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22 June 2021

Online tool a red-tape buster for small business employers: Ombudsman

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bruce Billson has welcomed a new online tool for small business owners, designed to take the stress out of hiring their first employee.

The Employment Contract Tool – recently launched by the Australian Government – guides small business owners through a series of questions to generate an employment contract based on the specific terms and conditions of the relevant award.

Mr Billson says the tool will significantly reduce red tape for small business owners who want to expand their business, saving time and money.

“This technology has been developed in close consultation with small business owners to ensure it meets their needs in regards to making the hiring process far simpler,” Mr Billson says.

“We know that small business owners have found the experience of hiring their first staff member to be overwhelming.

Research published by NAB shows a small business hiring its first worker can spend up to 18 hours understanding awards and pay rates and complying with taxation, OH&S and record-keeping obligations. That’s about five times more than a large business with more than 200 employees, when hiring additional staff.

“Unfortunately this can lead small business owners to delay their hiring plans or put it off altogether because they are afraid of making a mistake.

“The Employment Contract Tool aims to remove those headwinds by taking the employer through the process step-by-step giving them confidence they are meeting their legal obligations.

“Ultimately it is smart technological solutions like this that will cut red tape and reduce the regulatory burden on small business owners to make Australia the best place to start, grow and transform a business.

“The tool provides another support to help small business employers navigate this difficult space, alongside the valuable role that industry and professional associations continue to play in this complex area.”

To access the Employment Contract Tool and explore hiring options for your business visit https://employ.business.gov.au/