Reading time: 3 minutes

As an employer, the last thing you want to worry about is legal compliance. It just sounds pretty painful, right? But unfortunately, failing to do so can have severe consequences for you and your business.

To help ease that pain, we have put together this quick checklist for employers to ensure ongoing legal compliance and best employment law practices. Of course, if you have any specific questions or concerns, you should ask an employment lawyer.

1. How are my Workers Classified?

The Australian worker market is made up of permanent employees, casual employees, fixed/maximum term employees, and contractors. But just because a contract identifies a person as one of these, doesn’t mean that’s the correct classification at law, and this can have serious consequences. For example, if the Court finds a contractor is, in fact, an employee, he or she can then be entitled to superannuation and other employment entitlements, including back-pay.

2. Am I Compliant With Applicable Awards and Minimum Wage Requirements?

Most workers, including clerical staff, hospitality workers, apprentices and trades, are subject to awards which guarantee not only the minimum rate of pay, but also such things as penalty rates, meal allowances, and over time. It’s then worthwhile to take a few moments to review each applicable award and ensure compliance. Of course, noting the complexity of some awards, an employment lawyer should be consulted if any issues arise.

3. Are my Contracts and Paper Work in Order?

Having a precedent contract you found on the internet when you started your business many moons ago probably isn’t going to be good enough to protect you and your business. Employment contracts play an important role, not just in setting out the respective parties’ rights and obligations, but also in protecting your business’ valuable IP, confidential information and ongoing business relationships even after the particular employment relationship concludes. Having in place a well-drafted employment contract, applicable to your industry, and with all the relevant attachments is essential.

4. Do I Have Appropriate Workplace Policies?

Once your employees have signed the contract and are on board, your legal obligations and risk by no means end. So, it’s good practice to have in place, and distribute, an employee handbook setting out appropriate conduct that relate to, for example, bullying, use of equipment, health and safety and drug and alcohol use.

5. Do I Have a Legally Compliant System of Warning or Terminating Employees?

Defending a claim for unfair dismissal is a tax on any organisation, but is a very common scenario employers face, particularly given the ease and low cost associated with filing a claim for unfair dismissal. To avoid this, employers should have in place a proper policy and system to deal with the issue of warnings and termination of employees. Further, if you find yourself wishing to issue a warning or terminate employment, but are concerned about the ramifications, consult an employment lawyer first.

6. Am I Aware of my Health and Safety Obligations?

Employers in particular industries, including construction, mining, or anything involving chemicals, are subject to strict laws requiring appropriate measures to be taken to protect their workers’ health and safety.


Questions about whether your business is legally compliant? Let our employment lawyers know and they can assist you in conducting an audit.


How Franchisors Can Avoid Misleading and Deceptive Conduct

Wednesday 18 May | 11:00 - 11:45am

Ensure your franchise is not accused of misleading and deceptive conduct. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

New Kid on the Blockchain: Understanding the Proposed Laws for Crypto, NFT and Blockchain Projects

Wednesday 25 May | 10:00 - 10:45am

If you operate in the crypto space, ensure you understand the Federal Government’s proposed licensing and regulation changes. Register today for our free webinar.
Register Now

How to Expand Your Business Into a Franchise

Thursday 26 May | 11:00 - 11:45am

Drive rapid growth in your business by turning it into a franchise. To learn how, join our free webinar. Register today.
Register Now

Day in Court: What Happens When Your Business Goes to Court

Thursday 2 June | 11:00 - 11:45am

If your business is going to court, then you need to understand the process. Our free webinar will explain.
Register Now

How to Manage a Construction Dispute

Thursday 9 June | 11:00 - 11:45am

Protect your construction firm from disputes. To understand how, join our free webinar.
Register Now

Startup Financing: Venture Debt 101

Thursday 23 June | 11:00 - 11:45am

Learn how venture debt can help take your startup to the next level. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a commercial law firm that provides businesses with affordable and ongoing legal assistance through our industry-first membership.

By becoming a member, you'll have an experienced legal team ready to answer your questions, draft and review your contracts, and resolve your disputes. All the legal assistance your business needs, for a low monthly fee.

Learn more about our membership

Need Legal Help? Submit an Enquiry

If you would like to get in touch with our team and learn more about how our membership can help your business, fill out the form below.

Our Awards

  • 2020 Innovation Award 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice Award 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2020 Financial Times Award 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2021 Law Firm of the Year Award 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards
  • 2019 Most Innovative Firm - Australasian Lawyer