B3 Monthly – April 2020

Welcome again to B³ Monthly.

We are in unprecedented times. Now more than ever, it is our responsibility to reach out and take care of our colleagues and staff; to ensure employees are happy and healthy and provide them with the tools to continue to lead productive lives both at work and home.

It is BeneFit³’s primary objective to provide you with the right tools and resources to enable you to support your staff. So with that in mind, we’ve put together a COVID-19 resource rich B³ Monthly.

If you need anything from us whilst we all navigate this difficult climate, please reach out! We are your benefits/wellness/HR soundboard.

BeneFit³ COVID-19 Resource Site now LIVE

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You may have already received an email from us about our free resource site, but we encourage you to keep your eye on it as it is constantly updated with new and pertinent information, including information about Tax deductions and 50 tips on how to stay sane during crises.

In brief, we have developed this site specifically to help you support your staff in the three pillars of wellness: Financial, Physical, Mental.

You’ll find a range of articles, videos, webinars, podcasts and links on a host of various topics. From mental health topics such as Maintaining Boundaries while WFH and Reassuring your kids about COVID, to financial wellbeing subjects like COVID-19 Superannuation Considerations and Market Insights podcasts. We also have productivity resources, offering tips on how to keep your workforce motivated.

Let us know if you would like tailored communications to help you promote a specific resource or the site to your staff. We’d love to talk to you about how we can continue to support you.

Home Office Tax Deductions

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If you are like the vast majority of us, you have transformed your dining table, coffee table or garage workbench into your makeshift home office during the COVID-19 shut down. Although working from home saves us from the daily commute and the long coffee queues, the obvious downside is the additional costs. You may have bought a new computer, an extra monitor, a desk or a swivel chair? In addition, you may have extra ongoing costs such as stationery, printer ink, electricity, heating, internet and telephone. The list goes on. As the COVID-19 shut-down unfortunately continues, your home office costs will surely add up! If there is good news to any of this, it is that you may be eligible to claim tax deductions for your costs in setting up and running your home office, if you are not already reimbursed by an employer. Further, the Government has announced that additional home office deductions are available in response to the COVID-19 shut down.

Stanford Brown Accounting has all the tips on how to claim and what to claim here. Feel free to forward this resource onto your employees so that they can prepare for tax time.

Experts say get your Flu shot ASAP

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Whilst it’s important to note that the flu vaccination does not protect us against COVID-19, it is still vital to consider getting our annual flu shot this year. And the earlier the better, says health experts. With medical and hospital resources preoccupied with COVID-19 testing and treatment, we want to keep the burden of flu admissions as low as possible. Other than the social responsibility of keeping resources free, we also want to ensure we are keeping ourselves safe, especially as it is very possible for an individual to contract both COVID-19 and the normal influenza virus. To avoid this, please attend your local pharmacy/medical center to receive the flu vaccine this year.

Many businesses offer flu vaccinations as an employee benefit. Whilst it may not be possible to have a typical flu shot drive as in previous years, it is still possible to offer this as a staff benefit. Consider offering a flu shot rebate/subsidy program for staff (and possibly immediate family) to get this done at their local medical centre.

Heart Week – Keeping healthy hearts even during COVID-19

Most of us are doing our bit to keep the virus spread low and staying home. This means a natural decrease in our physical activity (and maybe an increase in our eating and drinking because the fridge is so close!). Even though our hearts may not be our primary focus right now, we mustn’t forget the healthy habits to keep our tickers ticking! Heart Disease is still Australia’s biggest killer, taking 51 lives every day. So with that in mind, let’s continue to maintain our healthy hearts, through healthy eating (look for the heart foundation tick on food labels) and active living (we are sitting much more now than usual – get up for a walk and/or stretch as often as reasonable).

If you want to see what your risk factors are for a Cardiovascular disease event, then try using the Heart Foundation’s calculator. Consider sending this out to staff so that happy heart habits aren’t forgotten whilst we bunker down at home.

Running a health awareness program during a period of social distancing can be difficult and requires outside the square thinking. One idea may be to hold virtual team workouts to create face to face interaction and to get the heart rate up.

We would love to hear any other ideas you may have to share amongst the B3 community.

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