Amidst hotly pursuing business growth priorities, business owners and managers often overlook the comparatively dull areas of employee record-keeping and compliance. At best, these areas are considered necessary evils that get in the way of doing “real work”.
As a frequent occupant of the “not now” basket, record-keeping often catches employers by surprise. If a workplace grievance ever ends up in front of the courts, out-of-date records are guaranteed to hurt. Non-compliance is costly and puts your business at risk.
Minimum Employment Standards
In New Zealand, under the employment standards legislation every employee must have a written employment agreement signed by the employee prior to their first day of work. In addition, employers are required to maintain employee records detailing the number of hours worked each day in a pay period, and the amount paid for those hours. All employers are required produce these records upon request by a Labour Inspector.
The Fair Work Act
In Australia, under the Fair Work Act, employers must keep legible records of time and wages dating back at least seven years. This includes general details like the employee’s name, commencement date and whether the employee is full-time, part-time, or casual. Records must also include information about the rate of pay and any other monetary allowances, hours of work, how much leave the employee has accrued as well as how much leave has been taken.
Employers must also keep records on superannuation contributions, and if appropriate, individual flexibility arrangements, guarantee of annual earnings and ending of employment details. For full details, see the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website. These records need to be in English and readily accessible by a Fair Work Inspector should one ever call. Fines for non-compliance can be stiff.
How to manage record-keeping
Of course, accurate record-keeping is not just required in the area of time and attendance. Employers need to keep records on all employment-related activity like training and personal development, performance management, and of course workplace health and safety. If any difficulty arises in the future, such as an unfair dismissal claim, only with adequate records can you begin to defend your actions. For instance, should an employee’s performance not meet a satisfactory standard, and a performance management process ensures, the employer needs to follow due process and document every step.
Record-keeping is a basic business requirement; however it can be onerous. The right systems can help to streamline record-keeping and provide easy access to your files 24/7. With enableHR, managers are prompted to maintain employee records, keep files accurate, up-to-date and accessible whenever you need them.
enableHR streamlines and centralises your HR records management and compliance requirements helping ensure that all HR documents and processes are legally-compliant and consistent. This significantly reduces your company’s HR related workload and improves document management and record-keeping capabilities. And all without significant additional costs.
Ready to get your employee records under control? Contact enableHR today for Australian and New Zealand inquiries.