Two vital checks when hiring short-term employees for the holiday season

Two vital checks when hiring short-term employees for the holiday season

Given the seasonal nature of the Gold Coast economy, many businesses need to hire temporary staff to deal with the enormous amount of extra tourists they need to serve during the holiday season.

There are several things that business owners need to consider as they prepare their rosters for this summer and Christmas period.

It is meant to be a time of happiness, so the last thing you want is to dampen the holiday mood by inadvertently employing someone on the wrong terms (hefty fines can apply).

MWM Advisory has identified two key checks for hiring seasonal workers: should they be an employee or contractor; and are they on the correct working visa?

Do you need an employee, or is a contractor the correct choice?

There are several differences between employees and contractors, but it is not always clear-cut which is which.

Most notably, a contractor can pay someone else to complete their work. They also provide their own tools and equipment, take their own commercial risks, have freedom in the way the job is done, and operate their own business.

An employee, on the other hand, can’t pay others to do their work, has their equipment provided, does not take commercial risks, and has limited independence in regards to how they complete their work.

For more information, the ATO has a calculator to help work out whether your new hire is, or should be, a contractor.

Does your new hire have the right to work in Australia?

The reason we have listed to check whether your seasonal hire has the right working visa is because holidaymakers on working visas can often be the ideal people to fill short-term and seasonal roles.

If you are hiring someone on such a visa (subclass 417 or 462) you need to register with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) as an employer of working holidaymakers, and tax them at least 15% from the first dollar earned.

And that is regardless of the person’s residency status. If the employee cannot provide a Tax File Number, they must be taxed at the top individual income tax rate.

The ATO also has a calculator for checking visa entitlements, which is really handy to ensure that they have the right to work for your business.

Christmas is meant to be a time of surprises, but not nasty ones. Employ people on the right terms and conditions and have a happy and stress free New Year.

Good people are central to a good business, but a good business also gets the hiring process right. MWM Advisory can assist business owners looking to hire staff right.

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