Employers should be aware of their legal requirements involved in keeping employee records.
Under Commonwealth workplace laws, employers are required to make and keep accurate and complete records for all of their employees, including contractors. These record-keeping obligations are designed to ensure that employees receive their correct wages and entitlements.
Employee records must:
- be kept in writing or stored electronically
- be in a form that is easily accessible by a Fair Work Inspector
- be in plain, simple English that is legible
- be kept for seven years
- not be altered or changed, unless for the purpose of correcting an error
- not be false or misleading to the best of the employer’s knowledge
Employee records are private and confidential and must only be accessed by the employee, employer, relevant payroll staff and Fair Work Inspectors.
Employers will also need to keep copies and records of tax file number declarations or withholding declarations, wages, allowances and any other payments made, payments and reports provided to the ATO, payment summaries, super records and records of fringe benefits provided.
Here is an overview of some of the records that employers must keep:
General employment records must include the employer’s name and Australian Business Number, as well as the employee’s name, their commencement date of work and the basis of their employment- whether it is casual, full-time, part-time
Records of pay must include the rate of pay paid to the employee, the gross and net amounts paid, any deductions from the gross amount,and the details of any incentive-based payment such as bonuses or penalty rates.
Hours of work
Hours of work records must show the hours worked by an employee in a set time frame. This is important for employees who are casual or irregular part-time. Records must also show the number of overtime hours worked if penalty rates apply.
Employers must keep records on the amount of superannuation contributions made, the dates on which they were made and the period over which the contributions were made.
If an employer makes super contributions under an award or employee agreement, there may be additional record-keeping obligations.