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31 January 2019

Fair Work Audits on Employers

The Fair Work Ombudsman has been conducting audits on employers across NSW, to check that businesses are paying their workers correctly and meeting their record-keeping and payslip obligations.

Inspectors are auditing businesses across a range of industries, including food and accommodation services, retail, manufacturing and healthcare. Particular attention is on sectors where large numbers of vulnerable workers are employed, such as casuals, migrants, students and mature-age workers.

Whilst many employers may believe they are doing everything necessary to meet their Fair Work obligations, the findings from these audits show that a large proportion of businesses are not fully compliant with workplace laws.

It’s important to make sure your business is meeting its workplace obligations, so it’s a good idea to check your pay rates and employer practices regularly.

Record Keeping

Adequate record keeping and payslips are key aspects of workplace requirements. For each employee, you should make sure you have a record of:

  • Their full name
  • Address and contact details
  • Their commencement date 
  • Their date of birth
  • Whether they’re full-time, part-time or casual
  • Their current pay rate or annual salary
  • Gross and net amounts you’ve paid each pay period
  • Details of any bonuses, loading, penalty rates, or other entitlements and allowances paid
  • Hours an employee works each pay period, if the employee is a casual or part-timer with irregular hours
  • Annual and sick/personal leave taken and accrued if the employee is a part or full-timer
  • Details of super contributions, including the:
    • Amount paid
    • Pay period for the contribution
    • Date paid
    • Name of super fund
    • Employee’s super choice form or record showing their direction to contribute to that fund


Under Fair Work requirements a payslip must be issued to the employee with each wage payment. Each payslip needs to document:

  • Your business name & ABN
  • The employee’s full name
  • Whether an employee is casual, part-time or full-time
  • What period the payslip covers
  • The employee’s annual salary or pay rate
  • The gross wages for the particular pay period – including details of any leave that may have been taken and a breakdown of any penalty rates paid, such as Saturdays, Sundays, etc.
  • The tax withheld, if any, for the particular pay period
  • The net wages paid to the employee for the particular pay period
  • Annual leave accrued during the pay period
  • Super accrued during the pay period
  • The name of the super fund the employee is with
  • Payslips may also include the YTD figures for all of the above as well

Pay Rates

Checking your pay rates on a regular basis can ensure that you are paying your employees at least the minimum pay rate set out in the relevant award or your enterprise agreement.

If you pay your employee more than the award it’s important to check the rate annually to make sure the rate is still above the minimum pay rate in the applicable award.

Award rates are reviewed by Fair Work annually, and any changes or increases in the award are generally made on or around 1 July each year.

For a full checklist of documents, forms and records required by employers and new employees, see our article here. There is also a pay calculator available on the Fair Work website here.


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