How to hire remote employees in

Australia

Australia’s a great place to hire remote talent, and at Panther, we should know: We’ve hired there before! So, if you’ve found someone you’d like to hire remotely in Australia, you’re in the right place. In the next few minutes, we’ll teach you how to hire in Australia (without getting yourself wrapped up in thousands of dollars of legal red tape).

Country snapshot

CURRENCY
Australian Dollar (AUD)
EMPLOYER TAXES
15.85%
PAYROLL FREQUENCY
Bi-Monthly/Monthly
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE
English

What to know before you hire in 

Australia

No matter where you’re based out of, we can tell you one thing: Australia has different labor laws than your home country (unless your home country is Australia, that is). If you don’t do things right, you’ll be putting your company at the risk of fines—and risk losing the talent you brought onboard. Fortunately, doing things right is pretty easy if you take the right route.

If you want to successfully hire in 

Australia

, you have two options:

Hire talent as contractors

Laws about hiring contractors are significantly more simple in 

Australia

. Onboarding talent takes days, not weeks or months. Both you, the company, and your talent have more flexibility. And in many cases, since you’re remote, the talent you’re hiring is better classified as a contractor, anyway. Of course, it’s not possible in every case, but it’s what we built Panther for.

Hire talent as employees

This is the long route. You can either establish a physical presence with an entity and register as an employer, or you can use an Employer-of-Record (EOR) solution. Odds are, you’ll find using an EOR to be the easier route. Still, using an EOR in 

Australia

 is expensive—it can often be $500 per month per employee—and sometimes prone to lengthy onboarding times.

Why hire independent contractors in 

Australia

Hiring contractors is normally the easier, faster, more flexible choice—but don’t just take it from us. Below are the specific benefits and drawbacks to hiring contractors in 

Australia

.

It’s the fastest way to hire globally

Hiring employees takes months, at the minimum. When you hire with Panther’s locally-generated contracts, it’s a matter of days or weeks. This means you can hire the best talent, fast, without losing them to a hellish procession of paperwork.

It’s a lot cheaper

It costs just $0 to sign up for Panther, then $49 per month to hire your contractors with Panther. If you hired employees manually (or did contracting on your own), you’d likely be on the hook for thousands of dollars each month. Setting up an entity alone can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

It’s more flexible for you & your team

Hiring contractors in 

Australia

 means you’re generally not on the hook for things like health insurance and paid time off. This makes hiring flexible for you, and it gives your talent more options.

It’s less risky than hiring employees

Hiring employees is a bigger commitment, and generally puts you at a bigger risk for legal fees. When you hire contractors overseas, your biggest risk is misclassification—but even then, misclassification penalties are often minimal and just require you to pay off any compensation that the person would have been owed as an employee.

Some people want to be employees

The contractor life isn’t for everyone—some people want the security that being an employee often appears to provide. Though it’s rare, this does happen, and it’s one disadvantage of manage an all-contractor team.

You might not have as much control over your talent

Most countries’ contractor-employer relationship laws stipulate that the employer can’t set fixed working hours, among other things. These laws give contractors more freedom over how and when they do their work than an employee would have. In reality, however, most contractors are willing & able to work on the company’s schedule—it’s a matter of setting expectations beforehand.

How can I pay people in 

Australia

?

If you’re hiring contractors in 

Australia

, you can pay them with Panther in a single click. You won’t need to worry about complicated wire transfers, fees, or currency conversions. We’ll take care of it all. Just make a click and your contractor will get paid in their currency of choice. This is a valuable bonus for talent in countries where the local currency is particularly weak—most people appreciate the ability to receive their payment in stronger currencies.

Hiring and paying your team in 

Australia

Hire and pay with Panther

Pay everyone with a single click
Get great currency conversion rates
Pay $0 in platform fees
Run payroll in seconds
Let Panther automatically create & store invoices
Let Panther automatically write locally-compliant contracts
Let Panther automatically file local tax documents

Hire and pay without Panther

Pay all your contractors individually
Do all currency conversions yourself
Shoulder the burden of platform fees
Spend hours each month making payments
Manually track & store invoices
Manually write & sign contracts
Manually file relevant tax documents

Let Panther save you from hiring headaches.

Sign up today for $0

If you want to hire employees in 

Australia

If you’ve read up until this point, you’ll know that it’s easier, cheaper, and more flexible to hire contractors in Australia than employees. Still, there are valid reasons why you might want to hire employees instead. The content below is for you—we’ll cover employer taxes and obligations in Australia

Taxes in 

Australia

Employer tax

Payroll Tax

Medicare

Superannuation (capped at 21,002.06 AUD per year)

Individual tax

Leave

Paid Time Off (PTO)

Full-time employees are entitled to 4 weeks of paid leave per year, while employees who work in shifts receive 5 weeks.

Public Holidays

Public holidays vary by state.

Sick Days

Employees are entitled to 10 days paid leave per year which can be used if the employee is sick or if they need to care for a family member.

Maternity Leave

Pregnant employees receive 4 months of paid maternity leave; 1 month of prenatal leave and 3 months of postpartum leave. 50% of the payments are paid by the employer and the other 50% is paid by the CCSS (Costa Rican Social Security Fund).

Paternity Leave

Fathers are entitled to 5 days unpaid leave at the time of the birth or adoption of a child.

Parental Leave

Parental leave is an unpaid leave that lasts for 12 months, and it is possible to request an additional 12 months from the employer.

Other Leave

None.

Marriage Leave

None.

Bereavement Leave

In Australis, employees are entitled to have 2 days paid leave.

Termination

Termination Process

Reason for termination varies based on the number of employees an employee has and the length and type of service:

  • 15 employees
    Length of Employment: Up to 6 months
    Type of employees: Permanent
    Reasons for terminations: No specific reason is needed
  • Over 15 employees:
    Length of Employment: 6 months+
    Type of employees: Permanent
    Reasons for terminations: A valid reason is needed
  • 15 employees or less:
    Length of Employment: Up to 12 months
    Type of employees: Permanent
    Reasons for terminations: No specific reason is needed
  • 15 employees or less or less
    Length of Employment: 12 months +
    Type of employees: Permanent
    Reasons for terminations: A valid reason is needed
  • Casual employees:
    Length of Employment: N/A
    Type of employees: Casual
    Reasons for terminations: Once employed for 12+ months, there must be a valid reason

Employees dismissed in the first 6 months of employment (or 12 months of employment if employed by a small business) cannot make a claim of “unfair dismissal” to the Fair Work Commission. However, there are some exceptions to this known as General Protections matters where there is no minimum engagement period applying.

Unfair dismissal applications are heard in the Fair Work Commission – a specialist employment tribunal.

Notice Period

The notice period is determined by the amount of time the employee has been employed:

  • Less than 1 year of employment: 1 weeks’ notice
  • 1-3 years of employment: 2 weeks’ notice
  • 3-5 years of employment: 3 weeks’ notice
  • 5+ years of employment: 4 weeks’

If the employee is over the age of 45 and has been employed for at least 2 years, they are entitled to an additional week of notice.

Severance Pay

Severance pay is given based on a continuous period of service, and the pay rate is given for ordinary hours worked:

  • At least 1 year but less than 2 years: 4 weeks’ severance pay
  • At least 2 years but less than 3 years: 6 weeks’ severance pay
  • At least 3 years but less than 4 years: 7 weeks’ severance pay
  • At least 4 years but less than 5 years: 8 weeks’ severance pay
  • At least 5 years but less than 6 years: 10 weeks’ severance pay
  • At least 6 years but less than 7 years: 11 weeks’ severance pay
  • At least 7 years but less than 8 years: 13 weeks’ severance pay
  • At least 8 years but less than 9 years: 14 weeks’ severance pay
  • At least 9 years but less than 10 years: 16 weeks’ severance pay
  • At least 10 years: 12 weeks’ severance pay

Probation Period

The probation period is 6 months, however, if an employer has 15 employees, it is extended to 12 months. In addition, employers are able to shorten the minimum probation period. In doing so, however, the employer forgoes the benefits of a probation period.

Employee requirements in 

Australia

Working Hours

The standard workweek is 38 hours.

Overtime

Minimum employment conditions are outlined in the Fair Work Act, 2009 and Industrial Awards. Awards are either industry-based or occupation-based.

Employees covered by Awards are generally paid overtime. Most Awards provide for overtime to be paid for time worked in excess of 38 hours per week, or in excess of 10 hours per day. Overtime or a penalty is generally paid to Award based employees for work performed on a weekend or a public holiday.

If an employee is not an Award employee, they are considered to be “Award Free.” Award Free employees do not have a statutory right to be paid overtime.

However, such employees do have the right to work only 38 plus reasonable additional hours per week. There is no formal definition of what is “reasonable additional hours,” however, such employees are generally expected to work overtime hours that are necessary to complete the job they are employed to do. 

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