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  • The STP headcount 2018–19

    If you have 20 or more employees, you should now be reporting through STP, or have a deferral in place (a later start date).

    If you have 19 or less employees, STP reporting starts gradually from 1 July 2019 for you.

    To determine if your STP start date was 1 July 2018, you can do a simple headcount to confirm your employee numbers.

    How to count your employees

    Count the number of employees who were on your payroll as at 1 April 2018. You will need to count each employee, not their full time equivalent (FTE). The headcount date is similar to the census - it's a record of the number of people on your payroll on that date.

    If your headcount equals 20 or more employees you need to start reporting through STP-enabled payroll software as soon as possible, or, apply for a deferral if you need more time.

    You don't need to send us your headcount information. This is for you to determine if you need to start STP reporting from 1 July 2018. You may want to keep a copy for your own records.

    If you are part of a company group, you must include the total number of employees employed by all member companies of the wholly-owned group.

    See also:

    Include in your headcount

    • Full-time employees
    • Part-time employees
    • Casual employees and seasonal workers who were on your payroll on 1 April and worked any time during March – there are exemptions to counting seasonal workers who were employed for a short time only
    • Employees based overseas
    • Any employee absent or on leave (paid or unpaid)

    Don't include in your headcount

    • Employees who ceased work before 1 April
    • Casual employees who did not work in March
    • Independent contractors
    • Staff provided by a third-party labour hire organisation
    • Company directors
    • Office holders
    • Religious practitioners

    While you don't need to include company directors, office holders and religious practitioners in the headcount, you do need to report their information through STP with your other employees.

    This is because the payments are subject to withholding and are currently reported in the form PAYG payment summary – Individual non-business (NAT 0046).

    Employers with seasonal workers

    You may employ casual workers for a short time during peak periods such as a long weekend, or during seasonal work.

    As a result, you may have had 20 or more employees on your payroll on 1 April 2018 (the headcount date).

    You are exempt from reporting through STP in the 2018–19 financial year if both the following apply:

    • you had fewer than 20 employees at any one time for at least 10 continuous months out of the preceding 12 months (that is, from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018)
    • you reasonably expect to have fewer than 20 employees at any one time for at least 10 continuous months out of the 12 months immediately after 1 April 2018 (that is, from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019).

    If you are a member of a wholly owned group, you will only be exempt if the whole group satisfies these two circumstances.

    If you decide to make use of this exemption, you don't need to apply or advise us. However, you should keep records that support your decision.

    Your exemption only applies to the 2018–19 financial year. You will need to get ready to report through STP from 1 July 2019, or apply for a deferral if you need more time.

    See also:

    Last modified: 20 Mar 2019QC 58307