What is Australian new hire paperwork?
New hire paperwork are the forms that employers must complete when hiring a new employee. In Australia, these forms include the tax file number (TFN) declaration and the Standard Choice Form. Completing and submitting these forms will inform the appropriate government agencies of key information, such as the new employee’s new place of work and how much taxes the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) must collect.
Properly onboarding a new employee is critical in the employee’s journey with your company. The onboarding process is where the company makes their first impression. It is also a key tool in helping set the expectations of the employee’s experience with the company. Hiring managers and leaders should ensure that their company’s onboarding process is smooth and sets the employee up for success.
When does new hire paperwork need to be completed?
Depending on how employees submit the new hire paperwork, the latest dates to complete each form can differ. If the employee is submitting the TFN by paper, then it must be submitted no later than 14 days of the signature date on the declaration. For the Standard Choice Form, this must be submitted within 28 days of the employees first employment date. Despite the timing, employers are recommended to have employees complete their forms on their first day of work.
Getting set up – before hiring your first employee
For employers, there are a few steps that you will need to take prior to hiring your first employee. First, you must register with the ATO for Pay As You Go (PAYG) withholding. This will allow you to remit all withheld employee taxes. Depending on the situation, you may need to withhold and remit taxes for contractors and businesses that do not provide their Australian Business Number (ABN) to you.
Next, every business will need to register for an Australian Business Number. This will be used on the Tax file number (TFN) declaration form, which will determine the amount of taxes an employee needs to pay annually. Both the employer and employee complete this form. Section B of the TFN form is for employers. Employers should apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN) as soon as they establish their business. However, the form does allow for you to complete it if you have not obtained an ABN.
Have both ready to smooth the process for onboarding a new hire.
Tax file number (TFN) declaration
The first form that a new employee must complete is the Tax file number (TFN) declaration. This form determines how much tax the new employee will be paying and thus how much the employer needs to withhold from every pay. New employees who do not provide a TFN declaration will pay at the top tax rate.
The TFN declaration contains two sections. Section A is for the employee to complete. Section B is for the employer to complete. The form needs to be submitted to ATO. Employers can also request employees complete the TFN through ATO’s Online Services. Employees opting to use the online submission will need to provide employers with a printed copy. As an employer, you do not need to resubmit this form to ATO.
Standard Choice Form
In addition to completing a TFN declaration, new employees will need to complete a Standard Choice Form. Employees use this form to choose their superannuation (or super) fund. The funds available for selection as well as the default funds are provided by the employer to the employee. From here, the employees select their super fund by filling out the Standard Choice Form.
Employers are the ones who pay super guarantees (or contributions) into the super fund. They do this on behalf of their eligible employees. This includes part-time, full-time, and casual employees who are over the age of 18. The employee must also make a minimum of $450 per month to qualify.
Employees can complete their selection online through ATO’s Online Services. They will require their employers’ ABN and their default funds’ unique superannuation identifier to complete the form. This must be done within 28 days of their first working day.
Additional information to provide
Employers will need to provide additional information to employees about work health and safety obligations as well as providing a Fair Work Information Statement and their relevant Award.
- As an employer, prior to hiring your first employee, you should register for an Australian Business Number and Pay As You Go (PAYG) withholding.
- New employees will need to complete a TFN declaration and a Standard Choice Form as part of their onboarding.
- Employers are responsible for providing additional information to new employees, such as the Fair Work Information statement and work health and safety obligations.
Getting People Right (GPR) is an educational website providing professionals from all types of businesses with practical education in human resources and leadership. To keep evolving your leadership toolkit, additional GPR resources below will be useful.