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When we think about the New Year, we typically think about personal resolutions. But this is also a good time to think about making a few New Year’s resolutions for your business as well. 

With staff returning from the Christmas break re-energised, you can use that momentum and enthusiasm to do all those things you should do, but never quite got around to doing. But, where do you start? To help kickstart your business resolutions, we have put together a list of things you should consider doing or updating this New Year.

Resolution #1: Staff Contracts 

Do all your staff have a current employment contract? This may be as simple as checking that: 

  • The appropriate entity hired them; 
  • Their job descriptions, 
  • Whether they are a contractor or employee; 
  • Salary; and
  • Working hours.

Your review may even see you implementing a whole new employment agreement. But trust me, a little time spent completing this review now can save you time and hassle in the future.

To find out whether your worker is an employee or contractor, you can use the ATO’s employee/contractor decision tool. Depending on the result, your tax, super and other government obligations will vary. So, it is important to keep records to support your decision as to the status of each worker. Your business can face penalties and charges if you incorrectly treat an employee as a contractor and don’t meet all of your obligations.

Resolution #2: Training 

Do you have a code of conduct, workplace health and safety, bullying and harassment or other regulatory policy that your staff need to understand and comply with? If the answer is no, then get to it and put your policies, procedures and practices in your employee handbook!

If you answered yes, then now is a great time to update your policies if you haven’t already. Conducting your annual training or refresher course at the beginning of the year ensures that your staff understand their obligations at work. One less thing for you worry about later in the year when projects pile up, and you have less time! 

Resolution #3: Terms of trade 

Do you have trading terms and are they up-to-date? All businesses need terms and conditions whether you are: 

  • Selling goods or services directly to a consumer; 
  • A manufacturer or wholesaler; or
  • Providing services to a third party.

These terms and conditions form a legally binding agreement between you and your customers. Typically, the agreement addresses: 

  • How the customer will pay (the amount and method);
  • What the customer receives; and
  • What to do if the customer doesn’t pay on time.

This ensures that customers understand their rights and obligations, as well as protecting your business. As your business changes, you should take the time to review and update your terms and conditions, as well as reflect on your current business practices.

Resolution #4: Company Details 

Have you confirmed your company’s details are up-to-date with ASIC? You will need to update your business’ details with ASIC if during the year: 

  • You appointed new officers (director and company secretary);  
  • You changed your business’ registered address; or
  • Current officers resigned or moved.  

You can still do this by lodging a paper form, and in fact, some forms can only be lodged in paper form. ASIC, however, now allows businesses to update the majority of forms and information online. You will need to register for online access, but once this has been set up,  you can update your details easily and quickly.

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So, along with resolving to be healthier, get in shape and stop procrastinating, this year you should also resolve to help your business get in shape and start the new year right by following our four business resolutions. Happy New Year, folks! 

If you have any questions about your obligations as an employer this New Year, get in touch with our employment lawyers on 1300 544 755.

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