Flu Shot – to jab or not to jab?

Might be a little late for this Flu Season, but something to add to your to do list for February/March next year is the consideration of providing Flu Vaccines for your employees.

The Good News

The provision of a free flu vaccination to an employee is generally tax deductible.

The Flu Jab is also considered an exempt benefit for Fringe Benefits purposes.

The ATO has various reasons for allowing this deductibility, generally allowable as a ‘work-related preventative health care’ expense. More specifically, Section 8.1 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 states that ‘losses and outgoings to the extent that they are incurred in gaining or producing assessable income are deductible’.

The Details

Key details to allow deductibility include making the offer of flu vaccination open to all employee’s, with the vaccinations being administered by a nurse or a doctor.

There are many arguments for and against receiving the flu vaccine each year, and this should go without saying as for any other medical decision, each person should consult with their own medical practitioner to see if this decision is right for them.

Flu and Productivity

Some of the arguments against the vaccine include people getting the flu from the vaccine and having to take time off work to recover from the jab itself. Each person reacts differently to any vaccine, and getting the jab may result in a day or so of feeling unwell. But there is a plus side.

The flu can strike at anytime, generally winter, but at anytime between May and October. You can plan ahead to receive the flu vaccine after considering what work is expected.

For example, Accountants are very busy during the winter months, so the flu going through the office at this time can be extremely inconvenient. Offering flu shots earlier in the year may prevent serious illness taking hold during the busy tax season.

In a Nutshell,

Offering the flu vaccination to your employees may make productivity loss more manageable. This tax deduction can benefit your business by, hopefully, preventing any flu breakouts at your workplace and avoid loss of productivity through serious illnesses that may be caused by getting the flu.

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