Hiring employees

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

Business.gov.au – Hiring employees checklist

There is a lot you need to know about hiring employees. A good place to start to guide you through the hiring process is business.gov.au – Hiring employees. This will help you understand your many employer obligations, including tax and superannuation.

Know the law

Before hiring a new employee, you need to 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 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, use our Find my award tool. To find out 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. See our Types of employees page to find out the difference. You can then find the minimum pay rates, penalties and allowances that apply using our Pay and Conditions Tool.

Job ads

Job advertisements (ads) can't include pay rates that breach:

  • the Fair Work Act, or
  • a fair work instrument (such as an award or enterprise agreement).

For more information visit Job ads.

Hours of work

Employers and employees should work together and agree on hours of work and rostering in advance. We have a number of templates that can help you with this.

Find out more about your obligations in our hours of work section.

Pay slips and record-keeping

Employers need to keep written time and wages records for all employees and have to give employees a pay slip within one working day of paying their wages. To find out more, go to our pay slips and record-keeping page.

Get it right from the start

It’s important to establish a good working relationship at the start of employment. There are a few things you can do to make sure this happens.

Getting your employment contracts right

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.

Fixed term contracts

If you’re considering hiring staff on fixed term contracts, it’s important to check that you’re following the rules.

There are limitations on the use of fixed term contracts that include rules about how long contracts can be and how many times they can be renewed.

You’ll also need to give fixed term contract employees a copy of the Fixed Term Contract Information Statement when they start work.

For more information visit Fixed term contract employees.


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 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

Hiring an apprentice or trainee can be a great investment for your business. An apprenticeship or a traineeship is a good opportunity for on the job training while studying for a qualification.

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

Employees with disability

We have help, information and guidance for employees with disability, for their employers and for employers looking to hire a potential employee who may have disability. For more information:

Tools and resources

Related information