Australian laws and regulations covering wages and work conditions are complicated - there's a lot to consider, and if you are audited, ignorance of the law is not an excuse. Here's where to find information about pay rates, taxation, workcover and immigration - do the right thing and sleep easy...

Wages and Award Information - see Fair Work Australia and search for the relevant award eg Restaurant Award, Hotel, Club, Take Away Food. You can check pay rates and conditions online, and download relevant documents.

Can you set your own Wage Rates? Here is Fairwork’s advice if you want to move out of the Award system. This should only be done with professional assistance, and the options are very limited, especially for a small business.

Australian Taxation Office - information about your tax obligations and group tax deductions for employees. Also superannuation payments and procedures.

Hiring Contractors? Understand the law about who is and is not a contractor - the tax department and workcover both have rules to be followed, and it can’t be used as a means to avoid group tax obligations.

Workcover and Workers Compensation is a State or Territory responsibility. There is general uniformity across states, but each has their own administration and requirements. Workcover insurance is compulsory. Here are the relevant state websites:

New South Wales :: Queensland :: Victoria :: South Australia

Western Australia :: Northern Territory :: Tasmania :: ACT

Immigration and Visas: check the Department of Immigration for information on who can work and any conditions on their employment. 

Visa Entitlement Verification Online - check the work entitlement of a job applicant, using their passport details.

Visa Options - used by workers from overseas.