Single Touch Payroll (or ‘STP’) is mandatory for ‘substantial employers’ (being those with 20 or more employees) from 1 July 2018.
All employers are required to count the number of employees on their payroll on 1 April 2018 to find out if they are a substantial employer (note that this can be done after 1 April, but they need to count the employees who were on their payroll on 1 April).
They must count each employee (not the full time equivalent), including full-time, part-time and casual employees, as well as those employees based overseas or absent or on leave (paid or unpaid).
Employers that are part of a company group must include the total number of employees employed by all member companies of the wholly-owned group.
However, employers don’t have to include the following in the headcount:
- any employees who ceased work before 1 April;
- casual employees who did not work in March;
- independent contractors;
- staff provided by a third-party labour hire organisation;
- company directors or office holders; or
- religious practitioners.
Note that, although directors, office holders and religious practitioners are not included in the headcount, if the employer starts reporting through STP, the payment information of these individuals will need to be reported (because the payments are subject to withholding and are currently reported in the Individual non-business payment summary).
Employers don’t need to send the ATO the headcount information, but they may want to keep a copy for their own records.
Once an employer becomes a substantial employer, they will need to continue reporting through STP even if their employee numbers drop to 19 or less (unless they apply for and are granted an exemption).
Editor: Please contact our office if you need any assistance regarding the new STP regime.