Australia PEO & Employer of Record

Expand your business into Australia and hire employees - in as little as 48 hours

Expand your business into Australia - without an entity

New Horizons provides global employment solutions for businesses wanting to hire employees and distribute payroll in Australia. Through our Australia PEO and Employer of Record, we manage your company’s payroll, benefits, and expenses in Australia. Additionally, we oversee HR duties, as well as employment and tax compliance.

New Horizons will act as your employees’ Australia Employer of Record, which means you can begin doing business in Australia without a local entity. This not only allows your business to go to market faster, but also has the potential to save your business thousands in expansion costs.  

As the only Australia PEO with an in-house recruitment team, New Horizons will source, hire, and onboard your Australian workforce. We hire employees in accordance with Australian labor regulations and coordinate all expense claims and benefits payments. Although we act as your employees’ Australia Employer of Record, you still maintain full autonomy and control over all employees. 

Our Australia PEO simplifies your expansion

New Horizons enables your business to expand its operations into Australia – without setting up a legal subsidiary.

Fast market entry

New Horizons will enable you to hire and onboard professionals across Australia in as little as 48 hours

Cost savings

Without needing to establish a legal entity, partnering with our Australia PEO solution can help you benefit from cost savings of up to 85%.

Payroll Outsourcing

Accurate, on-time salary and payroll processing, individual income tax declaration, expense management, statutory benefits administration, and social benefits contribution.

Employee onboarding

Utilize the relevant provision for all types of Australian labor contracts, whether a fixed-term or open-ended contract.

Onsite Legal & HR Team

In-country legal guidance through employee acquisition, contract renewals and termination, benefits distribution, and HR compliance; as well as local tax, law, and financial expertise.

Stay compliant

We ensure that employment contracts are compliant and meet Australian labor laws and best practices.

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Employment & Labor Laws in Australia

Employment contracts in Australia

Australia’s National Employment Standards provide multiple options for covering local employees under an employment contract. These options include an official contract, agreement, or an award. Awards include the minimum standards of employment and outline the rules and conditions for all employees within a certain industry. These cover the basic rate of pay, type of employment, rates for overtime work, annual salary, allowances, redundancy, and stipulations surrounding leave, resignation, and termination. 

Local enterprise agreements state the working conditions for a group of employees within a single organization. Written contracts are traditionally used for employees who do not qualify for an enterprise agreement or award. Contracts should include the employee’s job responsibilities, their pay rate, expected weekly hours, and entitlements for taking leave.

By partnering with our Australia PEO, New Horizons’ team of local experts can provide assistance for drafting strong employment contracts that are compliant with local regulations.

Working hours in Australia

In Australia, the National Employment Standards stipulate a 38-hour work week. However, additional hours can be undertaken if necessary.

Holidays in Australia

Date
Description
1 Jan
New Year’s Day
26 Jan
Australia Day
9 mar
Adelaide Cup, Canberra Day, Labour Day
10 Apr
Good Friday
11 Apr
Holy Saturday
12 Apr
Easter Sunday
13 Apr
Easter Monday
14 Apr
Easter Tuesday
25 Apr
Anzac Day
27 Apr
Anzac Day (in lieu)
4 May
Labour Day
10 May
Mother’s Day
1 Jun
Reconciliation Day, Western Australia Day
8 Jun
Queen’s Birthday
3 Aug
Picnic Day, Bank Holiday
14 Aug
Ekka People’s Day
6 Sep
Father’s Day
28 Sep
Queen’s Birthday
5 Oct
Labour Day, Queen’s Birthday
23 Oct
Thank You Day
3 Nov
Melbourne Cup Day
24 Dec
Christmas Eve
25 Dec
Christmas Day
26 Dec
Boxing Day
28 Dec
Boxing Day Holiday, Proclamation Day
31 Dec
New Year’s Eve

Australia payroll taxes

Australia’s Pay-as-You-Go tax system requires employers to withhold employee taxes and remit them to the government. Payroll taxes may be imposed on wages, superannuation, and other employment benefits. These taxes are levied by individual states and are not considered a federal tax. As such, the tax rate varies by region.

Employers must contribute an amount equal to 9.5% of their employee’s gross salary each quarter into a superannuation (retirement) fund for all employees who earn more than AUD $450 per month. 

Additionally, employers in Australia who offer fringe benefits must pay a fringe benefit tax on the value of these benefits. Fringe benefits include a company vehicle, parking, free private health insurance, and other benefits. A laptop or cell phone for business use does not incur a fringe benefit tax.

Australia's healthcare system

Public insurance

In Australia, there is a universal public healthcare system. Permanent residents in Australia have access to Medicare, which is the state health care provider. Additionally, the government recommends that employees who earn over a particular monetary threshold take out private insurance policies on top of their state coverage. This provides residents with increased coverage while also relieving pressure on the public health system. 

Medicare provides basic healthcare coverage for hospital costs, a percentage of specialist costs, and pharmaceutical expenses. 

Private insurance

Higher earning employees in Australia are subject to pay higher taxes if they choose not to take out private insurance. There are three primary kinds of private insurance: ambulance insurance, hospital insurance, and “extras”. Ambulance insurance covers the costs for emergency service vehicles which are not covered by Medicare. Hospital insurance provides coverage for private hospitals and doctors’ offices, while “extras” cover additional healthcare needs like dental and optometry. 

Insurance for non-residents

Employees with a work-visa in Australia are not entitled to receive Medicare benefits and must take out their own private policy. It is important to make sure that all employees have the minimum required insurance in place. Failure to do so can result in potential hospitalization or medical emergency costs being levied onto the employer.

Annual leave

Full-time workers are entitled to at least 28 days of vacation time each year. However, some employers offer additional vacation time as an added benefit. If an employee does not take his or her annual leave, the amount of unpaid leave is paid to the employee at the time the employment relationship ceases. 

Personal leave

Australian full-time employees are allowed ten day’s paid personal leave each year. This can be used when an employee is sick or needs to care for a relative. If leave is not taken, it accumulates into the following year. However, unlike annual leave, employees are not paid for unused personal leave when the employment relationship ceases. 

Maternity and paternity leave

In Australia, female employees are entitled to 18 week’s paid maternity leave, which is provided by the federal government as part of Australia’s public health care system. 

To receive full maternity leave benefits, a woman must be the primary caregiver of a newborn child or a child they have recently adopted. Employees must have also been employed with the same company for at least 10 of the previous 13 months. Additionally, employees need to meet local residency requirements, earn less than $150,000 in the preceding fiscal year, and not return to work during the period in which they are receiving maternity leave. 

Spouses or partners of the female employee on maternity leave are entitled to two week’s paid leave. This is paid for by the government, so long as the employee is not already receiving paid leave from their employer. 

Termination and severance

Employers are required to provide staff members with notice if they plan to sever the employment relationship. This must include the minimum statutory notice, which depends on the employee’s length of service. 

  • If the employee is over 45 and has worked for the employer for at least two years, an extra week is added to the notice period
  • Employers can opt to pay in-lieu of the notice period
  • Employment contracts may require a longer notice period. In some cases, this notice period is as long as a year

Employees are eligible to file an unfair dismissal application if they are covered by the national workplace relations system and have been employed for the minimum employment period. If the employer is a small business with less than 15 employees, the minimum employment period is one year. Otherwise, the minimum employment period is six months. Employees must be covered under an enterprise agreement or award. Additionally, the employee’s annual income must be beneath the income threshold. 

If the application is successful, the employee may be reinstated. If reinstatement is not appropriate, compensation of up to six month’s pay may be ordered.

Severance payments may occur if an employer experiences redundancy. If an employer has decided that it no longer wants an employee to perform a particular job and terminates employment, the job becomes redundant. When redundancy occurs, severance payments may be required.  Redundancy occurs when:

  • New technology replaces the need for someone to manually perform a job
  • A merger or takeover means the job is no longer necessary
  • The business reorganizes and the job is no longer necessary
  • The employer becomes bankrupt or insolvent
  • A downturn in business results in staff reduction

The amount of severance depends on how long the employee has worked continuously for the employer.

Severance pay is not mandatory if:

  • The employer has less than 15 employees
  • The employee has worked for less than one year continuously
  • The employee was an apprentice or casual employee
  • The employee is terminated due to serious misconduct
  • If the employee is employed for a specified period of time and termination ends at this time
  • If the employee works under an enterprise agreement or industry-specific redundancy scheme, which is detailed or incorporated in the award
Navigating employee terminations and handling severance packages can be complicated for companies expanding overseas for the first time. New Horizons’ Australia PEO can mitigate risk for foreign companies and provide guidance through this process. 

Australia compensation and benefits

Australia compensation laws

The minimum wage in Australia is AU $13.74 per hour. This applies to all employees over 21 years old. Australia’s Pay and Classification Scale has an overview of the different pay rates across various states. If a certain position is not featured on the scale, an employee must receive the national minimum wage.

Compensation laws in Australia also stipulate a maximum work week of 38 hours. However, some positions will have greater flexibility to work extended hours. 

Employees must receive a payslip within one working day of being paid. In most cases, pay is deposited into an employee’s bank account. 

Minimum Wage Country Comparison Chart
(Per month in USD)
Switzerland (Geneva)
$4,000
Italy
$2,255
Australia
$1996
Algeria
$156
Uzbekistan
$22

Guaranteed benefits in Australia

Employees in Australia have the right to certain benefits, which may or may not include healthcare. Whilst it is not compulsory, many employer’s will provide their employees with an allowance, rather than purchasing a private health insurance plan on their employees’ behalf. All employees with a taxable income over a specified threshold pay 2% of their income to Medicare, the nation’s primary healthcare system.  

Employees are eligible for a set number of days off – for vacation, personal leave, and maternity and paternity leave. All full-time employees must receive a minimum of four’s weeks annual leave per year. 

Full-time employees are eligible for 10 day’s personal leave per year. There are also protections in place for parental leave, so long as an employee meets certain eligibility requirements. 

Australia benefit management

For employers that elect to manage benefits payments themselves, this can be both costly and time-consuming. It’s also imperative for employers to be mindful of Australia’s compensation laws. Otherwise, they may find themselves being penalized with significant fines.

Rather than struggling to manage benefits payments yourself, you can partner with New Horizons’ Australia PEO. We source, hire, and onboard your employees; and our global payroll division ensures that your employees receive the most competitive statutory and supplementary benefits.  

Benefits and compensation restrictions

Two of the major restrictions that employers need to consider are Australia’s minimum wage and maximum work hours regulations. It is essential that employers stay abreast of these restrictions when hiring staff members. 

New Horizons will assist your company to distribute benefits and compensation accurately and on-time. Our in-house recruitment experts will hire your employees; whilst our payroll division will distribute benefits and compensation, in compliance with Australia’s workplace regulations.  

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