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  • Hiring workers for the first time – checklist

    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 someone:

    • Confirm 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. The Department of Home Affairs Employing legal workersExternal Link explains how.
    • Check 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 getting it wrong can be very costly to your business.
    • Before paying, check if you need to register for PAYG withholding to
      • withhold tax from your employees' wages
      • withhold tax from payments to contractors if they don't quote an ABN or have a voluntary PAYG withholding agreement with you.
    • If you're hiring someone on a working holiday visa (subclass 417 or 462) you must also register as an employer of working holiday makers.
    • Check if they're eligible for super (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're providing fringe benefits to your employees or their associates in respect of their employment with you.
    • 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.
    • Meet other obligations to promote diversity, respect human rights and prevent discrimination in your workplace.

    See also:

    Next steps:

    Last modified: 13 Feb 2018QC 47988