Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (QLD)
Businesses that employ have an obligation to ensure the workplace environment protects the health and safety of their workers.
Fairwork Act 2009
Businesses must ensure the employee has all their rights and obligations met under the Fair Work Act. Employees are afforded certain rights under the legislation including:
1. The right to be protected from adverse action, coercion, misrepresentations, undue influence
2. The right to engaged in industrial activities
3. The right to be free from unlawful discrimination
4. The right to be protected from unfair dismissal (this is not the case where there’s less than 15 employees and the small business fair dismissal code is followed)
The Fair Work Act is complicated but businesses should at least be familiar with the 11 national employment standards (NES). They are as follows:
1. Maximum weekly hours
2. Requests for flexible working arrangements
3. Offers and requests to convert from casual to permanent employment
4. Parental leave and related entitlements
5. Annual leave
6. Personal/carer’s leave, compassionate leave and unpaid family and domestic violence leave
7. Community service leave
8. Long service leave
9. Public holidays
10. Notice of termination and redundancy pay
11. Fair Work Information Statement
Further you’ll need to be familiar with the relevant award to determine the pay rate for the employee.
Single Touch Payroll (STP)
Businesses are required to register with a STP compliant software provider and to report the employees wage information to the ATO every pay cycle.
Businesses that employ have an obligation to withhold PAYG withholding tax from the employee’s wage where the employee’s wage exceeds the withholding threshold. The STP software will advise the employer how much tax to withhold from the employee’s wage. The business will need to register for PAYG Withholding with the ATO (often your accountant will do this). The amounts withheld from the employee’s wage are remitted on a Business Activity Statement if the business is registered for GST or an Instalment Activity Statement if not. PAYG Withholding is lodged and paid quarterly, monthly or even weekly depending on the size of the withholding.
Businesses that employ are also required to remit superannuation guarantee to a superannuation fund on the employee’s earnings. Currently (2023 year) the rate for superannuation guarantee is 10.5% (it’s set to rise to 12% over time). The payment of superannuation obligations is due 28 days after the end of the March, June, September and December quarter. Payment of an employee’s superannuation is by way of the Superstream regime. The regime notifies the ATO that payments has been made for the relevant employees. Many STP software providers also offer Superstream enabled software to make the relevant superannuation payments.
Businesses that employee must provide their employees a payslip within one day of payment detailing the following:
1. The employer’s and employee’s name
2. The employer’s ABN
3. The pay period
4. The date of payment
5. The gross and net pay
6. If the employee is paid hourly, the ordinary hourly rate, the number of hours and the total dollar amount
7. Any loading, allowances, bonuses, incentive-based payments, penalty rates and other paid entitlements that can be separated from the ordinary rate
8. Any deductions
9. Superannuation contributions paid, including the amount of the contributions and the details of the which superannuation funds were paid.
Again most STP software providers include a feature to forward compliant payslips to employees in their software.
Income statements (formerly payment summaries and formerly group certificates)
Businesses that employ must forward income statements to the ATO (via the STP regime) after June 30 every year summarising the employees earnings and the tax withheld from those earnings to enable employees to complete the tax returns. There’s no employer obligation to forward Income statements to employees anymore as they are automatically forwarded to their mygov accounts via the STP regime.
Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT)
Business that employee and provide non-cash benefits to employee are subject to the FBT regime. The FBT legislation is very comprehensive and covers most all non-cash benefits but FBT has many exemptions and concessions as well. FBT essentially taxes the business on the tax that would have been payable by an employee based on the highest marginal rate of tax to receive the after tax dollar value of the non-cash benefit.
Businesses that employ are required to register with Workcover QLD and obtain worker’s compensation insurance for employees. Sole traders, partners in partnerships, trustees of trusts and directors of companies (including those acting as trustee of a trust) are excluded from the insurance regime. Insurance is charged based on the employee’s earnings multiplied by the relevant industry percentage.
There are differing obligations for employee across states.
Payroll tax in Queensland
Businesses that pay more than $1.3M in taxable wages to employers and contractors (that don’t meet specific exemptions) are liable for payroll tax. Once the $1.3M threshold is reach the employer only pays payroll tax on the excess subject to sliding threshold until $6.5M in taxable wages is reached. The rate of payroll tax is 4.75% for taxable wages less than $6.5M and 4.95% over $6.5M.
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