Small businesses are faced with many legal obligations when hiring staff.
A prospective employer needs to check that the employee is legally allowed to work in Australia, if they are not an Australian Citizen, then further checks must be performed. Under the Fair Work Act 2009 (the act), each employee must be given a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement. This statement lists the ten minimum workplace entitlements under the National Employment Standards and outlines an employee’s rights under the act.
Most employees pay rates are covered by an industry/occupation-based modern award. The correct award and employee grade must be determined to ensure employees receive their correct entitlements, including superannuation.
It is compulsory to supply all employees with a payslip no later than one day after payday. There are a number of items that must be recorded on a payslip.
Records relating to employee wages, leave, superannuation, termination and hours of work must be held for at least seven years.
Employers must be registered to withhold tax from employees’ wages, different rates apply to different employees. Shearers and horticultural workers, actors and entertain- ers, and foreign residents all have different withholding rates to normal employees.
Each state has its own WorkCover regula- tor. Besides providing a safe place for employees to work, the employer is required to take out worker’s compensation insurance. In NSW if you pay wages of more than $7,500 per annum this is compulsory.
This information is general in nature and not comprehensive, it does not take into ac- count each employer’s individual situation. Employers should consider obtaining their own appropriate professional advice.
By Samantha Bennett