An audit, a health check, compliance assessment…a rose by any other name, as it is less important what we call them, and more important that they actually get done. When was the last time your business was assessed for compliance?
Now is as good a time as any, if not the perfect time – as the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) is continuing to focus on basic employment relations compliance including but not limited to wages, record keeping and payslips. Just this week, the target of their latest compliance campaign was announced: retail outlets and hair and beauty salons on the east coast of Australia.
What’s the risk?
If your business is found to be non-compliant, it faces penalties of hundreds of thousands of dollars, not to mention significant reputational damage. You should also be aware of the risks that you as an individual may bear – if you are found to be “knowingly involved” in a contravention of the Fair Work Act or another industrial instrument such as an award, you may be found personally liable as an accessory. The FWO estimates that 92% of its prosecutions involve accessories, so this should be a priority concern for any owner, director or manager of a business.
What do I need to look for?
Don’t take the risk; start an internal compliance audit of your business immediately. Key elements of a health check include:
- Wages: Are you paying in compliance with the relevant industrial instrument? Have you factored in any annual wage increases or equal remuneration orders? Are you keeping on top of junior wage rates, including applying increases on their birthdays?
- Payslips: Do you issue payslips within one working day of payment? Do your payslips contain all the necessary requirements?
- Employment records: Do you keep sufficient employment records of all your employees? Are you aware of all the content requirements? Are these records stored for at least seven years?
- Allowances, loadings and penalties: Do you pay all applicable allowances, loadings and penalties? Are you aware of your obligations to specify them on the payslips? If you offset against a higher rate of pay, do your contracts allow for this?
- Leave entitlements: Are you familiar with what leave your employees are entitled to under the Fair Work Act and other industrial instruments? Do you keep records of accrued and taken leave?
What’s the easiest way to do this?
Upon commencement, HR Assured clients are given a comprehensive audit of their employment practices. This means that businesses can get on with their day-to-day work, confident in their compliance and able to consult with qualified HR professionals whenever they need further reassurance or support.
For more information on the recommendations and what this means for you, clients should contact the HR Assured team. If you’d like more information about the benefits of becoming an HR Assured client contact us today for an informal chat.