The past few weeks I have been talking about the steps, tricks and traps to employing staff. They are our biggest asset, but can also be our biggest potential nightmare if we get it wrong.

This week, we are looking at the next step – Actually employing that person!

Its this stage of the process that we need to get right, as business owners need to start out on the correct foot. The first thing is to put the employment agreement in writing, make it official! This agreement should list all the terms that you and your new employee have agreed to and includes such things as Start date, remuneration, full time/part time or casual etc.

You would think that this is the easy part of the process but it can also be the area that you overlook or assume things and as the business owner, find yourself in hot water. ( Don’t forget S41- LIC is responsible)

So, to keep yourself out of a potential, future nightmare, you need to look at the Real Estate Industry Award 2020. These are the minimum entitlements. You are unable to contract less than the minimum.

There are several areas that I think need highlighting and remember these are based on full time employment and need to be adjusted for casual or part time. 

Sick leave Entitlements: Now this area can cause confusion because it also includes other leave entitlements such as Carers Leave for example. In total an employee is entitled to 10 days per annum based on the anniversary. Don’t forget that this anniversary is from the start date of employment. So if the employee has taken leave, it doesn’t mean that they are the ones that are sick, It can also included sick children or parents that are dependant on that employee.  

Recreational Leave Entitlements: Again this is based on the anniversary. However, employees are entitled to 4 weeks Holiday leave per annum.

Remuneration: Please see link.  

The actual pay rate depends on the agreement between you as the business owner and the new employee, but you cannot go below the minimum. See the above link.

I just should mention that in real estate there are 3 ways of being paid wages/commission or a combination of both. Normally wages are paid less tax and other required deductions, on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. However, if you are paying staff based on Commission, you need to be aware that you are liable to pay that staff member within 14 days of receiving the payment in which the commission relates.

Example: if you received a settlement payment and are liable to pay Commission to Sales staff, you have 14 days to make that payment. Regardless of when the next wages pay run is. 

All real estate employers should be aware of this Award and should be able to get easy access to the information you need. As we have told all our students. If you don’t know, Don’t bluff or guess! Seek specialist advice and information. 

Keep an eye out for next weeks blog as it expands on further responsibilities all Business Owners have in regards to Staff.  Its not something you want to get wrong!