Hiring employees

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Icon of a coronavirus germ particle Coronavirus information: Find out about workplace entitlements and obligations during coronavirus. We have information about returning to work, the JobKeeper scheme, pay and leave, stand downs, work health and safety and more.

Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws

If your workplace has been impacted by coronavirus, we have information about your workplace rights and obligations at Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws.

A number of temporary changes have been introduced due to coronavirus including:

  • JobKeeper – changes to the Fair Work Act to support the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme
  • temporary award changes – allowing for temporary workplace flexibility in some awards
  • pandemic leave – unpaid and paid pandemic leave (including worker and disaster payments) during coronavirus.

These changes may affect the information on this page.

Hiring a new employee is an important decision for your business. There are some things you should know when you’re hiring staff, especially if you’re doing it for the first time.

Hiring employees checklist

If you’re new to hiring staff, use the business.gov.au – Hiring employees external-icon.png to make sure you get things right at the start.

Using this information will help you meet Australian laws when hiring. It includes laws about:

  • discrimination
  • minimum pay rates
  • employee entitlements
  • tax and super.

Go to the business.gov.au – Hiring employees external-icon.png .

Know the law (and the costs)

Before hiring someone, you need to know:

  • which award or agreement will apply
  • the minimum wage for the role (and whether your business can afford it).

Most small businesses are covered by an award. Sometimes larger workplaces, such as a group of businesses, are covered by agreements instead of an award.

You can use Find my award to find out which award will apply to your new employee. Find out if your workplace is covered by a registered agreement on the Fair Work Commission website – Find an agreement external-icon.png.

You can use our Pay Calculator to work out what you’ll need to pay a new employee. It will also help you work out which award will apply and if you have to pay employees extra for working overtime or on weekends, known as penalty rates

The hiring process

Once you’ve done the background preparation and decided that hiring an employee is the right step for you, you can start the hiring process. We understand this can be daunting, so we’ve created a free online course that covers the basics, including:

  • creating a job description and advertising the position
  • shortlisting and interviewing candidates
  • making a job offer
  • setting up a proper induction to make sure your employee feels welcomed and equipped to do their job.

Access the free Hiring employees online course through our Online learning centre.

Other things to be mindful of during the hiring process are:

  • work rights and visas
  • tax and superannuation
  • workplace health and safety obligations
  • discrimination and other protections for employees
  • checking licenses and qualifications.

Get more information on these and other considerations using the business.gov.au – Hiring employees external-icon.png .