. They may ask you for more details regarding your request; in this case, they must contact you again within 21 days from when you provide the additional information.

Consider selling your home
Selling your home is a tough decision, but in some cases this may be the better option if your circumstances are unlikely to improve. If you get to the point where your lender takes possession of your home and sells it, it’s likely that you won’t make as much as if you sold it yourself. When you sell your house on your own terms, chances are you will get a better price and avoid having to pay the legal fees passed on by your lender. Inform your lender if you decide to sell your home; they may ask for proof, such as a copy of the contract with your real estate agent or property advertisements.

Renting out your home until you can afford to make repayments again may also be an option if you are able to live somewhere else during this period.

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