How to employ someone, Australia

How to employ someone in Australia

The 60 second read

First time employer?

There are a few things you need to think about the first time you employ people.It can be quite daunting but please keep in mind that, most of the time, employing people is a great positive step. However, make sure that you follow these few suggestions:

  • Getting your employees to fulfil their part of the deal is really key
  • But you need to look after them as well
  • Superannuation, minimum pay and conditions, and being fair is all part of that
  • Job descriptions
    • If you don’t have a job description, it’s very difficult to recruit good people
  • How to find pink unicorns
    • Yes, all jokes aside, they are out there, – but it’s not about their availability, it’s about how good you are at finding them
    • Make sure you ask the right questions at interview
    • Make sure you’re really clear when you offer them a job, what the job involves
    • Make sure you understand that when you delegate, you’re not just abdicating
    • Make sure you look after your employees from both a remuneration and benefit perspective
    • Don’t be afraid to fire someone who doesn’t fit in with, or respond to, all the above efforts you have made. But make doubly sure that you have genuinely made these efforts  before you press the fire button

First time employer?

There are a few things you need to think about the first time you employ people, and it can be quite daunting but please keep in mind that most of the time, employing people is a great positive step. However, make sure that you follow these few suggestions:

  • Getting your employees to fulfil their part of the deal is really key. This includes:
    • Don’t forget to give them a tax file number declaration form. Make sure they fill it in before their first pay day, lodge it, and keep their declaration safe.
    • There’re a few things also at this stage you need to make sure you’ve done:
      • Kept your ABN or ACN up to date
      • Checked or are aware of the relevant Award for their job, or have decided how much to pay them based on some basis that is both fair and competitive
      • Got your workers compensation up to date so they are covered
      • Told your accountant, or typed their pay into Xero or QuickBooks  so that you know their tax
      • If they are involved with any form of hazard, got a written workplace safety policy
      • Set up your pay slips in Xero or QuickBooks (if you haven’t got your pay into a system such as these by now, you really do need to do that ASAP)
      • Make sure you are giving them a payslip
      • Got a staff member record set up on your system somewhere that you can access
  • But you need to look after them as well
    • As an employer, it’s your job to ensure that your team are insured in the event of an injury
    • Unfortunately,this is State-based in Australia, so there is no one place to go like the ATO for their tax file number and you have to go through organisations like  Workcover NSW, WorkSafe Victoria, Workcover WA, and Workcover SA.
    • Premiums can also vary depending on what state you’re in.
  • Superannuation, minimum pay and conditions, and being fair is all part of that
    • The steps to follow here include: determining if you need to pay them super, depending on how much they earn. For example, if they earn more than $450 a month in any one month of the year, you have to pay them super. Keep an eye on their Award or agreement in case this is different for that particular case. Make sure you give them a form to fill in so that they can decide where their super should be paid, and ask your accountant or use your system (such as Xero or QuickBooks) to determine how much you should pay monthly. Keep in mind with super, it has to be paid on the 28th day after the end of each month or quarter, and never less than quarterly.
    • In Australia, you are obliged to offer minimum pay and conditions (such as annual leave, personal leave like sick leave, and additional loading for casual employees). These can vary depending on the state that you’re in, the industry, and whether you are Proprietary Limited or a sole trader. Please check with your accountant or your company solicitor. Make sure you identify which Awards apply to your workplace. Both Federal and State laws can apply. Make sure you read through the National Employment Standards (you can find these at www.fairwork.gov.au).
    • Work health and safety (WHS) is, to a certain extent, common sense. It’s not just about preventing people from having an accident, it really talks about any kind of environment or situation your employees may find themselves in. Wherever possible, you want to be preventative and proactive in how you organise your workplace.
  • Job descriptions
    • If you don’t have a job description, it’s very difficult to recruit good people.
  • How to find pink unicorns
    • Yes, all jokes aside, they are out there, but it’s not about their availability, it’s about how good you are at finding them.
    • Make sure you ask the right questions at interview.
    • Make sure you’re really clear when you offer them a job exactly what it entails.
    • Make sure you understand that when you delegate, you’re not just abdicating.
    • Make sure you look after your employees from both a remuneration and benefit perspective.
    • Don’t be afraid to fire someone who doesn’t fit in with, or respond to, all the above efforts you have made. But make doubly sure that you have genuinely made these efforts  before you press the fire button.

Want some advice on employing someone in Australia? Small Business Plans can help – contact us on 1300 644853 or at info@smallbusinessplans.com.au (24/7 website chat and enquiry available).

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