Recent changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (Act) mean it is more important than ever to ensure you are meeting your record keeping and pay slip obligations.
One of the biggest changes is the introduction of a reverse onus of proof in underpayment claims involving inadequate record keeping.
This means that where an employer has failed to meet certain obligations, an employee does not have to prove they have been underpaid. Rather, the employer must prove there has been no underpayment (which may be difficult in the absence of adequate records).
Fair Work Inspectors may issue on the spot fines (infringement notices) to employers for failing to meet their record keeping and pay slip obligations.
Fines may be up to:
- $1,260 for an individual; or
- $6,300 for a corporation.
Where an employer repeatedly fails to meet its obligations, particularly in cases involving a serious of intentional failure, the Fair Work Ombudsman may decide to commence court proceedings.
A court may impose the following maximum penalties for record keeping and pay slip contraventions:
- for an individual:
- $12,600 per contravention; or
- $126,000 per serious contravention; and
- for a corporation:
- $63,000 per contravention; or
- $630,000 per serious contravention.
In light of these penalties, employers would be wise to take steps to ensure they meet all record keeping and pay slip obligations.
Under the Act and Fair Work Regulations 2009 (Cth) (Regulations), employers must keep numerous records, including those relating to:
- general employee details (personal details and key employment terms);
- hours of work;
- superannuation contributions;
- individual flexibility agreements;
- guarantee of annual earnings;
- termination; and/or
- transfer of business.
Employers must also issue pay slips that comply with the details required by the Act and Regulations.
Prevention is better than cure. Employers should ensure they meet these obligations to avoid costly fines or enforcement proceedings.
If you want clarity about your legal obligations or require assistance with any employment law issues, please contact our Business and Employment Law team