The Fair Work Ombudsman is currently conducting an assessment of employers’ time and wage records as part of its ‘East Coast Records & Resources Campaign 2014-2015’. Fair Work Inspectors from the Ombudsman’s office are entering business premises without advance warning and requiring production of information including:
- Names, positions, award classifications, employment status (full time, part time, casual, etc.) and dates employed of all employees;
- Identification of applicable awards;
- Job descriptions for all employees;
- Recent time sheets, rosters or other documents showing hours worked in a recent pay cycle; and
- Pay slips detailing gross and net wages paid to each employee in the pay cycle.
The information requested is the most basic data that employers should be keeping. The Fair Work Regulations 2009 specify other information that employers are required to keep and the form in which it must be kept. All such records must be kept for a minimum of 7 years.
Two of the trickiest aspects of compliance with the Fair Work Act and Regulations are:
- Identification of which awards apply to employees and correct classification of staff within each award; and
- Keeping of proper records of time and overtime worked by each employee. (As a general principle, employees are entitled to be paid overtime for hours worked in excess of 38 hours in a week.)
Failure to keep correct records can result in ‘civil penalties’ of up to $3,400 per infringement. Other infringements can attract penalties of up to $10,200.
It has also been reported that Fair Work Inspectors are using additional powers as Immigration Inspectors to check the immigration status and work rights of employees and contractors. Failure to ensure that such people have the right to work in Australia can result in significant penalties, including fines or even imprisonment, for businesses and the people who run them.
If you would like to know more about record keeping, engagement of employees or contractors or anything else to do with your personnel, call to speak to one of our solicitors on +61 (02) 9966 1799.