With unemployment at historic lows, workers are in demand and are also switching jobs at record rates. There are a range of issues employers should be aware of when hiring.

Know the law

Before hiring a new employee, make sure you know your rights and responsibilities.

The minimum terms and conditions of employment come from an award, registered agreement and contract of employment, and also the National Employment Standards (NES). An employment contract or registered agreement can’t provide for less than what is in the NES.

To find the right award, and if an enterprise agreement applies, visit the Fair Work Commission website.

Getting pay right

To work out the right pay when hiring a new employee, you need to decide on the person’s employment status – whether they will be a full-time, part-time or casual employee. Visit the Fair Work website or ask us for guidance.

On the Fair Work website, you can also locate the minimum pay rates, penalties and allowances that apply using their Pay and Conditions Tool.

Employment contracts

It’s important that your employment contracts protect your business and your staff. To help you get things right, use the business.gov.au – Employment Contract Tool to create an employment contract that’s tailored to your business needs and complies with workplace laws.

To use this tool, your employee must be full-time, part-time or casual, covered by an award, paid an hourly or weekly wage.

The Employment Contract Tool isn’t for every worker. It can’t be used for, employees who’ll be paid a salary, apprentices and trainees, seasonal workers, independent contractors, or employees covered by registered agreements.

Induction

Take the time to go through an induction with your new starter. Use this time to communicate your expectations and give them an opportunity to ask questions. It also helps employees feel informed, welcomed and prepared to do their job.

Productive workplaces

During the first few weeks of employment, employers and employees should organise a time to set goals and expectations. You can use this opportunity to outline training needs and create a plan together to ensure these needs are met.

Communication

Communication is an essential part of a good working relationship. Set up regular meetings to provide performance feedback and discuss any issues or concerns early, before they become workplace problems.

Hiring an apprentice or trainee

If you’re hiring an apprentice, use Fair Work’s Guide to taking on an apprentice to help you understand your obligations. You can also find more information on Fair Work’s Apprentices and trainees page.

These are just some of the issues to consider when hiring a new worker. If you have any questions around taxation, payroll, or whether the worker is a contractor or an employee, please contact us for assistance.

Content in partnership with Tax & Super Australia.