WorkChoices: Stuck with employee records?

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The latest paperwork nightmare foisted upon employers by WorkChoices means employee records must be filled in correctly, or else! We show you how to avoid the penalties. By PETER VITALE of VECCI

The raft of significant changes that came with the Federal Government’s WorkChoices legislation delivered some seemingly innocuous administrative requirements that have caused consternation for employers.

Requirements to keep comprehensive time and wages records, and pay slips, now apply to a much wider range of employers than ever before.

Getting it wrong may lead to prosecution and a penalty of up to $2750, although no prosecutions for breaching the record keeping and payslip requirements will be initiated before March 27, 2007. Inspectors from the Office of Workplace Services (OWS), the Government’s compliance watchdog, can also hand out on-the-spot fines.

What do employers need to do to get it right?

Basic records need to contain details of the employee, their conditions of employment and accrued entitlements. Such as:

  • Details of the employee’s rate of remuneration.
  • Records of wage and salary payments made.
  • The start and finishing time of hours that must be paid at overtime loading or penalty rates.
  • Annual leave and personal or carer’s leave accrued and taken and the balance remaining.
  • Details of superannuation contributions.

Pay slips must include details such as:

  • The hourly or annual rate of pay and details of other payments such as any bonuses and commissions.
  • The amount of any loadings, penalty rates or allowances paid.
  • For employees paid by the hour, including casual and irregular part-time employees, the number of hours worked by the employee.
  • Details of employer superannuation contributions.

More detail about employer’s record keeping obligations and templates for wage records and pay slips can be obtained from the Fact Sheets on the OWS website.

The lesson for employers? Start upgrading your record keeping systems now.

Peter Vitale is a solicitor, the General Manager of Workplace Relations Services at VECCI and a principal at CCI Victoria Legal.


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