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Guide for employers - Hiring new on-site employees

This guide provides a simple checklist summary of the legal requirements you need to consider when taking on new on-site employees (including apprentices).

Checklist summary of the legal requirements.

Determine the employee's entitlements
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An employee is an Award employee or a Non-Award employee.

Award Employee: If there is an Industrial Award that covers the employee’s industry or occupation and contains a classification for the role (or type of role) they undertake then you will need to comply with all the conditions of the relevant award. The award will stipulate the minimum wage rate of pay and other entitlements. Awards conditions must comply with the National Employment Standards. Even if you pay above award wages or under annualised salary arrangements, they still will be considered award employees.

Non-Award Employee: If there is no award covering the type of work they carry out then they will be a ‘non-award’ employee. Traditionally managerial level employees do not fall within an award classification. The conditions of employment for non-award employees are set out under the National Employment Standards and their contract of employment. 

If you have an enterprise agreement in place that covers the employee’s work classification, an employee’s entitlements will come from that agreement. 

Make the offer of employment
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Even if they are an award employee, it is a good idea to get all new employees to sign and accept a written offer of employment that sets out the conditions of employment that have been agreed to. You can also provide other information relevant to the business, such as workplace policies or rules. At a discounted member rate HIA can prepare an employment agreement or workplace policy for your business.

Provide the new employee with the Fair Work Information Statement
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The Fair Work Information Statement must be provided to the new employee as soon as possible before or after they commence. This statement is an overview of rights and entitlements under the Fair Work Act 2009. It is available on the Fair Work website

Obtain your employee's details
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Ensure you have all relevant contact details such as home address, phone number, email address and emergency contact. Where relevant, you may also need the employee’s bank account details (for payment of wages) and information relating to medical conditions or allergies that have the potential to affect the employee’s capacity to carry out their role.

Obtain the employee's Tax File Number Declaration form
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All new employees are required to fill out and complete a Tax File Number Declaration form. The form enables you to work out how much tax to withhold from payments made to your employee. You can get the form from some newsagents or by contacting the ATO. The employee needs to complete the form and return it to you. There is a ‘Payer’ section of the form (section B) that you must then complete and forward to the ATO within 14 days of the date the employee started with you.

Get a copy of the employee's OHS Construction Induction Card
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An OHS Construction Induction Card (White Card) is required by all employees carrying out construction work, including site managers, supervisors, surveyors, labourers and tradespersons. The White Cards are issued by WorkSafe Tasmania after the required training is completed. White Cards issued in other parts of Australia may also be used provided they are current.

Register for PAYG withholding
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To register contact the ATO (13 28 66) or complete an ‘Add a new business account’ form available on the ATO website, or speak to your tax advisor. You must keep records that explain your PAYG withholding transactions. 

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Your employee is entitled to super from the first day you employ them (provided they are eligible for super) so you will need to determine which fund contributions will be made to. Most employees are entitled to select their superannuation fund. If your new employee is eligible to choose a super fund, you should provide them with a Standard choice form within 28 days from the day they started working for you. 

Your employee does not have to complete the form if they do not want to nominate a fund but you still need to give them the choice. If your employee does not select a fund you must pay contributions into a fund you nominate. You should make sure that the fund you nominate complies with the Award (where applicable) and that the fund is a ‘complying fund’. 

For more information on super choice, call the Australian Tax Office on 13 10 20 or go to the ATO website. HIA also has more specific information on choice of super fund. 

Super guarantee contributions have to be paid for each eligible employee to the correct super fund at least four times a year (see quarterly cut off dates at the ATO website. Some funds require that contributions be made on a more frequent basis.

Workers compensation
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It is compulsory for you to take out workers compensation insurance if you employ worker/s in Tasmania. 

There are a number of insurers who are licenced to issue workers compensation insurance in Tasmania. 

The insurance premium is calculated by using your estimated wages. Your insurer will advise on the premium to be paid. 

For more information about workers compensation in Tasmania you can go the WorkSafe Tasmania website or call them on 1300 366 322.

Long service leave
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There is a special scheme in place for long service payments for workers in the Tasmanian building and construction industry. 

TasBuild is responsible for administering the scheme. Payments are for service to the industry instead of to an individual employer. You are required to be registered with TasBuild if you employ workers in the construction industry. You are also required to notify TasBuild of new workers. 

For more information go to the TasBuild website.

Payroll tax
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If you employ people in Tasmania and your total wages paid in Australia (and not just Tasmania) exceed the payroll tax threshold, you will incur a payroll tax liability. Contractors are deemed to be ‘employees’ for payroll tax purposes where a ‘service’ contract exists between the person supplying the services (the contractor) and the end-user (the employer).

The current payroll tax threshold for the 2015/2016 financial year is paying wages of more than $1,250,000 a year. 

There is a requirement to register with the Tasmania Revenue Office (TRO) if you exceed the payroll tax threshold. Once registered, you are required to make monthly returns to the TRO. 

For more information you should go to the Department of Treasury and Finance website.

To find out more, contact HIA's Workplace Services team

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