Are you compliant with your record keeping obligations?

Row of business people

Author: David Bates BA(Govt), LL.B(Hons)

If your business is covered by the Fair Work Act 2009, you’re required to comply with a number of important record keeping obligations. On the spot penalties of $540 per breach and court-ordered penalties of up to $54,000 per breach can be issued so it’s important you understand all your legal obligations.

Employee records must:

  • be in a form that is readily accessible to a Fair Work Inspector
  • be in a legible form and in English (preferably in plain and simple English)
  • be kept for at least seven years
  • not be altered unless to correct an error
  • not be false or misleading

Employee records are private and confidential, so employers must ensure no one can access them other than the employer and relevant staff. Employers must also make copies of an employee’s records available upon request by an employee or former employee.

Fair Work Inspectors and authorised persons (such as a trade union representative) may also access employee records to determine if there has been a contravention of relevant Commonwealth workplace laws.

Payslip Obligations

Your employees must be issued with a compliant payslip within one working day of each payment being processed. This obligation applies even if an employee is on leave when the payment is made.

Each payslip must include mandatory information such as:

  • Your business name
  • Your Australian Business Number (ABN) if you have one
  • Your employee’s full name
  • The date the payment is being made
  • The period of time the payment covers
  • The employee’s actual hourly wage or their annual salary
  • The gross (pre-tax and deductions) amount and the net (after tax and deductions) amount being paid
  • Details of any allowances, loadings, incentive payments, bonus amounts, penalty rates or other pay-related entitlements that apply and which can be itemised
  • Details of any deductions being taken from the employee’s pay, including:
    • The total amount of each deduction
    • Information which explains the deduction, and
    • The name and account number of the fund or account where the deducted funds have been deposited
  • Details of any superannuation contributions made
  • If the employee is paid a ‘per-hour’ wage, the payslip must also show:
    • The employee’s ordinary hourly wage
    • The actual number of hours work at that ordinary hourly rate
    • The total pay calculated at that ordinary hourly rate
  • The employee’s actual hourly wage or their annual salary
  • Other mandatory information required under relevant Commonwealth workplace laws.

Time and Wages Record Obligations

You are also required to keep accurate and detailed time and wages records for each of your employees. These records should be easily accessible, written in English and include information such as:

  • Your business name
  • Your Australian Business Number (ABN) if you have one
  • The employee’s start date
  • The employee’s employment status, including whether they are permanent or casual and whether they are engaged on a full-time, part-time or fixed-term basis
  • The employee’s hourly wage and salary, including details of the gross (pre-tax and deductions) amount and details of any deductions made
  • Details of any allowances, loadings, incentive payments, bonus amounts, penalty rates or other pay-related entitlements that apply and which can be itemised
  • If the employee is entitled to receive a penalty rate or a loading for overtime:
    • The actual overtime hours worked by the employee
    • The actual time when the employee started and finished overtime hours
  • If the employee is a casual employee or a part-time employee who works irregular hours:
    • The actual hours worked by the employee
  • If you and your employees have agreed to average hours of work over a period of time
    • A copy of the written agreement that has been made between you and the employee
  • If you have created an Individual Flexibility Arrangement (IFA):
    • A copy of the written IFA, and
    • If the IFA is terminated, a copy of the termination request
  • Details of any leave taken and the employee’s remaining leave balance
  • If an employee has left your business:
    • The full name of the person who dismissed the employee
    • Details explaining the circumstances of the dismissal
    • Confirmation of whether notice was given, and if it was, the actual amount of notice
  • If you have issued an employee with a written Guarantee of Annual Earnings:
    • A copy of this written agreement

Other mandatory information required under relevant Commonwealth workplace laws.

Contact Us

If ABBS can help you with your the bookkeeping tasks in your business, then please contact us and someone will be in touch within 24 hours.

Should you wish to know more about ABBS, answers to questions we have been asked can be found on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

If you have a question that has not been answered there, please send it to us and we will add it to the list for the benefit of others.