Hire employees and contractors in Australia

Remote’s guide to employing in Australia.

  • Capital city

    Canberra

  • Currency

    Australian dollar
    ($, AUD)

  • Population size

    25,771,300

  • Languages spoken

    English

  • Availability

    Remote-Owned Local Entity

    We own our own entity in the countries where we operate to shield your company from risk and provide you and your employees with the signature Remote experience.

Facts & Stats

Sun, surf, and incredibly diverse wildlife make Australia a top destination for people from around the world. Despite Australia’s large size, around 85% of its inhabitants live within a short drive of the coast in cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth. With one of the top global economies and a host of talented workers, Australia is a great spot to make your next hire.

  • Capital city

    Canberra

  • Currency

    Australian dollar
    ($, AUD)

  • Languages spoken

    English

  • Population size

    25,771,300

  • Ease of doing business

    Very easy

  • Cost of living index

    $$$$ (14 of 139 nations)

  • Payroll frequency

    Biweekly/Monthly

  • VAT - standard rate

    10%

  • GDP - real growth rate

    2.2%

Grow your team in Australia with Remote

Remote makes it easy for companies of all sizes to employ workers in Australia using our employer of record solution. We can help employ your Australian team using our local Australian entity, as well as handle your payroll, benefits, taxes, and local legal compliance.

Risks
of misclassification

Australia, like many other countries, treats self-employed contractors and full-time employees differently. Misclassification of contractors in Australia may lead to fines and penalties for the offending company.

Employing in Australia

Labor regulations in Australia are split between federal and state laws. Many of the country’s employment rules are codified in the Fair Work Act, which provides structure for collective bargaining agreements and sets minimum standards for employers in certain areas. The Fair Work Act covers issues including minimum leave entitlements, maximum working hours, termination guidelines, and severance pay.

Employers cannot cancel or change a visa in Australia. International workers in Australia still have rights and protections at work that are enforced by the Australian government. Only the government has the power to withdraw or update a work visa.

To employ workers in Australia, contact Remote to learn more about your options.

Minimum Wage

In Australia, the minimum wage for workers 21 years and older is $19.49 per hour. For workers under 21 years, the minimum wage is $9.13 per hour.

Payroll Cycle

For customers of Remote, all employee payments will be made in equal monthly installments on or before the last working day of each calendar month, payable in arrears.

Onboarding Time

We can help you get a new employee started in Australia fast. The minimum onboarding time we need is only 14 working days.

Our team ensures your employees are onboarded and paid as quickly as possible while keeping your business compliant with all local employment legislation. The minimum onboarding time begins after the employee submits all required information onto the Remote platform. The onboarding timeline is also dependent upon registration with local authorities.

For all non-nationals of the country of employment, the Right to Work assessment (if applicable) will add three extra days to the total time to onboard. There may be extra time required if we need to follow-up on the right to work assessment.

Please note, payroll cut-off dates can impact the actual first day of employment. Remote has a payroll cut-off date of the 10th of the month unless otherwise specified.

Competitive benefits package in Australia

At Remote, we’re obsessed with helping you craft the best possible employee experience for your team. We are leading the way in practicing “fair equity,” which means making sure employees everywhere have access to both the required and supplemental benefits they need to thrive (and that will allow you to attract the best local talent).

Our benefits packages in Australia are tailored to fulfill the local needs of your employees. Typically, our packages contain some or all of the following benefits:

  • Health Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Mental Health Support
  • Pension or 401(K)
  • Life and Disability Insurance

In order to access specific information about our benefits packages in Australia, start onboarding your first employee with Remote today.

Taxes in Australia

Learn how employment taxes and statutory fees affect your payroll and your employees’ paychecks in Australia.

  • Victoria

    • $650,000 - is the annual threshold triggering payroll tax

    • 4.85% - state payroll tax

    • 2.425% - for regional areas

    • 1.2125% - for regional bushfire affected areas

  • New South Wales

    • 4.85% - state payroll tax

    • $1.2 million - is the annual threshold triggering payroll tax

  • Queensland

    • 4.75% - for employers with $6.5 million or less in Australian taxable wages

    • 4.95% - for employers with more than $6.5 million in Australian taxable wages

    • $1.3 million - is the annual threshold triggering payroll tax

    • Regional employers may be entitled to a 1% discount on the rate until 30 June 2023

  • Northern Territory

    • 5.5% - state payroll tax

    • $1.5 million - is the annual threshold triggering income tax

  • South Australia

    • Variable up to 4.95% - for between $1.5 million to $1.7 million in Australian taxable wages

    • 4.95% - state payroll tax where Australian taxable wages exceeds $1.7 million

    • $1.5 million - is the annual threshold triggering income tax

  • Western Australia

    • Until July 1, 2023, payroll tax in WA is calculated on a tiered rate scale that gradually increases the tax rate to a maximum of 6.5% for employers with annual Australian taxable wages of more than $1 million.

  • Tasmania

    • 4% - state payroll tax for between $1.25 million to $2 million in Australian taxable wages

    • 6.1% - state payroll tax for over $2 million in Australian taxable wages

    • $1.25 million - is the annual threshold triggering income tax

  • Australian Capital Territory

    • 6.85% - state payroll tax

    • 2 million - is the annual threshold triggering payroll tax

  • Employee income taxes

    • Employee income tax rates are standardised Australia-wide.

    • 0% - Income up to AUD 18,200

    • 19% - AUD 18,200-AUD 45,000

    • 32.5% - AUD 45,000-AUD 120,000

    • 37% - AUD 120,000-AUD 180,000

    • 45% - AUD 180,000 and over

Compulsory Superannuation Contribution

Note that all Australian employers must contribute to the employee’s superannuation fund (Australia's version of a retirement pension).

The Australian Super guarantee (SG) is the minimum amount employers must pay to avoid incurring a super guarantee charge. As of 2021, the super guarantee is set at 10% of an employee’s ordinary time earnings, but this figure is scheduled to increase progressively up to 12% by July 1, 2027.

Types of leave

Statutory leave

Salaried employees in Australia are entitled to four weeks of paid annual leave each year. Shift workers receive an additional week of paid leave, for a total of five weeks per year.

Parental and maternity leave

Employees in Australia are entitled to maternity leave, but maternity leave pay (from the Australian government) and maternity leave from work (in which the employee’s job remains theirs) are two different things.

Employees in Australia may take up to two years of unpaid parental leave, broken into two 12-month periods. The employee must request the second period in advance if desired. This leave may be used by either parent. Employee parents also have a legislated right to return to their old job.

To be eligible for any parental leave in Australia, the employee must have worked for the company for at least 12 months. However, employees who have taken parental leave don't have to register another 12 months of work before they can access parental leave for another child with that same employer.

Paid parental and maternity leave

Paid maternity or parental leave (known as PLP) in Australia is managed by the government. Employees who are the primary carer of a newborn or adopted child are eligible for up to 18 weeks PLP paid at the national minimum wage over a set and a flexible period.

The set period of 12 weeks has to be used continuously one year of the birth or adoption. The second 30 days can be taken as flexible periods negotiated with the employer. This leave must be taken within 24 months of the birth or adoption of a child.

Australian employees can continue to access this parental leave pay from the government even if the employer offers a separate private paid parental leave program.

Partner/paternity leave

In Australia, partners of employees who give birth are eligible for two weeks of paid leave, paid at the national minimum wage by the Australian government.

Parental leave

Either parent may use the two years of unpaid parental leave in Australia.

Other leave

  • Jury duty leave: Both full-time and part-time employees are entitled to 'make-up pay' for the first 10 days of jury duty. Make-up pay is the difference between the jury duty payment the employee receives (excluding expenses) from the state government and the employee's base pay rate for the ordinary hours they would have worked.
  • Personal leave: Employees in Australia receive 10 days of personal leave per year, which also covers sick leave. Employees may also take unpaid leave in two-day increments in cases of family emergencies.
  • Compassionate leave: All employees have access to two days of bereavement leave (fully paid for full-time and part-time workers) if an immediate family or household member dies or suffers a life threatening illness or injury.
  • Long service leave: Australian employees are entitled to long service leave after a significant period working for the same employer. Long service leave laws are determined by each state or territory. These laws outline how long an employee has to be working with the same employer to trigger long service leave and how much leave is acquired.
  • Family & domestic violence leave: All employees (including part-time and casual employees) are entitled to 5 days unpaid family leave each year in the event of abuse inflicted by an employee’s close relative.

Employment termination

Termination process

An employer in Australia usually cannot terminate an employee without providing written notice. The employer may choose to let the employee work through the notice period or provide payment in lieu of notice. Notice periods and severance pay amounts may be negotiated in employment agreements.

Termination notice requirements in Australia vary depending on the number of employees the company has, the classification of the employee, and the length of time the employee has worked for the company.

Notice period

The notice period for terminating an employee in Australia depends on the tenure of the employee at the company.

  • Employees with < 1 year of service are entitled to one week of notice.
  • Employees with 1-3 years of service are entitled to two weeks’ notice.
  • Employees with 3-5 years of service are entitled to three weeks’ notice.
  • Employees with five or more years of service are entitled to four weeks’ notice.

Employees over the age of 45 who have been employed for at least two years are entitled to an additional week’s notice.

Severance pay

Severance pay in Australia depends on the number of years the employee has worked for the company. Employees who have worked for an employer for less than one year are not entitled to severance pay.

  • Employees with 1-2 years at the company receive at least four weeks’ severance pay.
  • Employees with 2-3 years at the company receive at least six weeks’ severance pay.
  • Employees with 3-4 years at the company receive at least seven weeks’ severance pay.
  • Employees with 4-5 years at the company receive at least eight weeks’ severance pay.
  • Employees with 5-6 years at the company receive at least 10 weeks’ severance pay.
  • Employees with 6-7 years at the company receive at least 11 weeks’ severance pay.
  • Employees with 7-8 years at the company receive at least 13 weeks’ severance pay.
  • Employees with 8-9 years at the company receive at least 14 weeks’ severance pay.
  • Employees with 9-10 years at the company receive at least 16 weeks’ severance pay.

Severance pay is reduced to 12 weeks for any employees with at least 10 years of continuous service due to a 2004 Redundancy Case decision made by the national Australian Industrial Relations Commission.

Probation periods

The employer decides on the length of the probation period. It can range from a few weeks to a few months at the start of employment. Australian employee probationary periods typically last between three and six months.

The Australian Fair Work Act refers to a Minimum Employment Period before an employee has access to an unfair dismissal claim if you terminate their employment. This minimum period is six months for companies with more than 15 employees, and 12 months for small businesses with less than 15 employees.

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