Australia has a GDP of 1.33 trillion US dollars (expected to increase by 1.55 trillion USD by 2023), making it the 13th largest economy in the world and an attractive place to set up a business or branch. The country has a population of 25.92 million people and a highly educated and diverse workforce.
If you want to target the Australian market and enter into its growing industries such as financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, construction, tourism, agriculture, mining, etc., you must hire Australian employees to grow your business.
High living costs and an average salary of 90,800 AUD per year make Australia’s employment market very competitive. The other arduous thing that you need to deal with to hire Australian employees is the country's employment laws and regulations.
A global employment solution like Multiplier can help you hire the employees compliantly with the onboarding experts at your side and make this process easy and smooth.
In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about employing talent from Australia, including the hiring process in Australia, local labor hires licensing requirements, and more. Check out the FAQs below:
Australia has one of the world’s largest mixed-market economies with strong links to both Southeast Asia and the West, making it a gem for employers looking for connections in both markets.
Another reason employers look for talent in Australia is their English proficiency. Being a native English-speaking country, this puts Australian employees at an advantage compared to other non-native English-speaking countries.
As per 2016 census, 21% of Australians speak a language such as Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Arabic, etc., other than English.
The high quality of life, well-educated workforce, and welcome approach to incoming businesses are all advantages of hiring in Australia.
As per the latest data available, 12% of the population, i.e., 3.2 million people in Australia aged between 15 to 24. Out of this, 1.5 million people are aged between 15 to19 and 1.7 million are between the ages of 20 to 24.
Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney have top universities in Australia where companies can find young and the best talents for them. Some of the best universities for campus hiring in Australia are:
Another way to hire talent is to post listings on popular job sites and portals or hire through a trusted recruitment agency. For hiring in Australia, the most popular job portals and recruitment agencies are:
Before you start with the hiring process in Australia, you must have an idea about minimum wages and salary range of Australian professionals. It helps you plan better. The minimum wage in Australia has lifted from $20.33 to $21.38 from July 1, 2022 onwards.
Here’s an approximation of the average annual salary (as of 2022) for seven different positions (full-time):
Personal Income tax applicable to all resident and non-resident individuals is as follow:
For more information about income tax, you can visit this website here.
With the rise in talent crunch and global hiring, remote jobs and freelancing has quickly become a growing career trend in Australia, one risk of hiring freelancers /independent contractors or international talent is their compliance with local tax laws. Without a local registered company withholding income tax for them, they may fail or forget to pay their income tax.
When you are hiring in Australia, you must be aware of working hours allowed in the country. The statutory number of working hours per week in Australia is 38 hours.
However, an employer can make requests to employees to work hours in excess of this, or to allow the 38-hour weekly limit to be applied as a rolling average across a longer period, so long as their requests are deemed reasonable.
Take note that there is no formal definition of what is deemed ‘reasonable’, and that employees generally work overtime hours to complete a certain task or project related to their job as stated in their employment contract.
Employment hours and conditions are outlined in the 2009 Fair Work Act as well as the Industrial Awards. Awards are either industry-based or occupation-based. If employees are covered by the Industrial Awards, they have a right to overtime pay. As a general rule of thumb, overtime is paid to those who work more than 38 hours a week, more than 10 hours per day, and those who work on a weekend or public holiday.
There is no set rule for the calculation of overtime pay in Australia. This is usually created with reference to the Industry Awards, and agreed upon in an employment contract. Another standard for the calculation for overtime pay is as follows:
Industry Awards also indicate the maximum period of time employees can work without a break and the minimum break to occur between periods of duty or shifts.
13th month pay: 13th month pay cycle is not mandatory in Australia.
Annual Leaves: According to the National Employment Standards (NES) every Australian full-time employee is entitled to 4 weeks of paid leave per year, while employees who work in shifts should receive 5 weeks of paid leave per year. Annual leave accrues over a year according to the employee’s ordinary hours of work.
Sick Leaves: All full-time Australian employees (not including casual employees) are entitled to a minimum of 10 days paid personal leave each year. These days can be used for time off for sickness or can be taken as a personal leave should they need to care for an immediate family member who is sick, injured, or has had an unexpected emergency.
Maternity Leave: When hiring in Australia, you must be aware of maternity leaves female employees are entitled to. Female employees are granted 12 months of unpaid maternity leave after working for 1 year with their employer. However, there are also companies that provide paid maternity leave upon their own discretion. Female employees can start their maternity leave up to six weeks before the expected date of birth. If the employee is not giving birth to the child, leave starts on the date of birth or placement of the child. Employees may also apply to the Federal Government Scheme which provides 18 weeks of paid maternity leave.
Paternity Leave: Male employees are granted 5 days of unpaid paternity leave at the time of birth or adoption of the child. Fathers may also apply to the Federal Government for additional paid leaves.
Parental Leave: Includes maternity and paternity leave, as well as leave for when a child is adopted. To be eligible, an employee must have completed at least 12 months of employment. Parental leave is an unpaid leave that lasts for 12 months, and it is possible to request an additional 12 months from the employer.
Bereavement Leave: Australian employees may take up to 2 days of unpaid leave under ‘compassionate’ grounds due to the death of a family member.
Family and Domestic Violence Leave: When you are hiring in Australia, you must be aware of family and domestic violence leave. All employees (including part-time and casual employees) are entitled to 5 days unpaid family and domestic violence leave each year.
Other Leaves: Australian employees are also entitled to other leaves at the discretion of the employee and employer, which include the following:
Long Service Leave: An Australian employee is entitled to a long service leave after a long period of working for the same employer. If the employee has been working for the same employer for 10 years, they are entitled to 2 months paid leave, for 5 years long service and 1 month of paid leave, to be paid at your ordinary gross weekly wage under the NSW Long Service Leave Act 1955 (the Act).
Community Service Leave: Employees (including casual employees) can take community service leave for jury duty (including attendance for jury selection) and voluntary emergency management activities. Apart from jury duty, community service leave is unpaid.
An employee is entitled to take community service leave while they are engaged in the activity and for reasonable travel and rest time. There is no limit on the amount of community service leave an employee can take.
An employee who takes community service leave must give their employer notice of the absence as soon as possible (this may be after the leave starts), the period or expected period of absence. An employer may request an employee who has given notice, to provide evidence that they’re entitled to community service leave.
Insurance and social security: There is no social security in Australia. However, employers are required to contribute 10 % of an employee’s base earnings to a registered superannuation fund or retirement savings account on the employee’s behalf. The minimum rate will increase to 10.5% from July 2022, and possibly up to 12% by 2025.
Employer Payroll Tax:
Employee Payroll Tax:
Australian professionals are required to pay a 2% Medicare levy on their taxable income to help provide Australian residents access to public health care.
While not mandated by law, it is quite common to provide non-taxable allowances for your remote employees, and it's expected by the employees. These can include stipends for business and equipment expenses, internet and telecom allowances, and even transportation allowance – if your remote employee works from a co-working space. If you work with a PEO platform like Multiplier, they can arrange for other benefits and allowances for your Australian professionals for you.
Australia has a total of 6 public national paid holidays for 2022. However, there are additional holidays depending on the region from where the employee works or is based in. If you require your Australian employee to work on a weekend, rest day, or holiday, refer to the table under FAQ #5 to calculate overtime payment. For an updated list of Australian holidays, click here.
If your business is registered in another country, the easiest way to hire an Australian remote talent would be through a Professional Employer Organization. PEO platforms like Multiplier make it easy for you to hire remote talent, comply with local labor laws, and pay your Australian employees in time. Instead of having to jump through the legal and financial hoops of setting up a business entity in another country, Multiplier will act as your representative and abide by all the necessary laws for you.
If you want more details on how to hire a remote team legally, you can check out our article here.
The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) does not explicitly refer to probation periods. This means that probation periods are not mandatory in Australia. However, an employee must have worked for their employer for at least 6 months before he or she is entitled to make a claim for unfair dismissal, and 12 months if the employer is a small business.
Australia does not follow a strict payment cycle as employees can get paid bi-weekly (every second week), bi-monthly (15th and 30th), or monthly (28th to 30th). The easiest way to pay your Australian remote talent would be through PEO platforms like Multiplier. With a PEO platform, you won’t have to worry about payroll or compliance with local taxes and labor laws as they will be taking care of everything for you. Take note that the payment cycle should be agreed upon by both the employer and the employee beforehand.
Generally speaking it is preferred to pay your Australian remote employees in their local currency. This helps make tax calculations and contributions to benefits such as healthcare, pension, and more easier.
Agreeing on a flat rate in Australian dollars is also beneficial in that it helps to avoid fluctuations in conversion rates. If you use a PEO platform like Multiplier, they will provide your Australian employee with a fixed rate, make sure your employee is paid in their local currency, and take care of the employee’s taxes as well.
Same like the hiring process in Australia, for dismissing any employee, employers need to follow rules as per Fair Work Act. The reason for termination in Australia depends on the years of employment, company size, and type of employment.
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.
Notice periods are also determined by the duration the employee has been employed:
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 is given based on a continuous period of service, and the pay rate is given for ordinary hours worked:
The Fair Work Act 2009 provides that the grounds for dismissal can include capacity, performance, misconduct (including serious misconduct) and redundancy. In addition to a valid reason for dismissal, the dismissal must be fair, in that it is not “harsh, unjust or unreasonable”. The Fair Work Act also states that employees must not be dismissed on the basis of a protected attribute or as retaliation for exercising a workplace right. Employer obligations in relation to termination of employment may also be contained in awards, enterprise agreements and contracts of employment.
Hiring process in Australia is the same for natives and expats, but when you are hiring expats in Australia, the first thing your employee would need to work with you is a work permit.