No one started a business to be an employer. But as your business grows, you bring people on the journey with you. It’s exciting watching dreams become reality but the admin associated with employing people can bring that excitement to a crashing halt.
Being compliant shouldn’t be hard so we’ve pulled together our top six tips to help your business be compliant:
Build a collection of compliant contracts and policies
When you’re employing someone, it’s important to make sure that you have the right contract in place with them. While a handshake deal can be legally enforceable, it’s always best to clearly set out the terms and conditions of employment for both parties. Remember that an employment contract cannot provide for less than the legal minimums set out in the National Employment Standards (NES) or the relevant award.
Once you’ve got a contract, you also need to make sure that you have some policies in place. In particular, you need to provide a copy of the NES and the Fair Work Information Statement. It is also recommended that you have a code of conduct and ethics, harassment and bullying policy and a grievance handling policy as a minimum.
Understand Fair Work
The Fair Work Ombudsman dictates the standard working practices in Australia. They often make changes and rulings that could affect your workplace. They also conduct an annual review of the minimum wage and Modern Awards to ensure they are still fair.
To ensure you’re compliant, it’s best to sign up to their updates to make sure you always have the latest information. You can do this by signing up to their email updates or following them on Twitter.
Read up on Single Touch Payroll (STP)
STP will become mandatory for all business with more than four employees on 1 July 2019. STP means that businesses must report all tax and superannuation payments to the Australia Tax Office (ATO) at the time a pay event happens.
While this might have removed the end of quarter or end of year scramble, it has increased the admin burden for every pay cycle (unless you’re using technology like HeroPay that can do it automatically for you).
The Government also hinted at increases to the data that they want to collect via STP in the latest budget. To make sure that you fully understand your reporting requirements and you’re up-to-date with any changes, we recommend checking out the ATO website and signing up to their STP updates.
Understand how you need to pay your employees
If you’re paying people under a Modern Award, you need to make sure that you calculate their payments correctly. On top of the rate there are allowances, penalty rates and overtime to consider. If you’re manually calculating, triple check that you’ve included everything you need to.
It’s also a good idea to still check even if you’re paying a base rate above the Modern Award. Once you’ve included those additional payments that base rate may actually be less than the minimum requirements outlined in the Modern Award.
Store employee data securely
As an employer, you also need to hold some very personal data about your employees like tax file numbers (TFN) and banking details. This information needs to be stored securely and only accessed by the appropriate people at the appropriate time.
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has some very clear rules that need to be considered when storing personal information – particularly when it comes to TFNs.
Talk to a professional
The best way to make sure your business in compliant to get some professional advice. There are a number of companies and consultants out there who help businesses make sure they’re meeting their obligations and protecting their employees.
Guess what? Employment Hero is one of those businesses. Our CEO Ben started his career helping small businesses make sure they were doing the right thing. We offer a library of compliant contracts, policies and HR documents ready for you to use in our free account.
CLICK HERE to download our FREE guide to HR compliance to learn more about how you can make sure you’re doing the right thing for your business.