HR Management

Don’t stress about becoming a new employer

Tracey Mottershead

21 November 2016

Many home-based businesses start with a sole trader or entrepreneur tackling most tasks themselves, using an accountant and maybe a solicitor when required.  They then grow to the point where additional help is needed, even for just a few hours a week.  But this extra help comes with a raft of extra responsibilities, because that individual is now an employer.


Employers in Australia are required to adhere to state and federal workplace legislation, including the Fair Work Act.  They must have workcover insurance and remit regular pay-as-you-go taxation and superannuation payments.  They must maintain a safe and healthy workplace, and could find themselves legally liable for the actions of their employees.


Suddenly the ‘casual assistant’ taken on to relieve the workload has actually increased the load!  If this is you, don’t throw in the towel and consider a return to ’employee’ status just yet – take a breath and find out just what is involved in becoming an employer.  Many aspects can be arranged for you, with just a little ‘maintenance’ required on your part.


Employer Basics


At a minimum you will need to ensure that you are, or will be:

  • able to verify that your employee has the legal right to work in Australia,
  • paying the correct wage, withholding and remitting the correct amout of tax and making any required superannuation contributions,
  • providing a payslip within the required timeframe, containing all necessary details,
  • covered by adequate workcover insurance,
  • aware of the rights and responsibilities of all parties under the Fair Work Act, and making your    employee(s) aware of the same,
  • complying with state and federal workplace legislations, including the Fair Work Act, Work Health and Safety Act and Sex Discrimination Act,
  • abiding by any local council requirements for a home-based business with employees (if applicable).


An HR consultant (such as MMO HR Solutions), can take you through the basics of managing employees, and great advice can also be found at:

Running your own business can be an exciting and rewarding experience but it is crucial that you make yourself aware of all that being an employer entails, as simple mistakes can end up costing a great deal of time and money, and even legal action.  As the saying goes, “ignorance is no excuse”.


** This article was written for an Australian audience, but similar employer requirements exist worldwide.  Most federal or state governments will have a business/small business department that can provide relevant details for you.


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Disclaimer:  Blogs posted by MMO HR Solutions are for information purposes only and do not constitute professional advice.  The reading/use of any blog posts does not form a consultant-client relationship and such reading/use should not be used as a substitute for professional advice.