Let’s face it, looking after employees and complying with all the different rules and obligations placed on employers has never been easy and with so many big employers now being exposed for the underpayment of staff it is becoming more apparent just how complex this area is.

If the big guys with fully resourced HR departments and payroll experts are getting it wrong, what chance does the smaller end of town have keeping across the existing rules let alone the continual changes announced.

In many instances the payroll administrator of a small to medium business will be wearing a number of hats.  Maybe the office manager, the financial controller, the receptionist, the bookkeeper or the business owner themselves.  Combine your limited time with the complexity associated with employee matters and you have a disaster waiting to happen.

Recently we have seen increased activity from Fair Work Australia across the Geelong region in the form of various compliance activities.  These ‘compliance activities’ involve representatives from Fair Work Australia assessing how compliant an employer is in meeting the rules and regulations subject to their industry in line with the Fair Work Australia Act 2009.

The review covers areas including the following:

  • General Employee Records – checking that certain information is being kept
  • Payroll Records and Rates – checking that correct rates and calculations have been completed and paid
  • Leave Records and Entitlements – checking that information maintained and calculations are correct
  • Payslip and associated documentation – checking the correct information is provided and in the right format
  • Award Rates & Qualifications – checking the correct awards are being applied in line with qualifications and job duties

The purpose of the review is to identify any areas that you as an employer have breached in relation to your employees.  For any breaches identified the Fair Work representative will outline steps they expect the employer to take to rectify the breach and subject to the type of breach made, fines and penalties may be issued to the employer.

Generally, these reviews come without any warning.  Some are conducted by way of representatives attending an employer’s premises unannounced, particularly for targeted industries such as hospitality and retail, whilst others may be written contact in response to an employee complaint.

Regardless of the prompt for the review, the fact is that these reviews are taking place so if you are an employer, it is likely to only be a matter of time before contact is made with you.  As such, it is important you take the opportunity to prepare to minimise any risk you have to breaches and subsequently any fines and penalties.

We have a team of specialists that can assist you in checking your current compliance to the Fair Work Act regulations.  Our review assesses your compliance in the payroll administration areas covered by Fair Work Australia and will help you:

  • identify any areas of non-compliance
  • outline how to correct this non-compliance in order to prevent a breach of the Fair Work Act
  • where relevant provide recommendations to improve your payroll administration function to mitigate future risks

Regardless of whether you have an in-house fully dedicated payroll officer, you use a bookkeeper or you fit the payroll in yourself between jobs, taking the action to have a payroll review completed will pay dividends in the long term when it comes time for your Fair Work review.

To find out more information or to book your review please contact us on 03 52216399 or email us at info@davidsons.com.au to speak to one of our specialists.

Disclaimer: this information is of a general nature and should not be viewed as representing financial advice. Users of this information are encouraged to seek further advice if they are unclear as to the meaning of anything contained in this article. Davidsons accepts no responsibility for any loss suffered as a result of any party using or relying on this article.