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Important New Employee Forms and Onboarding Documents in Australia

Starting a new job can be an exciting yet overwhelming time for employees. As an employer, it’s important to make sure new hires have all the necessary paperwork and feel ...

Important New Employee Forms and Onboarding Documents in Australia

Starting a new job can be an exciting yet overwhelming time for employees. As an employer, it’s important to make sure new hires have all the necessary paperwork and feel supported throughout the onboarding process. This ensures a smooth transition into their role so they can become productive members of your team.

In Australia, there are several legal requirements like mandatory forms and documents employers must provide new staff members. Having these prepared in advance helps streamline your onboarding and avoids any compliance issues down the track. This article outlines important new employee forms and onboarding documents you’ll need when bringing onboard new employees in Australia.

New Employee Forms

Tax file number declaration

One of the first steps for new employees is submitting their tax file number (TFN). This is needed so you can calculate the correct amount of income tax to withhold from their pay.

If employees have not previously worked in Australia and need to vet a TFN, they can complete the Tax File Number Declaration by:

  • Completing the form online through the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) online services linked to their myGov account. They’ll need to print the employee tax details summary and provide this to you.
  • Filling out a paper TFN declaration form ordered through the ATO. You’ll need to submit this to the ATO within 14 days of it being signed.

If an employee doesn’t provide their TFN within 28 days, you’ll need to withhold tax at the highest rate plus Medicare. Having their TFN ensures you deduct the right amount of tax based on their income and entitlements.

Superannuation standard choice form

You must also provide new staff with a Standard Choice form within 28 days of their start date. This allows them to choose the super fund where you’ll pay their Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contributions.

Options for completing this form include:

  • Online through the ATO’s online services. Again, they’ll provide you with a summary to keep for your records.
  • Completing a paper version of the form.

If they don’t nominate a fund, you’ll need to request details of their stapled super fund from the ATO. Their TFN also needs to be passed onto their chosen super fund when they make the first payment.

Fair work information statement

As an employer, you must provide every new full-time employee with a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement. This outlines their conditions of employment under Australia’s Fair Work Act 2009.

It’s available as a downloadable PDF from the Fair Work Ombudsman website. Consider sending this electronically with other onboarding paperwork for simplicity.

For casual employees, you’ll also need to supply the Casual Employment Information Statement.

Employment agreement

An employment agreement (or contract) is crucial for defining the terms of employment. This should cover:

  • Commencement date
  • Role responsibilities and duties
  • Hours and place of work
  • Leave entitlements
  • Notice periods
  • Remuneration package

While not mandated, it’s a good idea and best practice to have new employees sign an agreement. This helps avoid any disputes and shows they understand their rights.

Payroll forms

You’ll need to collect certain details from new employees to ensure payroll compliance:

  • Bank account details – For paying their salary directly into their nominated bank account.
  • Emergency contact information – So you know who to contact in case of an emergency at work.
  • Superannuation account details – If they choose a fund other than your default option.
  • Tax declaration form – Indicates if they have any additional tax claims, such as the tax-free threshold, beyond the standard TFN declaration.

Consider creating a payroll information form to capture all these details upfront.

Internal policies and procedures

New employees need to understand your company’s internal policies, procedures and plans. This ensures they perform their role in line with your standards and expectations.

Consider providing the following documentation:

  • Employee handbook – Outlines code of conduct, dress code, policies on discrimination, harassment, etc.
  • Job description – Clearly defines their core responsibilities.
  • Organisational chart – Shows company structure and reporting lines.
  • Operations Manual – Provides step-by-step instructions for key tasks and processes.
  • OH&S information – Details safety procedures, emergency contacts, incident reporting, etc.
  • IT and internet usage policy – Covers use of company IT systems and hardware.
  • Confidentiality agreement – Requires them to protect company IP, data and secrets.

Schedule time during onboarding to review policies and procedures with new starters. Ask them to sign to acknowledge they understand key documents.

Facilitate introductions

A new employee’s first weeks are crucial for building connections across your company. Help them get to know the team by:

  • Organising a welcome morning tea or lunch.
  • Scheduling 1:1 meetings with key stakeholders.
  • Assigning new employees with a buddy or mentor.
  • Adding them to relevant email distribution lists.
  • Encouraging team members to show them around.

Making introductions early on accelerates their ability to become productive and engaged.

Plan a probation period

It’s common practice to have new employees complete a 3-6 month probation or qualifying period. This allows you to assess their performance before confirming their permanent employment.

To set them up for success:

  • Provide regular feedback and coaching.
  • Schedule performance reviews at key milestones.
  • Offer support to address any skill gaps.
  • Clarify expectations around required standards.
  • Communicate progress against goals.

A well-structured probation process reduces risk when bringing on new hires. It also sets clear objectives and development areas to maximise their growth.

Leveraging technology for onboarding

Technology can be invaluable for streamlining and enhancing the onboarding process for new hires. Here are some ways to effectively utilise technology:

  • Automated onboarding system  – Have a centralised online portal that contains all the resources and information needed for onboarding. This can include company policies, training materials, forms to complete, contact lists etc.
  • Automate administrative tasks – Handle things like collecting paperwork, scheduling training sessions, and sending reminders automatically through HRIS or other tools. This saves manual work for HR and managers.
  • Promote collaboration – Set up online chat and forums so new hires can connect with peers, mentors and managers during onboarding. This facilitates relationship building.
  • Deliver e-learning – Use your Learning Management System to provide online courses and videos new starters can view at their own pace. This is more engaging than just handling manuals.
  • Go mobile – Make sure resources and tools are accessible on mobile devices. This allows new hires to complete tasks on the go.
  • Track progress – Use analytics to monitor completion rates of onboarding activities. Identify any bottlenecks or issues needing attention.
  • Collect feedback – Survey new hires during and after onboarding to gather feedback. Look for ways to constantly improve the experience.

With the right technology, you can make starting a new job simple and engaging. New hires are more likely to feel informed, connected and productive.

Onboarding is an investment

While collecting paperwork and forms may seem tedious, it’s a small price to pay for effectively onboarding new employees. Use the initial period to make a great first impression and equip new starters with everything they require to thrive. The upfront effort you put into welcoming and integrating them will pay dividends for your business down the track.