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Ask our specialist: What records do employers need to keep?

Ask our specialist: What records do employers need to keep? (Last Updated On: October 3, 2017)

Regardless of size and industry, all employers need to keep time and wage records for employees for seven years. In addition to what type of information needs to be kept, employers need to be aware of who can access the records and what happens if records aren’t kept. Here are details of the records and information that employers must keep:

Download our record keeping and pay slip obligation infographic here.

General details

  • employer name and ABN
  • employee’s name
  • date employee started work
  • employment status – full-time, part-time or casual, and whether the employee is permanent or temporary.

Pay records

  • pay rate
  • gross and net amounts paid to the employee
  • any deductions from the gross amount paid
  • incentives paid such as bonus or penalty rates.

Hours of work

  • hours of work if the employee is a casual or irregular part-time employee whose pay is based on time worked
  • penalty rates or loading paid for overtime
  • number of overtime hours and when the employee started and finished these hours

Note: A common shortcoming in record keeping is not recording hours of work correctly, which is also a problem as this can be one of the first things a Fair Work inspector will ask for when auditing a business.


  • any leave (personal, annual etc) taken
  • total leave an employee has
  • where employees are able to cash out annual leave, an employer must record the agreement in which they agreed to the amount being cashed out, as well as the finer details of when the payment was made

Individual flexibility agreements (IFA)

  • copy of the written IFA
  • any notice or agreement to terminate the IFA

Who can access records?

  • an employee is entitled to see their own records even if they no longer work for the employer
  • Fair Work Inspectors are also entitled to ask for records, meaning employers must keep accurate records

What happens if records are not kept?

If records are not kept, employers can be issued with a fine or taken to court by the Fair Work Ombudsman. Penalties for these types of breaches have recently increased substantially.

Employers should have records kept on every employee, and kept in a way that is easy to access in case of an audit. For advice on record keeping requirements, call Employsure on 1300 651 415.

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