From 27 March 2007 the Workplace Relations Regulations 2006 imposes record keeping and pay slip records obligations to employers who engage workers under the Work Choices legislation. This follows Work Choices amendments in 2006 to the Workplace Relations Act 1996.

According to the Federal Government the obligations are designed to ensure compliance with the Australian Fair Pay and Conditions Standard and industrial instruments.

1.    When must pay slips be provided?

Pay slips must be given to workers within one day of payment of wages.

2.    What information must be on pay slips?

The regulations require that considerable information be put onto pay slips. For example, the pay slips must contain information on the classification of the employee under each instrument under which the employee derives entitlements of employment; rates applicable for employees paid on an hourly rate; and super, if applicable.

3.    What records must be kept?

The record keeping obligations include records relating to hours worked, pay, leave, superannuation and termination of employment. They are extensive and also include:

  • the name of each instrument under which the employee derives entitlements of employment;
  • the nature of the employment – full-time or part-time and whether it is permanent, temporary or casual;
  • any penalties, loadings, bonuses, incentive-based payments, other monetary allowances or separately identifiable entitlements;
  • the accrual of annual, personal or other forms of leave and the balance of each type of leave;
  • the amount of superannuation contributions paid and the fund to which they were made; and
  • for terminated employees – the manner of termination (eg by consent, by notice, summary) and the name of the person who acted to terminate the employment.

4.    For which workers must there be record keeping of hours worked?

Hours worked records are not required for all workers. Records must only be maintained of hours worked by employees:

  • if an overtime loading is paid; and/or
  • if an employee earns $55,000 or less.

The $55,000 figure (indexed each year for inflation from 1 July 2007 onwards), is a base annual salary figure, not a total salary package figure. It does not include employee bonuses.

5.    What standard of record keeping is required?

The Office of Workplace Services will monitor workplaces and give advice to employees and employers.

The regulations require employers to maintain record keeping that allow a workplace inspector to access the records and determine if a worker is receiving correct entitlements.

The regulations allow for workplace inspectors to issue an infringement notice for breach of the record-keeping requirements or to prosecute offenders in court.

6.    What happens if you don’t comply?

Breach of the pay slip and record keeping obligations is a “strict liability” offence.  The effect of this is that proof of a fault element is not required to make out the offence.

7.    How long must records be kept?

The records must be retained for seven years, and be made available for inspection by workplace inspectors if required.

Noric Dilanchian