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Chapter 1 of 8

Know your employer responsibilities

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Small business guides > Guide to hiring staff > Know your employer responsibilities

Know your employer responsibilities

A good reputation for your business should be based not just on customers’ experiences but also those of employees. You have an employer’s duty of care to your employees. Take time to get familiar with your employer responsibilities before you start the hiring process. Then you can be the best boss out there.

Act in good faith and treat employees fairly

Allow employees to raise concerns and respond to them immediately. If you have an issue with an employee, discuss it with them as soon as possible and clarify any uncertainties.

Pay employees on time

Perhaps the biggest of your employment responsibilities is on pay day. Pay employees the right amount, on the day and frequency stated in the agreement. Use the method of payment you agreed on.

Deduct the correct amounts

Deduct the correct amounts for income tax and superannuation. Be sure to deduct the right amount for each pay period based on your employee’s earnings and residency status for tax purposes.

Online payroll software can automatically do these calculations for you.

Get leave and public holidays right

Get familiar with the main types of leave:

  • Annual leave

  • Sick leave

  • Bereavement leave

  • Parental leave

  • Jury duty

  • Public holidays

You need to understand the number of days employees are entitled to. Also learn what pay rate is required by law if, for instance, an employee works on a public holiday. It may be different from their normal pay.

Health and safety responsibilities of employers

You are legally required to keep employees healthy and safe at work. Employer responsibilities include providing:

  • a suitable work environment

  • safe systems of work

  • safe equipment and training for handling risks

  • monitoring of your employees’ health and safety at work

A health and safety specialist can help create a workplace health and safety plan for your business.

Protect the privacy of your employees

You must ask for each employee’s permission to keep sensitive data. Keep that information safe and secure and avoid passing it onto unauthorised people. You must give them a copy of the information you hold about them if they ask.


Chapter 2: Register as an employer

Register as an employer before hiring. Learn about the rules relating to employment and understand hiring best practice to stay on the right side of the law.

Read chapter 2

This guide is intended as general information only. Always check with a professional for advice.

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