Signing and witnessing documents in the time of COVID-19

In an era of social distancing and working from home with limited printing and scanning facilities, it has become more difficult to physically sign documents in ‘wet-ink’ and witness documents in person. In response, the NSW and Commonwealth Governments have implemented temporary changes to the laws regarding the electronic signing and witnessing of documents. While these temporary measures are helpful, parties still need to take certain steps to ensure that electronically executed documents are valid and binding and (if required) any witnessing of signatures over audio visual link is done in accordance with legal requirements. Electronic Execution of Documents Electronic execution involves

Haven't paid your land tax yet? Here's the silver lining.

Eligible landowners may now apply to a new NSW Government program, which provides eligible commercial and residential landowners a reduction in their land tax of up to 25 per cent. The eligibility requirements coincide with the National Cabinet’s Commercial Leasing Code of Conduct. Primarily, that landowners are expected to negotiate with tenants financially impacted by COVID-19. Landowners of commercial tenancies may be eligible for relief if their tenant’s annual turnover is less than $50 million and as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, have experienced a turnover reduction of at least 30 per cent compared to a previous comparable period. Landowners of residential tenancies may be eligibl

What do Uber Eats drivers and Dentists have in common? Even less now

The [seemingly never ending] question of whether a person is an employee or an independent contractor was revisited in two recent decisions of the Fair Work Commission. Uber Eats delivery driver Classified as: Contractor Held to be: Contractor In a decision that impacts businesses and workers in the gig economy, the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission in Amita Gupta v Portier Pacific Pty Ltd; Uber Australia Pty Ltd t/a Uber Eats [2020] FWCFB 1698 dismissed an Uber Eats delivery driver’s appeal, rejecting her claim that she was an employee. Ms Gupta originally lodged an unfair dismissal claim last year against Uber when it permanently disallowed her access to its platform after not meeting

Do the Covid-19 foreign investment restrictions mean opportunities for local buyers of distressed as

About a month ago, the Australian Government took steps to protect vulnerable Australian assets (including private land and business assets) from being snapped up for bargain prices by foreign investors during the Covid-19 crisis. This was in line with the Government’s publicised intention of placing Australia’s economy into hibernation. It is also highly likely that over the coming months, the number of distressed asset sales is likely to increase as businesses and individuals seek to urgently free up funds or enter into external administration. In circumstances where the pool of potential buyers/investors of these distressed assets would normally have included foreign investors (which incl

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