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It can be difficult to know how to welcome a new employee into the workplace. You want them to feel comfortable and welcomed, but you also don’t want to overwhelm them or make them feel like they are under pressure. In this blog post, we will discuss tips for welcoming new employees in the workplace as well as your legal obligations in Queensland.

Make a new employee feel comfortable:

  • Introduce them to the team. This can be done by having a team lunch or simply introducing them to everyone at the next team meeting. 
  • Give them a tour of the workspace. This will help them get oriented and feel comfortable in their new surroundings.
  • Be friendly and approachable. Smile, say hello, and make an effort to get to know them. A little bit of warmth and hospitality can go a long way in making someone feel welcomed and comfortable in their new environment.

It is also important to provide the new employee with all of the necessary information and resources they need to be successful in their role. This should include a company handbook, an overview of the company’s policies and procedures, and possibly a list of contact names and numbers. Providing this information upfront will help the new employee feel prepared and ready to hit the ground running.

Legal obligations for Pay, Tax and Superannuation:

Your employees are entitled to know all their rights and be paid correctly under Queensland law. As an employer, you’re responsible for withholding tax from your employee’s salary and paying it to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). You must also pay their superannuation guarantee contributions to a complying super fund.

Click here to calculate how much you need to pay your employee.

You must also issue a pay slip to each employee (either electronically or on paper) within one day of their pay that includes the following information:

  • the employer’s name
  • the employer’s Australian Business Number (ABN), if any
  • the employee’s name
  • the date of payment
  • the pay period-beginning and end dates (e.g. 15/8/2021 to 22/8/2021)
  • the gross and net amount of payment
  • any loadings, monetary allowances, bonuses, incentive-based payments, penalty rates, or other separately identifiable entitlement paid.

Legal obligations for tax:

The 2 main taxes employers must be aware of are PAYG (pay as you go) withholding (which covers HECS repayments and medicare) and payroll tax.

Legal obligations for PAYG:

  • Register for PAYG withholding
  • Work out the amount to withhold
  • Report and pay withheld amounts to the ATO
  • Provide payment summaries to employees and lodge an annual report with the ATO after the end of each income year.

Learn more about PAYG and the withholding system.

Legal obligations for Payroll tax:

If you are an employer in Queensland and your weekly wages are more than $21,153, you must register for payroll tax with the Queensland Revenue Office.

Learn more about registering for payroll tax in Queensland.

Legal obligation for superannuation:

Superannuation is a retirement savings program that helps to provide an income for retirees when they no longer work. Throughout an employee’s working life, contributions are made to their eligible superannuation account(s) and this money is invested. As an employer, you must make superannuation contributions for each of your eligible employees.

Learn more about employer superannuation responsibilities.

Failure to comply with your tax and super obligations can result in serious penalties. If you’re unsure about your obligations, seek professional advice.

This is general information only. If you need specific advice, please visit the ATO website or call the ATO’s Small Business Helpline on 13 28 66.

Legal obligations for paid and unpaid leave

All full time and part time employees are entitled to four weeks annual paid leave for every 12 months of service. Some shift workers are entitled to five. This must be paid at the employee’s base rate of pay for their ordinary hours. There is no minimum or maximum amount of leave that can be taken at once and you must not unreasonably refuse requests for leave.

Sick leave:

Full-time and part-time employees are entitled to 10 days paid personal leave (for sick and paid carer’s leave) each year. Paid personal leave accumulates from year to year.

Learn more about sick and carer’s leave and long periods of sick leave.

Maternity and parental leave:

The Australian Government provides financial support for new parents while they’re caring for a newborn or recently adopted child with the Paid Parental Leave Scheme. 

Learn more about what the Paid Parental Leave Scheme means for you.

Obligations for Workplace Health and Safety for New Employees

Under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, it is your duty as an employer to provide your employees with a safe and healthy work environment by assessing risks and implementing measures to prevent or minimise exposure to the risks.

Learn more about risks and how to reduce them in specific industries. 

Work health and safety training:

You are legally obligated to provide health and safety training for new staff and provide regular refresher training. This includes updating your staff to any changes made to the way you do things.

You must also provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff if they are necessary for certain tasks.

Certain industries and job roles will require specific training, such as forklift licenses. It is your legal obligation to make sure any new staff meet this requirement before operating any machinery.

Obligations for first aid and emergencies:

You must have a designated person trained in first aid and provide appropriate first aid equipment. You must also have emergency plans in place and all employees must be familiar with them. It is also a legal requirement that you practice an evacuation annually as part of your training.

Learn more about fire safety and training and emergency planning requirements.

Obligations for Workers’ compensation insurance

Every Queensland employer must have workers’ compensation insurance to cover the costs of benefits received by employees if they are injured or become ill on the job.

Find out more about workers’ compensation.

Legal obligations for trade union membership:

All employees have the right to join or not join a union without pressure either way.

These are just some of the things to keep in mind when welcoming new employees into the workplace. By following these tips, you can help create a smooth transition for everyone involved. 

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