HR is notorious for its paperwork, which is often off-putting for smaller companies without internal HR departments to manage their records. So what records do need to be kept for employers to be compliant?

Under the Fair Work Act 2009, employers are required to keep records of the employee’s nature of employment, commencement date, pay, overtime, leave, superannuation and termination. Best practice is for employee records to reflect their lifecycle at the business. This ensures there is an accurate record of the employment relationship to look back on if issues such as underpayment and payouts arise.

Employee records need to be in a form that can be accessed by a Fair Work Inspector and kept for seven years. Records are private and confidential, only to be accessed by the employer, employee, and payroll staff.

Records relating to employee’s hours of work should include, start and finish times as well as paid and unpaid breaks.  Leave records should include any leave taken, the balance of entitlements and any agreements of leave cashouts. Employers are also required to provide payslips to each employee after each pay cycle that detail the hours of work, pay entitlements, superannuation contributions and deductions or allowances if applicable.

When employees first begin working for the company records should be kept of their qualifications as well as any pre-employment checks relevant to the role, offer of employment and employment contracts, as well as record of onboarding training or induction.

During employment, managers should keep records of any training completed by employees, performance appraisals and any performance management or disciplinary discussions (formal or informal). These records are often crucial to prove an employer’s procedural fairness when Fair Work is investigating claims for unfair dismissal or adverse action.

Failure to meet record keeping and pay slip obligations can result in infringements from Fair Work. Maximum fines payable is $510 for an individual and $2,550 for a company per contravention. If an employer’s failure to meet obligations is wilful or repetitive Fair Work can recommend the matter be taken to court.

ProcessWorx HR packages come with a suite of documents for ease of record keeping. Forms, policies, and letters are provided for businesses to use and follow procedural fairness. Documents are regularly checked and updated for legislative changes, so are always compliant. This removes much of the stress for business owners without internal HR departments as the document suite is already created and can be customised to individual client’s needs.

Contact us to find out how ProcessWorx can help you manage your business on (08) 9316 9896 or

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Written by Danielle McNamee


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