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True or False – Do We Need to Keep Employee Records?


True -

As an employer, there are clear obligations under the Fair Work Act 2009 (the Act) to maintain up to date employment records for each of your employees.

At a minimum, the Fair Work Act 2009 requires the following employment records to be kept: 

·         General employment records, such as:

-          The name of the employer and the employee,

-          The nature of the employment (eg full-time, part-time, or casual/temporary),

-          The employee’s commencement date and termination date.

·         Pay Records, including:

-          The rate of pay paid to the employee,

-          The gross and net amounts paid,

-          Any deductions from the gross amount,

-          Details of any incentive-based payment, bonus, loading, penalty rate, or other monetary allowance or separately identifiable entitlement paid.

·         Hours of Work records including details of:

-          Any penalty rates or loadings paid to employees for overtime hours worked, including the number of overtime hours worked by an employee during the day and when the employee started and finished the overtime hours,

-          The hours an employee works if the employee is a casual or irregular part-time employee who is paid based on time worked,

-          A copy of the written agreement if an employer and employee have agreed to an averaging of the employee’s work hours. 

·         Leave records, including:

-          Details of any leave taken, 

-          Details of how much leave an employee has.

            If an employee is able to cash out annual leave, the employer has to keep:

-          A copy of the agreement to cash out the amount of leave,

-          A record of how much was paid, the amount of leave cashed out and when the payment was made.

If under an Award an employer agrees for an employee to take annual leave in advance, a copy  of the agreement must be kept and must state the amount of leave taken and the day the leave starts.

·         Superannuation contribution records, including:

-          Amount paid, 

-          Pay period,

-          Date(s) paid,

-          Name of super fund,

-          Reason the employer paid into the fund (eg a record of the employee’s super fund choice and the date they made that choice).

·         Individual flexibility agreements

If an employer and employee agree to an individual flexibility agreement under an award or registered agreement, a record must include both:

-          A copy of the written agreement.

-          A copy of any notice or agreement to terminate the flexibility agreement.

·         Guarantee of annual earnings

-          The guarantee,

-          The date the guarantee was cancelled (where applicable).

·         Termination Records, including:

-          How the employment was terminated agreement, summarily, or in some other way (specifying details),

-          If notice was provided and, if so, how much,

-          The name of the person who terminated the employment.

Employee records are to be retained:

-          In English,

-          In a form that is legible and accessible to employees and inspectors,

-          That are accurate,

-          For a period of at least seven years.

The Fair Work Act 2009 provides that as an employer, you are required to make a copy of employee records available for inspection and copying by:

-          The individual employee (whether currently employed or terminated)

-          Fair Work Inspectors

-          Union officials (in certain circumstances).

On receiving a request to inspect and/or copy employment records, you are required to provide on-site access within three days, or alternatively you can provide a copy of the requested records within 14 days.

If you have any queries associated with maintaining accurate employment records, please contact us on 1300 720 004 or via email at [email protected].

Information in HR Advice Online guides and blog posts is meant purely for educational discussion of human resources issues. It contains only general information about human resources matters and due to factors such as government legislation changes, may not be up-to-date at the time of reading. It is not legal advice and should not be treated as such.

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