The Fair Work Ombudsman has issued a reminder to businesses of the importance of maintaining proper employment records.1380630588_Text-Document

Fair Work inspectors continue to see employers failing to keep correct records or issuing pay slips that contain the required information.

The FWO maintains that inadequate records hamper the ability of Fair Work inspectors to determine if employees are being paid correctly if a dispute arises over wages.

In the past, the Agency has taken legal action against some employers who did not keep proper records and who were suspected of underpaying their staff.

In 2010, an Adelaide trolley collecting company and its director were fined $35,000 by the South Australian Industrial Relations Court and the operators of a Melbourne restaurant were penalised $10,000 in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.

In both cases, the lack of records prohibited the Fair Work Ombudsman from determining whether large numbers of employees, suspected of being significantly underpaid, had received their full lawful entitlements.

Fair Work inspectors will ask employers selected for auditing to discuss their record-keeping and payslip practices, and where non-compliance is identified, will receive assistance to achieve compliance.

Your time and wages records should also be able to demonstrate that allocated lunchbreaks are being taken and also record absences due to Personal Leave as well as Annual Leave.

Employers who engage employees under relevant Commonwealth workplace laws are required to:

• make and keep accurate and complete records for all of their employees (e.g. time worked and wages paid)

• issue pay slips to each employee.

These record-keeping and pay slip obligations are designed to ensure that employees receive their correct wages and entitlements.

What are the record-keeping 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, simple English)

• be kept for seven years

• not be altered unless for the purposes of correcting an error

• not be false or misleading to the employer’s knowledge.

Not sure of your obligations? Call us to discuss.