Help! – I need to hire my first staff member!

- April 16, 2012 2 MIN READ


Well congratulations. Your business has grown to the point where you require your first employee. Apart from finding the employee you also need to fill out some relevant paperwork and make sure you the correct registration and insurances etc in place.

A quick check list is below to ensure that you have everything in order.

The following are things for you to consider: –

1. First check that you are registered for PAYG Withholding. If you are not sure check with your accountant or the Australian Taxation office. If not you need to register before you start paying wages.

2. Reviewing the appropriate  award for your industry – you should be aware of the award stipulations such as sick leave, annual leave etc.

3. Provide them with an employee contract – this should show  their job description and what they are expected to do. It should show their salary and superannuation. You also need to state in their starting and finishing times along with what time is lunch. You should also point out Terms of employment including sick days and annual leave (don’t forget these need to be compliant with Fairwork). Some may contain a restrictive covenant, confidentiality and how their employment can be terminated. You might also wish to get a lawyer to draft an employee contract up for you.

4.Tax File Number Declarations – need to be filled out by your new employee and sent to the Tax Office within 14 days. Don’t forget to file your copy.

5. Super Choice – your staff can select where you pay their superannuation. Businesses must be aware that they have to account for an extra 9% on top of the wage. (note; this figure is increasing and will be 10% from 1 July 2015 and 12% from 1 July 2019. This needs to be paid quarterly by the 28th of the month, not doing so will result in a super guarantee charge.

6. Check out that you have the appropriate Insurances. You will need to look at the following insurances: – Workers Compensation, Public Liability and Business Insurance.

7. Make sure you comply with Work Cover and have Occupation Health and Safety (OHS) procedures in place as well as a HR & Procedures manual.

8. The payment system that you will use to record the wages. If you are currently using a cash book, it would be a good time to step up to some software like MYOB, that keeps a record of the tax and super payable on the wage.


Brad Callaughan is the founder of Callaughan Partners. Brad has built a very successful accounting and business advisory firm in a very short amount of time. He is now an expert in his industry contributing to many of the major business publications in Australian Media on various topics around finance and business.