Important Information on Pay Slips & Record Keeping

Posted on : Wednesday, 29 June 2016

On Wednesday 29th June 2016, the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has released a Report on campaigns it had undertaken on checks on record-keeping practices of small businesses across Australia during 2014 and 2015. The campaign focused on providing education and assistance to businesses to comply with federal workplace, laws  and assessed levels of compliance with record-keeping obligations.


Almost 1400 employers were audited in every State and Territory. Spot checks of 1376 businesses found that 988 (72%) were compliant with their record-keeping and pay-slip obligations. However, 46 employers were asked to back-pay a total of $620,023 to 336 of their workers who had been short-changed.


According to the FWO, the overall findings of the campaign reflected a general willingness to do the right thing by their Employees. One of the aims of the campaign was to ensure Employers were aware of their workplace responsibilities and to up-date businesses on how the FWO can assist them to access, understand and apply information to build a culture of compliance.


Businesses are required to keep a range of records, and if issues arise, it is usually these records which can show that Employees have received their correct entitlements, so the FWO places great importance on correct record-keeping.


The FWO spoke with businesses to determine their reasons for their non-compliance. Some of the reasons included:


  • small businesses mistakenly believing that they were exempt from pay-slip and record-keeping obligations due to the size of their businesses. These businesses generally had not attempted to obtain the correct information regarding these obligations from the FWO or other available sources, e.g., Industry associations or third party providers;


  • some employers were not issuing pay slips because they mistakenly believed they did not have to issue them if their staff advised they did not wish to receive them;


  • some employers expected their employees to keep their own records believing this would satisfy their record-keeping obligations;


  • some employers were of the belief that as their employees worked the same hours every week, there was no need to record hours worked; and


  • payroll software was not sufficiently up to date and failed to include the required pay slip content (e.g., superannuation fund name and Australian Business Number).



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