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Businesses to bust out exercise at a cost to the Government

Businesses to bust out exercise at a cost to the Government (Last Updated On: June 10, 2015)

Companies who provide free onsite gyms and other fitness benefits to their staff are currently exempt from paying fringe benefit taxes. The companies who can afford to have onsite gyms are usually larger companies, but what about smaller businesses?

According to the Health Coalition, “obese employees take more sick leave that non-obese employees and are twice as likely to have high levels of absenteeism”. This is why Australian businesses are helping to prepare a submission to government. With assistance from Fitness Australia, the Council of Small Business of Australia, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Australian Council of Trade Unions, the goal is to reduce obesity, promote health and lower absenteeism in Australian workplaces.

The initiative is to provide support to owners of small businesses to encourage their staff to partake in activities which will benefit them and ultimately the productivity of that business. The initiative aims to reward business owners who offer ways to improve and support the health of their employees. The incentive being an exemption from fringe benefit taxes, which matches the investment made by the business owner.

The current direct and indirect costs of obesity in Australia is $37.7 billion dollars. The submission argues that “obesity is now a problem too large for the government to ignore, and attacking the huge health and social costs is not something individuals can do”.

By providing your staff with incentives and the resources to exercise, could result in a decreased number of sick days and absenteeism. In order to do so, employers need to ensure that they are protected by policies which outline the details of the incentives.

Please call us on 1300 651 415 to find out the best practice on an appropriate policy to support your staffs wellbeing and health.

Sourced: Australian Financial Review

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