Running a business with employees in Australia is unique from running a business in other countries. Australia has National Employee Standards, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Fair Work Commission, and specific laws regarding taxation and compliance requirements. If you currently operate a business in Australia or are thinking about expanding to include the Australian market, HR software that’s designed for Australia may be helpful.
Selecting a Business Structure
There are four main business structures in Australia: sole trader, partnership, company, and trust. Laws regarding taxation and legal requirements differ according to business structure, so it’s important to ensure that you select the correct structure that best describes your workplace and set up your HR systems accordingly. If your business structure changes, it’s possible to make legal changes and restructure your systems.
HR software that is designed for Australian companies will make it easier to set up rules to ensure compliance with laws based on your business structure. This could save valuable time and prevent penalties.
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Employment contracts are important agreements between employers and employees. HR software that is set up for Australian companies will walk you through setting up employee contracts that fit your company needs and match with societal expectations. Depending on the nature of the contract and the position, employee contracts may need to be approved by the Fair Work Commission.
There are ten minimum employee entitlements set forth in the National Employment Standards (NES). Every employer must meet these entitlements in order to legally employ workers. Entitlements must be outlined in employment contracts.
Every employee in the national workplace relations system is entitled to:
- Maximum weekly hours – usually 38 hours
- Parental leave
- Annual leave
- Requests for flexible working arrangements
- Personal careers leave and compassionate leave
- Community service leave
- Long service leave
- Public holidays
- Notice of termination and redundancy pay
- Fair Work Information Statement
Australian Income Tax
Australian personal income tax is generally withheld from wages and salaries each pay period, and then filed once per year, at which time refunds or payments are made. The Australian tax year runs from 1 July to 30 June. The tax is progressive, with those earning more being required to pay at a higher rate. Workers earning less than $18,200 fall into the tax free threshold.
Companies earning over $10 million are taxed at a flat rate of 30 percent. Companies earning less than $10 million have paid a reduced rate of 27.5 percent since 1 July 2016.
Payroll software or comprehensive HR software solutions can make it easy to withhold and file income taxes for employees and for the business. The software can be set up to automatically deduct the correct amount each pay period, generate reports, and send alerts when taxes are due. This can help to ensure compliance while also saving HR professionals time.
Australian HR Software
There are many HR software vendors to select from when running a business in Australia. Some of the top options include:
- Aurion – Full featured HRIS platform specifically for Australian businesses
- PeopleSoft by Oracle – Operates around the globe and offers an integrated cloud platform
- Ascender Pay – A leading payroll provider in the Asia-Pacific region
- iChris by Frontier Software – An industry-leading provider of HR, payroll, and talent management software for Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and other regions
If you would like assistance selecting HR software for your Australian companies, we can help! Visit our price quotes and demos page to get started.