Employment record keeping laws

Developing employment documentation and maintaining employment records is not only good business practice, but is also a legal requirement under the Federal Fair Work Act 2009 and theFair Work Regulations 2009. Failing to keep the required records under the Federal Fair Work Act 2009 may attract an on-the-spot fine or court prosecution with significant penalties as a result.

Under Federal workplace relations laws, employers must keep the following records for seven (7) years:

-       general employment records
-       pay records, including pay slips
-       hours of work records
-       leave records
-       superannuation contribution records and
-       termination records.

Further, specific records must be kept if the employer and the employee negotiate an individual flexibility agreement or a guarantee of annual earnings. Additional records are also required where employees request an extension of parental leave or request flexible working arrangements.

There are also a number of employment documents that, while not legally required, are essential to minimise any disagreements and action in relation to employment conditions. For example, a written contract of employment clarifies whether an employee is permanent or casual, their classification and wage and when the employment commenced, which can reduce the risk of misunderstandings and disputes regarding employment conditions and status.

Appropriate documentation and records can also protect employers from costly unfair dismissal, unlawful termination or discrimination claims. An employer that has maintained and documented performance warnings, disciplinary interviews and the steps taken to ensure procedural fairness have a stronger defence against unfair dismissal or unlawful termination claims compared to where no such documentation has been kept.

To assist businesses in not only complying with the record-keeping requirements under employment laws, but also implement best practice in relation to employment documentation, Business SA has produced the Employment Documentation Package - 4th edition.

The Package contains essential pro forma letters, forms and checklists, along with extensive guidance notes and explanations how and when the documentation should be used, in relation to important human resource and workplace relations activities including:

-            recruitment and selection
-            employment contracts
-            leave
-            performance appraisals
-            termination and
-            general employment documentation.

Ready to tailor to suit individual and specific requirements, the Package will not only save time and the hassle of developing employment documentation, it will also ensure that businesses are compliant with current legislation.

Covering the various State and Federal legislation affecting employment and workplace matters, this Package focuses only on organisations covered by the Federal workplace relations system.

To order your copy of the Employment Documentation Package - 4th Edition, please contact the Business Advisory Centre on 8300 0113, or visit:

Adelaide Office

Level 1
136 Greenhill Road Unley
South Australia 5061

P 08 8300 0000
F 08 8300 0001



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