Whether you are a start-up or a growing business, hiring your very first employee is an exciting time and a definite step in the right direction. However, hiring employees isn’t for the faint of heart, because as an employer, you have certain responsibilities and obligations, and most importantly complying with laws, regulations, standards and codes of practice.
If you haven’t already considered these responsibilities, before you embark on the road to becoming an employer, there are a few things you should consider.
1.What type of employee do you need?
Do you need a full-time, part-time or casual employee? What about a contractor, apprentice or temporary employee from an agency? Your decision actually makes a difference to your employer obligations, so you need to make this decision before advertising the vacancy.
2.What are your tax, super and workers’ compensation obligations?
This is dependent on whether your new worker is considered as a contractor or an employee and can be a complex area to ensure you are covered correctly for either. For example, a contractor might pay their own tax and super, but in some circumstances an employer might be required to pay their super; they may also be considered as an employee under workers’ compensation laws. Ensure you are fully aware of your obligations and the laws.
3.Can they legally work in Australia?
Just because someone has a TFN doesn’t mean that they can legally work in Australia; if they are employed, the employer can be fined, and ignorance isn’t a defence. Employers need to check that potential employees are either Australian citizens, permanent residents of Australia or NZ, or hold a work visa (ensure you check the conditions of the work visa and that it is valid).
4.Do you know your obligations under the anti-discrimination laws?
Employers cannot use age, gender, race, disability, sexuality, transgender status, marital status or carer’s responsibilities to discriminate against potential employees or contractors. Employers must also prevent harassment and discrimination from occurring within their organisation; these laws apply to both employees and contractors.
5.Are you aware of the NES and minimum wages?
The NES (National Employment Standards) are a set of 10 employment entitlements that must be upheld by employers. They include the maximum weekly hours, flexi time, parental leave, annual leave, compassionate leave, and so on. Employers must also comply with the national minimum wage and any awards that covers a worker’s employment.
6.What are the workplace health and safety requirements?
As an employer, you must provide a safe and healthy working environment for you employees. This may include training and supervision, as well as safety inspections and compliance with codes of practice.
7.Do you have the right insurances?
Do you have the right insurances in place, as an employer? It is your responsibility to protect both your business and your employees by having the right insurances in place. Not only should you ensure your business is adequately covered but it is important to ensure your employees are adequately covered, for their health, safety and welfare. Looking after your business insurances and employees will help towards the growth, success and longevity of a business.
The above are only some points when it comes to employer responsibilities. To decide what type of insurance policies are suitable for your business talk to an insurance specialist today.