Fair Work Commission to roll out new wage and entitlements data API for employers

tax office fair work api

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) is working on an application programming interface (API) for wage and entitlements data that it says could save businesses time and reduce the margin for error when paying employees. 

Speaking to SmartCompany, assistant director for the FWC’s modern awards Trudy Jones says the API will create a gateway to the commission’s modern awards pay (MAP) internal database. It will allow business software providers to connect directly to the data, reducing the amount of manual handling required.

“This will be an open source API, free for anyone to use. This means that software companies [like Xero] would have the opportunity [to connect to the database], should they choose. The onus is on private companies choosing to use it,” she said. 

Jones adds that manual handling will no longer be required by the payrolls of companies or small businesses that are including it.  

“If someone like Xero is using the API, they [the businesses] get the source data,” she said.  

While this would go a long way in saving businesses time and reducing the margin for error, Jones says businesses will still have to correctly select the award and make a accurate determination about which classification to use. 

“It gives them the correct data, provided the assumptions they’re making are correct,” Jones added. 

This is particularly important when it comes to helping prevent underpayment to employees, Jones says.

The API is nearing completion, however the FWC says it will not be rolled out in time for the commission’s handing down of the Annual Wage Review which will be delivered before July 1. 

Businesses may have access to it at some point this financial year, but it will depend on when the API goes live, Jones says. 

The MAP database was initially created in 2019, and contains the dollar values for the minimum rates of pay, allowances, overtime and penalty rates in modern awards. Currently the data containing all the amendments to the Annual Wage Review is available on FWC’s website in the form of spreadsheets.

The API will open a direct channel to this data, allowing business software providers to integrate it directly.

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