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Legal requirements for keeping employee records

State and federal law requires that accurate records are kept for each employee. These records must be kept for 7 years (either written or stored on a computer) and must be made accessible to a government inspector on request. Employees and former employees also have the right to view their records, but not the records of other people.

Information recorded must include:

  • Company name (employer);
  • Employee name;
  • Date employment started;
  • Employment status (e.g. casual / full time);
  • Hours worked (including overtime);
  • Pay rate (including penalty rates);
  • Copy of any agreements made with employee;
  • Gross and net amounts paid (with details of deductions made);
  • Penalty rates, bonuses or incentive-based payments, loadings and monetary allowances – if any were made;
  • Leave accrued, leave taken, copy of any written decision to forego leave, rate of pay for leave and dates, balance of leave;
  • Superannuation contribution details and name of fund;
  • Termination of employment (details of termination including reasons and date).

Employees are also required to issue employees with a pay slip within one day of paying wages.

Information on the pay slip must include:

  • Employer name;
  • Employee name;
  • Date of payment and payment period (usually per week, fortnight or month);
  • Gross and net payment;
  • Hourly rate if worker is paid on an hourly rate;
  • Rate of payment on the last day of pay period for workers who are on salary
  • Entitlements paid which might include loadings, bonuses, allowances, penalty rates;
  • Amount of superannuation and name of fund (if superannuation is paid) plus any other deductions including details of amount and purpose (and written authorisation from employee if needed).

If electronic pay slips are issued it is recommended that:

  • Issue is secure and confidential (and employees should be able to access the pay slip privately);
  • Pay slip should be easy to print and contain the same information as hard copy slips;
  • Pay slips must be easy to understand;
  • Pay slips must always be issued and accessible, even if an employee is on leave;
  • Pay slip information must be kept for 7 years.
  • Often companies outsource their payroll and recordkeeping, or use software with specifically designed templates to process it. Keeping hard copies of payslips and information is common place and is an insurance against computer failure. However, it must be remembered that all personal information is strictly protected by Privacy Laws, meaning all records must be stored securely.

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