There are many myths floating out there amongst employers about what you can and can’t do when it comes to your employment and payroll practices, and they can get you into trouble!

Not Paying for Training Time

Employees required to attend training must be paid for this time. It’s considered ‘work time’ and can include online training.

Not Paying for Trials

Unpaid trials are only ok when it’s to demonstrate skills that are required for that specific job. Depending on your business, this might only be appropriate for an hour, or perhaps a day, but generally no longer. Once it progresses to actually ‘doing the work’, as opposed to ‘demonstrating skills’ this should be paid work.

Paying Staff for Overtime with ‘Stuff’

It’s not ok to ‘pay in-kind’ for any hours worked, including ordinary hours or overtime. This is more likely to apply in places where food or drink products are available in particular.

Having an ABN does not make someone a contractor

A variety of factors need to be taken into account when deciding if an individual can be considered a contractor, as opposed to an employee. It’s certainly not enough to assume that if they have an ABN, or if they request to be a contractor, that this is appropriate for the circumstance.

Paying Trainee Rates to Unregistered Trainees

Trainee and apprentice rates ONLY apply when a registered training contract is in place. It’s not appropriate to pay someone ‘trainee’ rates simply because they are inexperienced, or are being trained on the job.


If this has triggered any concerns or questions for you, get in touch with our Workplace Partners ASAP.


*This is general information only and doesn’t take your specific circumstances into account.