Velocity Global’s Australia PEO (Professional Employer Organization) solution offers businesses a rapid, streamlined expansion into the country—without first setting up an entity. International PEO accelerates employee onboarding timelines and delivers the fastest and most flexible global expansion solution available.
When you choose International PEO, Velocity Global becomes your Employer of Record, which allows us to compliantly hire and onboard your new Australian supported employees on your behalf. Whether you need to hire one supported employee or build a team from the ground up, International PEO allows you to retain complete employee oversight. You remain focused on your business, and we manage all payroll, compliance, and risk mitigation needs to ensure you stay compliant.
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Australia Fast Facts
Australia Fast Facts
Currency: Australian dollar (AUD, $)
Population: 25.5 million
Economy: US $1.393 trillion
Top Sectors: Mining, manufacturing, construction, health care and social assistance, and information media and telecommunications
The following are public holidays, though collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) may outline pay, additional time off, or alternate holidays.
- New Year’s Day
- Australia Day
- Canberra Day
- Good Friday
- Easter Saturday
- Easter Sunday
- Easter Monday
- Anzac Day
- Declared public holiday (ACT and Western Australia)
- Reconciliation Day
- Queen’s Birthday
- Labour Day
- Christmas Day
- Boxing Day
Hiring Considerations in Australia
Benefits of hiring in Australia:
- Australia boasts the world’s 14th-largest GDP, which grew steadily for nearly two decades. With rich natural resources, a sound financial system, stable government, and advanced digital infrastructure, Australia offers expanding businesses many growth opportunities.
- The country’s imports and exports make up 42% of its GDP, making it a globally connected nation. Between its 14 free trade agreements, roughly 70% of Australia’s trade reaches foreign markets in Asia, Oceania, and further afield.
- Australia invests heavily in research and development; R&D spending grew seven percent each year since 2001. In the business sector, R&D investment outpaces Australia’s GDP by two percentage points. The country’s higher education institutions play a central role in innovation, as seven universities sit among the top 100 universities in the world. Businesses across many sectors benefit from its educated talent pool.
Challenges when expanding into Australia:
- Despite one of the world’s most attractive markets for businesses, Australia’s relative remoteness to other Western markets may prove difficult for communication between headquarters and Australian offices; there is a nine-hour difference between Sydney and London, and a 14-hour difference between Sydney and New York.
- Businesses must anticipate a 10% federal Goods and Services Tax (GST). While GST-free exclusions exist, determining which products and services meet these criteria is not always straightforward. Companies must become familiar with GST implications to ensure they meet all federal requirements.
- There are four main types of business structures in Australia, each of which imparts its own criteria businesses must follow during initial stages. These four structures—sole trader, partnership, company, and trust—offer pros and cons, and businesses must explore which structure is right for them. Companies may restructure as they grow. But just as with initial formation, businesses must ensure familiarity with all criteria, otherwise they invite headaches, fines, and legal troubles.
Cultural nuances and must-knows for doing business in Australia:
- Arrive at meetings and events on time, and notify attendees if you run late. However, late arrivals and missed deadlines can come off as unprofessional and do not sit well with Australians.
- Shake hands with both male and female meeting members; it is rude not to shake hands if someone extends theirs. Address attendees by the name they used when they introduced themselves. When in doubt, “sir” or “madam” is a suitable substitute.
- Expect direct, firm communication during a business meeting. Small talk and pleasantries remain common, but discussions center around reaching a solution through productive, straight-forward conversation and negotiation.
Employment Contracts in Australia
Minimum wages and salaries:
- Australia’s national minimum wage is A$19.84 per hour or A$753.92 per 38-hour workweek.
- The Fair Work Commission (FWC) sets the national minimum wage each year with implementation after July 1.
- Employers may place employees on probation periods ranging from a few weeks to a few months, though three to six months remains common. All employees remain entitled to accrue, and access paid leave entitlements during the probationary period.
- Bonuses are common in Australia. Employers pay bonuses to recognize either performance or service, though may not reflect a specific pay period. If the bonus does reflect a single pay period, employers add this bonus to the employee’s total earnings for that period.
Termination and Severance Considerations:
- Minimum notice periods vary depending on the length of the employment relationship:
Period of Continuous Service
Minimum Notice Period
One year or less
More than one year, fewer than three years
More than three years, fewer than five years
More than five years
- All employees over the age of 45 and with two years’ employment with the employer receive an additional week’s notice.
- However, minimum notice periods may extend beyond these timeframes, depending on the employment contract, enterprise agreement, or award.
Paid Time Off & Benefits
- Employees may receive Parental Leave Pay (PLP) from the Australian Government and paid parental leave from their employer. Those who receive both are still entitled to unpaid parental leave.
- Eligible employees receive 18 weeks’ PLP at the National Minimum Wage to care for a newborn or newly adopted child. Recipients may take PLP for a single set period and one flexible period, as of July 1, 2020.
- The initial, set period is 12 weeks and must last for one uninterrupted period within the first 12 months of the child’s birth or adoption. The second, flexible period entitles parents to 30 days’ PLP as negotiated between the employee and their employer. It must take place within the first 24 months of the child’s birth or adoption.
- Fathers and partners (including same-sex couples) receive two weeks’ paid leave from the Australian Government at the National Minimum Wage.
Vacation and annual leave:
- With the exception of casual employees, all employed persons receive four weeks’ paid annual leave whether employed part- or full-time. Employment contracts and awards may offer different annual leave allowances, but cannot include fewer than four weeks’ paid leave.
- All employees—with the exception of casual employees—receive a minimum of 10 days’ paid sick/carer’s leave. Employees’ paid sick/carer’s leave accrual begins on their first day of employment.
Average workweek hours:
- Full-time employees are not obliged to work more than 38 hours per week unless the additional hours meet the Australian Government’s criteria for “reasonable” additional hours.
- Payroll taxes vary between Australian states.
- Overtime pay varies under each award, agreement, or contract. However, some contracts or agreements may stipulate that an employee is entitled to additional time off instead of overtime pay.
Choose Velocity Global
Expanding beyond your borders is an enormous achievement—but there are many steps to take between your HQ and your new overseas operation in Australia. Choosing Velocity Global as your international expansion partner equips you with the expertise and assistance you need to expand into Australia confidently.
By relying on our International PEO (Professional Employer Organization) solution, you’re entrusting our experts with helping you build the international team you need to grow your business abroad. We hire and onboard on your behalf and take care of all payroll, risk mitigation, and compliance measures so you can devote your efforts to keeping your operations running smoothly.
International PEO compliantly establishes your company’s presence in Australia 90% faster and up to 60% more cost-effectively when compared to traditional entity establishment. Whether your business needs to complete a short-term project or begin its long-term presence, International PEO helps you get there faster than any other global expansion method available.
Ready to confidently establish your presence in Australia? Let’s make it happen.