Checklist for new workers


Employers need to be aware of their responsibilities when hiring new staff to ensure they are complying with workplace laws and for their business to continue to succeed.

Three main things to consider before hiring new workers include:

  • Understanding your legal obligations
  • Pay slip and record keeping
  • Offer of employment

Understanding your legal obligations

Employers must familiarise themselves with the National Employment Standards that cover the maximum weekly hours, flexible working, leave (annual, parent’s/carer’s, compassionate, community service, parental, long service), public holidays, notice of termination and redundancy pay, and the Fair Work Information Statement.

You also need to determine whether the worker will be covered by a modern award or enterprise agreement and be sure to pay the right pay rates and entitlements.  Employers are also responsible for providing a healthy and safe working environment for staff, and must adhere to anti-discrimination and equal employment opportunity legislation.

Pay slip and record keeping

One of the first steps of hiring a new worker is determining whether they are an employee or contractor, as this will affect super and tax treatment.  Employers need to register for Pay As You Go (PAYG) straightaway to withhold tax, and should check if they need to register for payroll tax in their state or territory.  If you are providing fringe benefits for the employee, you will need to register for FBT.  You will also need to check if the worker is eligible for superannuation.

Offer of employment

Writing a letter of offer is usually the best way of offering employment after the initial verbal offer.  Be sure to include a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement, company policies (i.e. code of conduct, social media, uniform policies, etc.) and forms that need to be completed such as a tax file declaration and super choice form.

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