There are workplace laws that apply to all employees. Before hiring a new employee make sure that you know your responsibilities under the Fair Work Act 2009. This document is a brief summary of some of those responsibilities. Detailed information, templates, checklists and calculators can be found on the Fair Work website - www.fairwork.gov.au. There is also a Fair Work Ombudsman helpline - 131 394.
1. Understand The National Employment Standards
There are 10 National Employment Standards (NES) that apply to all employees in the national system. They cover:
2. Know the award/agreement
An employee’s minimum terms and conditions of employment, including minimum wage, penalty rates for weekends/nights, pay frequency, allowances etc will come from their award or agreement if one applies, it is important to know and understand the award.
3. Decide on the person’s employment status
To work out the right pay and conditions you’ll need to know whether an employee is full-time, part-time or casual. Casual employees are entitled to “casual loading” to compensate for not receiving paid annual and sick leave.
4. You need to pay worker’s compensation
As an employer, you are responsible for providing a healthy and safe working environment for your employees. You also need to pay worker’s compensation insurance for your employees.
5. Documents to provide to a new employee
6. Know your pay slips and record-keeping obligations
You need to keep written time and wages records for your employees for seven years. You also have to give all of your employees a pay slip within one day of paying their wages.
It’s best practice to give employees written warnings if they are underperforming, as this gives them a fair chance to improve.
If you end up firing an employee because of underperformance issues, whether or not you provided them with warnings first will be considered if they choose to lodge an unfair dismissal claim against you. The Small Business Fair Dismissal Code states that for certain situations, warnings (verbal or preferably written) must be given before the dismissal will be deemed fair. Templates and further information can be found on the FWO website.
8. Ending employment
Refer to https://www.fairwork.gov.au/ending-employment for detailed information including a Notice & Redundancy Calculator.