Your obligations as an employer
If you have employees, you must meet your obligations under federal and state laws. You can also view the Fair Work Ombusman’s Small Business Checklist to check your obligations as an employer.
If you’re employing staff you must comply with your employer obligations like minimum pay and conditions.
- If you're employing staff you must comply with NSW Industrial Relations requirement to pay long service leave.
- You need to make sure that you're providing minimum wages and conditions for your employees.
- You'll need to register for PAYG withholding if you have to withhold tax (on behalf of the Australian Tax Office) from payments you make to employees, contractors, or other businesses that haven't supplied you an ABN.
- If you have 19 or fewer employees or have an aggregated turnover below $2 million, you can register for the small business superannuation clearing house to pay super contributions to your employees in a single online location.
- Use the calculator to check the super contributions you need to pay your employees.
- You must comply with work health and safety (WHS) laws so that people who come into contact with your business (customers, contractors or visitors) are kept healthy and safe.
- There are some rebates available for small businesses and sole traders who buy and install eligible safety items that make their workplace safer.
- If you're going to pay more than $7,500 a year in wages, you'll need to have a workers compensation insurance policy.
- If you're within the payroll tax threshold, and intend to increase the number of full time, part-time and/or casual workers in your business, you may be able to register for the Small Business Grant.
Work Health and Safety guidelines
Work Health and Safety (WHS) is everyone’s business.
Even if you’re self-employed or run your business from home, you are legally responsible for the health and safety of yourself and everyone in your workplace, including workers, visitors, customers, clients and volunteers.
SafeWork NSW is the state’s WHS regulator that works with the NSW community to reduce work-related fatalities, serious injuries and illnesses, and make it easier to do business safely.
SafeWork NSW offers resources and services designed specifically to help small businesses, including:
- Easy to do work health and safety toolkit – making it easier for small businesses to understand and meet their WHS obligations
- Advisory visits – free advice and support to help businesses, industry and workers to meet their WHS obligations
- House construction industry site safety pack – assisting small subcontractors (0-10 workers) working in the residential construction sector
- Mental health at work – small business tools and resources – there are simple steps you can take to improve mental health in your workplace
- Mentor program – experienced businesses helping small businesses to identify new ways to improve safety
To find out more, visit safework.nsw.gov.au or call SafeWork NSW on 13 10 50.
In addition, there are a range of State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) funded programs to support recovery at work (see eligibility criteria), including:
- Return to work assist program for micro employers – providing financial assistance to keep your business running while supporting your injured worker through return to work
- Work trial program – providing your injured worker with voluntary short-term work arrangement with a new employer (host employer) for up to 12 weeks
- Equipment and workplace modification program – supporting the recovery of your injured worker through the purchase of equipment and/or workplace modification
- Training program – helping your injured worker to develop new skills and qualifications for a different role with the same or new employer
- JobCover placement program – helping your injured worker to secure ongoing employment with a new employer
- Transition to work program – financial assistance for your injured worker for immediate or short-term costs.
To find out more, visit sira.nsw.gov.au or call SafeWork NSW on 13 10 50.
Fair Work Commission
The Fair Work Commission has a range of functions in relation to unfair dismissal, workplace bullying, enterprise agreements, general protection, workplace disputes and industrial action. There is a range of fact sheets, guides and videos available on the Fair Work Commission website.
Fair Work Ombudsman
The Fair Work Ombudsman can provide information and advice about your employees’ workplace rights and obligations. They can provide information about fair work practices, rights and obligations, pay rates and workplace conditions. They also enforce workplace laws, seek penalties for breaches and enforce certain orders made by the Fair Work Commission.
The website offers a range of resources including fact sheets, guides and online training. You will also find information about record-keeping, leave, or hiring, paying and managing employees.