Dick Smith class action to go ahead … Accountants to lose CPA Australia limited liability cover … More Aussies take a second job

retail collapses

Dick Smith collapsed in 2016.

By Emma Koehn and Dominic Powell. 

Collapsed consumer electronics retailer Dick Smith will be subject to a class action lawsuit after the NSW Supreme Court ruled nearly 1000 shareholders will be allowed to take the business to court.

The ABC reports a group of shareholders who purchased shares between February 16 2015 and the end of 2015 will be able to file a class action lawsuit against the collapsed business, alleging the retailer breached the Corporations Act through misleading and deceptive conduct.

The lawyers for the shareholders allege Dick Smith’s half and full year results in 2015 did not give a full view of the company’s financial position, with Bannister Law’s Diane Chapman saying doing so “caused people to purchase Dick Smith shares when they were not telling them the actual market value and circumstances of the business”.

“It’s very disappointing that a company can give a full and clear annual report on the 18th of August 2015 and by the 4th of January 2016 the company is in liquidation, and with very little in assets that were able to be sold off to pay creditors,” Chapman said.

Accountants to lose CPA Australia limited liability cover

Public practice members of CPA Australia will lose some protections against malpractice lawsuits from October, after the Professional Standards Council confirmed the organisation’s professional standards scheme will not be renewed before the old one expires.

In June CPA Australia confirmed to SmartCompany renewal of the scheme had stalled after the Professional Standards Council (PSC) had sought more information on the CPA’s new financial advice arm before making a determination on whether a new scheme could be green-lit.

The professional standards framework provides CPA members with limited liability provisions which cap the amount that can be claimed against accountants in law suits from clients.

On Tuesday, the PSC confirmed to Fairfax that the scheme would not be renewed before its expiration on October 7, resulting in a loss of those protections until a new document is in place.

Last month, accountants were urged to review their level of cover and determine how a loss of the limited liability coverage might affect their practices.

More Aussies get second jobs

New jobs numbers out from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal the growth in Australians engaged in “secondary” employment positions has outstripped the growth in the primary jobs of Australians over the past three years.

More than 760,000 Aussies now hold a second job, is a nine percent increase in the six years to June 2016.

Seventeen percent of workers in the administrative and support services sector had more than one job, followed by health care, where 15% of workers have a second role.

There were 13.2 million jobs in June 2016, but only 12.5 million employed Australians, suggesting many are moving to holding multiple roles, reports the ABS.

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