In Australia, employers are bound by a set of obligations designed to protect the rights and well-being of their employees. Understanding these obligations is crucial for fostering a fair and productive work environment. Let’s explore some of the key responsibilities’ employers must adhere to in Australia.

  1. Single Touch Payroll
  • Report payroll information through STP enabled software each time you pay your employees.
  • Accurate reporting is important. We use this information in prefill and other government agencies use it when interacting with you or your employees.
  • Make an end of year finalisation declaration by 14 July through STP. This helps your employees complete their tax return.
  • If you need to update data you’ve already finalised, remember to make the finalisation declaration again.

Get your STP records right

Ensure your payroll governance is the right fit and size for your business by setting up a formal payroll framework with clear documentation. It is important that you put systems and controls in place for accurate reporting of your obligations and ensuring that your key staff have payroll skills and knowledge to perform their role. You must have appropriate processes and procedures to ensure you have checks and balances to pay the right amount, to the right account and by the right date.

  1. PAYG withholding

Check out the ATO tax tables as workers may have different PAYG withholding rates.

Note: When you pay your employees, withhold a portion of their pay for tax. Report this through STP and your business activity statements, ensuring you use the same ABN and branch number for both.

Did you hire an employee or contractor?

You need to determine what type of worker you hired because:

  • it affects your tax, super and other obligations (such as workers compensation insurance) and the records you are required to keep
  • penalties and charges may apply if you get it wrong.

Some workers are always employees, including apprentices, trainees, labourers and trades assistants. Work out if you must pay super for certain contractors at

  1. Super guarantee (SG)

The SG rate you pay your employees increased on 1 July 2023 from 10.5% to 11%.  This increases progressively by 0.5% each year until it reaches 12% by 1 July 2025.  If you have a new employee and they don’t choose a fund, you can request their stapled super fund details from the ATO.

Mark your calendar

  • If you use a clearing house to make super payments, allow extra time to ensure payments are received in your employee’s fund on or before quarterly due dates.
  • Quarterly due dates are 28 October, 28 January, 28 April and 28 July.


You need to lodge an SG charge (SGC) statement and pay the SGC to the ATO if you miss the payment date even by a day. If you don’t lodge the SGC statement with the ATO within one calendar month after the SG due date, you may face penalties up to 200% of the SGC. In some cases additional penalties may also apply.

  1. Fringe Benefits Tax

There are 4 steps to getting FBT right:

Identify the types of fringe benefits providedIf you provide non-cash benefits to your employees, consider whether FBT applies.

Determine the taxable value – Ensure you use approved valuation methods when determining the taxable value of fringe benefits provided.

Lodge an FBT returnYou need to lodge your FBT return and pay any FBT you owe by 21 May 2024, unless your tax agent lodges electronically for you.

  • If the total value of reportable fringe benefits provided to an employee during the FBT year exceeds $2,000, you must include the grossed-up value through STP or on the employee’s payment summary.
  • Contributions your employees have made towards the cost of a fringe benefit are assessable income. Be sure to include them in your income tax return.
    • Keep records to demonstrate your calculationsEnsure you keep relevant records for the required timeframe to support your FBT position.
  1. Work Health and Safety (WHS)
  • Employers have a duty of care to provide a safe working environment for their employees. This includes identifying and addressing workplace hazards, providing adequate training and supervision, and implementing safety protocols to prevent accidents and injuries.
  1. Anti-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity
  • Employers must ensure that their recruitment, promotion, and termination processes are free from discrimination and bias. It is illegal to discriminate against employees based on factors such as race, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation.
  1. Fair Dismissal and Unlawful Termination
  • Employers must follow fair and lawful procedures when terminating an employee’s employment. This includes providing valid reasons for dismissal, giving employees an opportunity to respond to allegations, and adhering to notice periods as outlined in employment contracts or legislation.

Failure to meet these obligations can result in serious consequences for employers, including fines, legal proceedings, and damage to their reputation. Therefore, it is essential for employers to stay informed about their legal responsibilities and seek professional advice when necessary to ensure compliance with Australian employment laws.

In conclusion, employers in Australia have a range of obligations aimed at protecting the rights and well-being of their employees. By understanding and fulfilling these obligations, employers can create a positive work environment that fosters productivity, fairness, and mutual respect.

How can we help? if you have any questions or would like further information, please feel free to give our office on 08 9221 5522 or via email –  or arrange a time for a meeting so we can discuss your requirements in more detail.


General Advice Warning

The material on this page and on this website has been prepared for general information purposes only and not as specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained on this page and on this website is General Advice and does not take into account any person’s particular investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs.

Before making an investment decision based on this advice you should consider, with or without the assistance of a securities adviser, whether it is appropriate to your particular investment needs, objectives and financial circumstances. In addition, the examples provided on this page and on this website are for illustrative purposes only.

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