Workplace Giving Boost
29 September 2005 at 1:09 pm
The Federal Government has launched a collaborative initiative to help boost workplace giving in Australia in the hope of reaching the more successful funding levels that are seen overseas.
An initiative of the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership, Workplace Giving Australia enables businesses to provide employees with the opportunity to make regular donations to eligible charitable organisations through payroll deductions.
The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson says the Workplace Giving Australia initiative includes practical measures to help businesses set up a voluntary and flexible workplace-giving program.
Three years ago the Howard Government introduced a number of taxation measures to provide a national taxation framework conducive to encouraging philanthropy by individuals, families and businesses.
However it has been reported that the take up of the incentives has been low and that Australians give an average of 65 cents per week through workplace donation programs compared to workers in the US who give $A16 a week out of their pay packets and in Britain where they give $A4.
The benefits to Australian workers under the program is that if their charity of choice has deductible gift recipient (DGR) status, the donation would be deducted from the worker’s pay and they would get a tax deduction without needing a receipt, and the benefits without waiting for a tax return.
For example an employee on a 48.5 per cent tax rate making a $10 weekly gift would end up paying $5.15.
To get the participation rates up in the latest initiative, the PMCBP has brought in three Not for Profit advisory partners; United Way, Charities Aid Foundation and the Australian Charities Fund (ACF).
The program will include free workshops across Australia to help businesses establish their own programs, an email advice service and a CD-ROM containing the Australian Taxation Office guide for setting up a scheme and information on issues including pledge form templates and staff newsletters.
There will also be a Workplace Giving Support Program for the Australian Public Service.
For more information on the Workplace Giving Australia initiative go to http://www.partnerships.gov.au.