Occupational health and migrant language training
Legislative reference: section 58MExternal Link of the FBTAA.
Several categories of work-related health and counselling benefits are exempt benefits:
- Work-related medical examinations – These are examinations or tests carried out by a medical practitioner, nurse, dentist, optometrist or audiometrist where the employee is required to undergo the examination or test in order to commence new employment, to transfer to a different job with the same employer, or to gain entry to a superannuation fund.
- Work-related medical screening – This is an examination or test carried out by a medical practitioner, nurse, dentist, optometrist or audiometrist to determine whether the employee is suffering from, or is at risk of suffering from, an injury or illness related to the employee's employment. It is a condition of exemption that the examination or test is carried out as part of a screening program that applies generally to employees with similar work-related risks.
- Work-related preventative health care – This is any form of care provided by a medical practitioner, nurse, dentist or optometrist for the purpose of preventing the employee from suffering from an injury or illness relating to the employee's employment. It is a condition of exemption that the care is generally provided to employees with similar work-related risks. The provision of drugs, vaccines or other medical preparations in connection with the preventative health care is also exempt.
- Work-related counselling – This is individual or group counselling (for example, a seminar) related to matters such as safe work practices, health, fitness, stress management, drug or alcohol abuse, rehabilitation or retirement problems. You must provide the benefit in order to improve or maintain the efficiency of employees or prepare them for retirement and not as a form of remuneration. If counselling is given to an associate of an employee (for example, the employee's spouse), the employee must accompany the associate.
- Migrant language training – This is an English language course attended by a non-English speaking person who is, or intends to be, an immigrant to Australia. The exemption extends to associates of the employee.
The exemption also applies to benefits that meet the cost of travelling to attend these forms of examinations, screening, preventative health care, counselling or training which, but for the exemption, would be fringe benefits of the following types:
- a car fringe benefit, where the car is the means of travelling to attend the examination, screening, preventative health care, counselling or training
- an expense payment fringe benefit, where the expenditure is for transport, meals or accommodation for the person travelling (you must have documentary evidence of the expenditure)
- a property fringe benefit, consisting of meals for the person travelling
- a residual fringe benefit, consisting of transport or accommodation for the person travelling.
Where a cents-per-kilometre reimbursement is made of car expenses incurred in travelling to attend a work-related medical examination, screening, preventative health care, counselling session or migrant language training, this exemption doesn't apply – however, a reduction in taxable value may be available as explained in section 19.3 of Reductions in fringe benefit taxable value.