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In any business, large or small, the Fair Work Ombudsman has rules on your record keeping and pay slip obligations to ensure employees receive correct wages and entitlements.

Recently a NSW blueberry farmer was penalised $13,005 for serious record keeping failures. Fair Work inspectors discovered that records of 60 casual employees were limited to their first names and how many buckets they picked.

Under workplace laws, employers must keep employment records for all employees, including basic personal details and details of pay rates and hours worked.

What are the rules:

  • Employers have to keep time and wages records for 7 years.
  • Time and wages records have to be:
          • readily accessible to a Fair Work Inspector
          • legible
          • in English.
  • Time and wages records can’t be:
          • changed unless the change is to correct an error
          • false or misleading.

Certain information needs to be kept for each employee:

    • employer’s name and ABN
    • employee’s name, commencement date and whether the employee is full-time, part time, or casual.
    • pay rate paid to the employee, gross and net amounts paid
    • any deductions from the gross amount and details of any incentive-based payment, bonus, loading, penalty rate, or other monetary allowance or separately identifiable entitlement paid.
    • any penalty rates or loadings paid to full-time or regular part-time employees for overtime hours worked
    • the guaranteed pay rate for the set period of time worked by casual or irregular part-time employees
    • a copy of the written agreement if an employer and employee have agreed to an averaging of the employee’s work hours.
    • any leave taken and how much leave an employee has.
    • If an employee is able to cash out annual leave, the employer has to keep:
            • a copy of the agreement to cash out the amount of leave
            • a record of how much was paid, the amount of leave cashed out and when the payment was made.
    • Superannuation contributions
            • Pay period, amount paid and date(s) paid
            • name of super fund
            • reason the employer paid into the fund (eg a record of the employee’s super fund choice and the date they made that choice).
            • If employers pay a defined benefit interest into a defined benefit fund external-icon.png, employers don’t have to include these contributions in the record.
    • If an employer and employee agree to an individual flexibility agreement under an award or registered agreement, a record must include both:
            • a copy of the written agreement
            • a copy of any notice or agreement to terminate the flexibility agreement.
    • If there is a guarantee of annual earnings a copy of the guarantee and the date the guarantee was cancelled (where applicable).
    • Terminations:
            • How the employment was terminated e.g. by agreement, summarily, or in some other way (specifying details) and the name of the person who terminated the employment
            • If notice was provided and, if so, how much
    • Where there has been a transfer of business, the old employer has to give the new employer records of any transferring employee. The new employer also has to ask for employment records from the old employer for any transferring employee who becomes an employee within three months of the sale.

Who can access records?

Employee records are private and confidential. Only the employer, payroll staff, the employee and authorised individuals, such as an accountant, can access the records.  If an employee asks to see their records, an employer must make them available.

Fair Work Inspectors can also ask for time and wage records to find out what an employee is entitled to and whether they have been paid correctly.

What happens if records aren’t kept?

If records aren’t kept or are incorrect, Fair Work Inspectors can give employers a fine, called an infringement notice.  If an employer’s failure to meet the requirements is serious, wilful or repetitive the employer can be taken to court.

Ask us today how PaysOnline can help you meet your record-keeping requirements. 

(Source: (c)

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