Use our free advice and tools to make hiring employees simple and straightforward.

Get hiring right

Use the information on this page to learn how to hire staff and meet your employer obligations.

We recommend you:

  • Understand the essentials: read the information on this page to get the basics.
  • Get the full picture: use the links back to our main website if you want to know more.
  • Use a checklist: if you’re ready to hire staff, use the business.gov.au – Hiring employees checklist.

What to know first

Knowing your employee’s award, employment type and minimum wages that apply are important first steps before hiring.

Key points

  • Before hiring someone, you need to know:
    • whether they will be full-time, part-time or casual
    • which award will apply
    • the minimum wage for the role (and whether your business can afford it).
  • Pay rates, leave and other entitlements can be different for full-time and part-time employees and casuals.
  • Most small businesses are covered by an award. Awards set the minimum entitlements and workplace rules for an industry or occupation. See all awards from our List of awards page.
  • Sometimes larger workplaces, such as a group of businesses, are covered by registered agreements instead of an award. Agreements can be found via the Fair Work Commission – Find an agreement database.
  • Job advertisements (ads) can't include pay rates that breach the Fair Work Act, or the relevant award or registered agreement.
  • Employees should receive these documents setting their out their workplace entitlements before starting a new job (or as soon as possible after starting):

Resources and tools

  • More info: learn more about different types of employment at Types of employees.
  • Awards and agreements: check the definition of an award and an agreement to help understand what applies to your business.
  • Calculator: use our Pay Calculator to work out what you need to pay a new employee. It can also help you work out your award too.

Start the hiring process

If you’re new to hiring staff, use this free and easy business.gov.au – Hiring employees checklist to make sure you get things right.

Key points

  • Business.gov.au has a free checklist you can use to help you meet Australian laws about:
    • minimum pay rates
    • employee entitlements
    • work rights and visas
    • tax and superannuation
    • workplace health and safety obligations
    • discrimination and other protections for employees
    • checking licenses and qualifications.
  • It’s free to use and helps you check off different workplace laws to ensure you meet your employer obligations.
  • You’ll need to dedicate about 25 minutes to complete the checklist. You’ll need to know:
    • your award or agreement
    • what type of employee you’re hiring (full-time, part-time or casual)
    • whether any workplace health and safety issues might apply to the job.
  • If you’re ready to start, head to the business.gov.au – Hiring employees checklist.

Resources and tools

  • More information: get more detailed information on hiring from our Hiring employees page.
  • Online training: you can take our free 25-minute course for hiring staff to learn all the basics at Hiring employees.
  • Job ads: if you’re planning to put up a job ad, check the rules that apply from our Job ads page. We also have a free template you can use.
  • Templates: download any one of our free templates to help you with the hiring process, such as a telephone screening form and reference checking template.

Getting employment contracts right

Want help with employment contracts? Use the free business.gov.au – Employment Contract Tool to build an easy and compliant employment contract.

Important

We only give advice about the legal minimums in an employment contract. Find out where to get legal advice for advice about any other terms and conditions in the contract.

If you want information on minimum workplace rules and responsibilities, consider using our Employer Advisory Service. It’s free and for small business employers only.

Key points

  • The Employment Contract Tool (Tool) helps you build an employment contract that’s tailored to your business needs and complies with workplace laws.
  • It’s free to use – allow up to 30 minutes to complete.
  • The Tool can be used for employees that are:
    • full-time, part-time or casual
    • covered by an award
    • paid an hourly or weekly wage.
  • The Tool can’t be used for:
    • employees who’ll be paid a salary
    • apprentices and trainees
    • seasonal workers
    • independent contractors, or
    • employees covered by registered agreements.
  • Ready to go? Head to the business.gov.au – Employment Contract Tool.

Resources and tools

More information for small business