Understanding the Legislation around Recruiting Staff in Australia

26 November 2020 Mark Doe


​The recruitment process isn’t always easy in Australia –
with employers being required to wrap their heads around a considerable amount
of complex legislation intended to preserve the health, safety and protection
of employees, getting bogged down in the details can happen very easily.

Alongside guaranteeing employees a safe environment to work
in, employers that are discovered to not have followed required legislation can
face fines amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars. This doesn’t indicate
that businesses skimp out on safety maliciously, as it is actually often due to
the complexity of Australian legislation that businesses fail to meet necessary

If you’re one such business confused about legislation
there’s no need to fear – to make it easier for business, we list a few of the
most important pieces of legislation below.

The Fair Work Australia Ombudsman

Regulations associated with the Fair Work Ombudsman are
intended to ensure a healthy space
is maintained
for anyone occupying a workplace, whether they be employers,
employees or contractors.

The Acts associated with Fair Work Australia provide
information and advice related to workers’ rights and obligations and can be at
times difficult to navigate for employers, but they more often than not are
concerned with matters such as unfair dismissals and disputes.

The Privacy Act

The Privacy Act is intended to protect and regulate the
handling of private and personal information related to individuals. This
information isn’t just related to business and can include a wide variety of
things, including:

  • Names

  • Medical Records

  • Bank account details

  • Contact Details

  • Dates of Birth

The Workplace Health and Safety Act, Workplace Health and
Safety Standards

There are a large number of policies that are designed to
preserve the health and safety
of workers
across Australia and provide compensation where necessary.

Businesses are required to oversee workplace health and
safety and take care of employees, contractors, volunteers and visitors to
workplaces, but this is easier said than done for businesses attempting to
disentangle the complex web of safety regulations very closely.

Labour Hire Licensing

Labour hire licensing is an Act that has only recently
rolled out across Queensland, Victoria and South Australia, but it serves a
very important purpose – the Act is intended to prevent the exploitation of
labour hire workers by ensuring that businesses only hire workers from licensed

Single Touch Payroll

Another recent one, Single Touch Payroll (often abbreviated
to STP) is a new way for businesses to report their ATO obligations. With STP,
information like tax and superannuation, wages and any allowances and
deductions are automatically provided from each business’ payroll provider.

Although the transition has not been simple for
all business, the move to STP is beneficial as it helps the ATO weed out
superannuation non-compliance among business owners.