Employer Obligations

January 8, 2014

It’s a new year and we’re all back to business. Make sure that you’re up to date with your responsibilities as an employer regarding the Fringe Benefits Tax, Payroll Tax, Workcover, and the Superannuation Guarantee.


Fringe Benefits Tax

FBT is paid by you, as the employer.  You will be an employer for FBT purposes if you make a payment to an employee that is subject to withholding obligations.  And as an employer you pay FBT irrespective of whether you are a sole trader, partnership, trustee, corporation, unincorporated association, government or government authority.

Use this checklist to help you work out if you are already providing a fringe benefit to your employees.  If any of the following apply, you may have an FBT liability:

  • Do you make cars or other vehicles owned or leased by the business available to employees for private use?
  • Do you provide loans at reduced interest rates to employees?
  • Have you released an employee from an owed debt?
  • Have you paid for, or reimbursed, a non-business expense incurred by an employee?
  • Do you provide a house or unit of accommodation to your employees?
  • Do you provide employees with living-away-from-home allowances?
  • Do you provide entertainment by the way of food, drink or recreation to your employees?
  • Do any of your employees have a salary package arrangement in place?
  • Have you provided your employees with goods at a lower price than they are normally sold to the public?

If any of these apply to you or your business, your Ballarat accountants at ABS can provide you with the advice you need to ensure that you are fully compliant with Australian taxation regulations.

Payroll tax

What is payroll tax?  It is a state tax on the wages you pay to employees.  It is calculated on the amount of wages you pay per month, and you will need to pay payroll tax if your total Australian wages exceed the exemption threshold in your state or territory.  ABS, your Ballarat tax accountant, can help you determine the threshold that you and your business fall into, and what your obligations are.


In Victoria, as an employer you must provide a safe and healthy workplace for your workers and contractors.  Worksafe Victoria is the government body set up to help avoid workplace injuries occurring, and they are responsible for enforcing Victoria’s occupational health and safety laws (OH&S).

As an employer you have a number of obligations that you must ensure your business adheres to.  They include (but are not limited to):

  • Providing and maintaining safe plant and safe systems of work
  • Implementing arrangements for the safe use, handling, storage and transport of chemicals
  • Maintaining the workplace in a safe condition (such as ensuring fire exits are not blocked, emergency equipment is serviceable, and the worksite is generally tidy).

Penalties for breaches of the Occupational Health & Safety Act 2004 have recently been substantially increased, and you can rely on the Ballarat accountants at ABS to ensure you

Superannuation Guarantee

The Superannuation Guarantee (SG) is the official term for compulsory superannuation contributions made by employers on behalf of their employees. As an employer, you must contribute the equivalent of 9.25% of your employee’s salary, from July 2013.  Note that effective from July 2014, the SG percentage is set to increase to 9.5%.  This is regardless of the size of your business.