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  • Hiring workers for the first time – checklist

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    Hiring workers for the first time

    If you haven't hired workers in your business before, use this checklist to make sure you're ready:

    Before you enter into a work agreement or contract with a worker check:

    • they are legally allowed to work in Australia
      • Australian citizens, permanent residents and New Zealand citizens are legally allowed to work here.
      • If you believe the worker is a foreign national (other than a New Zealander), you must confirm they have a visa with permission to work – Department of Immigration and Border Protection's Employing legal workersExternal Link explains how.
    • whether they will be an employee or contractor
      • You can use the Employee/contractor decision tool.
      • It's important you get this right – it affects your tax, super and other obligations, and it's against the law to wrongly treat employees as contractors.
    • Register for PAYG withholding straightaway to:
      • withhold tax from your employees' wages
      • withhold tax from payments to contractors because they don't quote an ABN or have a voluntary PAYG withholding agreement with you.
    • If you're hiring workers on a Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) or Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462), you need to register to be an employer of working holiday makers
    • If you're hiring workers who are eligible for super (most employees and some contractors are eligible)  
    • Set up a system to manage payments and keep records of your workers.
    • Register for fringe benefits tax (FBT) if you'll be providing fringe benefits to your employees or their associates.
    • Consider setting up a workplace giving program for your employees.
    • Check if you need to register for payroll tax with your state or territory revenue office. You'll only need to do this if your total payments to employees and certain contractors exceed the threshold in your state or territory.
    • Other obligations you need to consider are to use a fair and non-discriminatory recruitment process that supports working parents, and people with a disability or caring responsibilities.

    See also:

    Starting a new business

    If you're just starting out in business, you'll also need to work out which registrations you need.

    Next steps:

    See also:

    Last modified: 27 Mar 2017QC 47988