Legal obligations | Employing people 

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Management success often relies on treating your staff well. Abiding by your legal obligations as an employer is the first place to start. Legal obligations to employees and other workers come from a variety of sources:

  • federal, state and territory laws
  • industrial awards and agreements
  • tribunal decisions
  • contracts of employment (whether written or verbal).

Some of your legal obligations as an employer include:

  • paying correct wages
  • reimbursing your employees for work-related expenses
  • ensuring a safe working environment
  • not acting in a way that may seriously damage an employee's reputation or cause mental distress or humiliation
  • not acting in a way that damages the trust and confidence necessary for an employment relationship
  • not providing a false or misleading reference
  • forwarding PAYE tax instalments to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) External link
  • making appropriate payment under the Superannuation Guarantee legislation.

You may also need to deal with the Department of Human Services External link if you are an employer of their customers. In this case, you may be asked to provide wage and employment details for your employees. The Department of Human Services also has resources to aid you in finding payments and services that can help both your business and your staff.

What to do...

  • Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman's website for more information about your employer responsibilities External link
  • Seek independent advice from a qualified accountant, tax planner or lawyer
  • Check your legal obligations in your state or territory.