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With ever-changing laws and regulations, it’s crucial to have a solid understanding of your workforce compliance to ensure your business runs smoothly.

Employee onboarding is critical for any business, regardless of size or industry. It integrates new employees into the workplace, provides them with the necessary information and resources to perform their job effectively, and ensures they understand the company’s culture, values, and expectations. Onboarding is not just a one-time event but a continuous process that lasts several months and is essential for the success of new employees.¬†

Employee onboarding also involves compliance with various federal and state laws, regulations, and industry standards. As an employer, knowing the legal requirements and ensuring that your onboarding process covers all necessary compliance aspects is essential.

The standard compliance checks involved in employee onboarding may vary depending on the company, industry, and jurisdiction, but the common ones include the following:

  • Pre-employment checks, including identification verification, background check, rights to work, drug testing¬†
  • Providing employment agreements and onboarding handbooks
  • Collecting and verifying tax file numbers, banking details, superannuation, and other payroll documentation ensure the information is accurate and complete.
  • Workplace policies and procedures encompassing data protection and privacy, anti-harassment, anti-discrimination, health and safety training, and performance management.

Let’s discuss this in detail.

Pre-employment checks

Before an employee can commence work, it is essential to conduct pre-employment checks to ensure that they are legally permitted to work in Australia. These checks may include the following:

  1. Identification verification – to confirm the employee’s identity and eligibility to work in the country.
  2. Background check – to verify the employee’s criminal history, previous employment, and educational qualifications.
  3. Immigration and visa verification – to ensure the employee has the necessary documentation and authorisation to work in the country.
  4. Drug testing – to determine if the employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  5. Verification of qualifications and credentials, if required for the role.
  6. COVID-19 Declaration 

Offer letter, employment contract and policies

Employment contract

The first step in the onboarding process is to issue the offer letter. It outlines the employment terms and conditions, including the position, salary, benefits, and start date.

Once the offer is accepted, provide the new hire with a written employment contract that includes the same information and relevant policies and procedures as required by law.

Ensuring the contract complies with the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), and other applicable legislation is essential. The FWIS outlines the National Employment Standards (NES), Modern Awards, and other relevant information about workplace rights, leave entitlements, payments, working hours and other obligations.

Company Policies and Procedures

Provide the new hire with a copy of the company’s policies and procedures, including the Code of Conduct, Leave Policy and Performance Management Policy.

Employee Handbooks

Provide the new hire with an employee handbook that outlines the company’s culture, values, and expectations and provides information on company procedures and policies. The onboarding team should also provide information on how support and resources are available to employees facing personal or work-related problems.

Employee benefits

Employee benefits can significantly attract and retain top talent. New employees should be provided with information on the company’s employee benefits program, including health and wellbeing initiatives, training and development opportunities, and flexible working arrangements.

Collecting and verifying payroll data

Employers must comply with Australian tax and superannuation laws, which require them to pay employees their wages on time, withhold the correct amount of tax, and contribute to their superannuation fund. New employees should be given information on the company’s payroll and superannuation procedures, including entitlements, deductions, and contribution rates.

Also, employers must obtain a Tax File Number (TFN) declaration from their employees to ensure they are registered with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). This form should be completed by the employee and submitted to the ATO within 14 days of the employee starting work.

Employers are required to make superannuation contributions on behalf of their employees. As part of the onboarding process, employers must provide employees with a choice of the superannuation fund and complete the necessary paperwork to set up the employee’s superannuation account.

Workplace policies and procedures

Health and Safety

Employers must legally ensure their workplace is safe for employees, visitors, and contractors. They should also provide information on workplace health and safety policies and procedures, including emergency procedures, first aid facilities, and hazard identification and reporting.

As part of the onboarding process, employees should receive training on OHS policies and procedures. This includes providing appropriate training, equipment, and procedures to ensure employees can work safely.

Conduct a risk assessment to identify any potential health and safety hazards in the workplace. Develop and implement a comprehensive health and safety program that complies with the relevant state and federal health and safety laws and regulations. Provide all employees with the necessary information and training to help them work safely.

Anti-discrimination and harassment

Employers are legally responsible for providing a workplace free from discrimination and harassment by sharing information on the company’s anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and procedures and training on appropriate workplace behaviour.

Data security

In today’s digital age, it is essential to have robust IT and security policies in place to protect confidential information and prevent cyber threats. This includes training new employees to access and use company systems and software, handle confidential information, and report security incidents.

Also, employers must comply with the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) when handling employees’ personal information. They must also ensure the employees’ personal information is collected, used, and disclosed lawfully and transparently. Employees should know the employer’s privacy policy and procedures as part of the onboarding process.

Training and development

Training and development is an essential component of employee onboarding, as it helps new employees develop the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in their roles. New employees should be informed about the company’s training and development program.

Performance management

Performance management is an ongoing process that helps employees achieve their goals and contribute to the company’s success. New employees should be provided with information on the company’s performance management process, including how their performance will be assessed, the goals and objectives they are expected to achieve, and the support and feedback they will receive from their manager.

Probation and Termination

Informing new employees regarding the probationary period and the terms and conditions is essential. Also, develop and implement a clear and comprehensive process for terminating employees. Ensure that termination is conducted fairly, transparently, and consistently with the Fair Work Act and the National Employment Standards.

How Wrkr Ready can help you in meeting your compliance obligations

Wrkr Ready is built to minimise organisational risk and chances of negative publicity by ensuring employees adhere to business policies. With Wrkr Ready, you can:

  • Conduct real-time verification of IDs, identity, work authorisation, visas, industry-specific credentials & certification checks instantly.
  • Manage, track, and administer internal compliance audits across all systems to ensure the policies comply with regulatory laws.
  • Verify a contractor’s credibility instantly and mitigate the potential risks before entering a business relationship.
  • Send automated reminders to employees to renew their credentials and meet compliance standards.
  • Onboard new employees quickly with customised workflows, automated data collection, and pay them on time.

If you are interested in getting a demo, book a session here.