The hospitality sector continues to be under intense scrutiny as more and more businesses face hefty fines due to major wage and salary underpayments.
In the majority of recent cases, businesses were unable to provide accurate and readily available payroll records leaving Fair Work Australia often with no choice but to pass over the matter to the courts.
Fair Work Australia provides specific guidance on what records your venue must keep and what they should contain. Below are some examples which every venue should consider as a minimum:
Pay records - For each payment made, your venue must be able to show the rate of payment, gross amount, net amount and details of any deductions/allowances.
Records of hours worked - A pay record is not enough to establish compliance. Your venue must be able to provide compliant timesheets that state employee start and finishing times, including breaks taken and overtime. In addition, these timesheets must be signed off by the employee and their supervisor. The format of the timesheet can be digital or manual. To ensure compliance with Fair Work Australia’s requirements these timesheets must be retained on file for seven years.
Leave records - For every employee that is entitled to take leave, your venue must keep records of any leave taken. In addition, your venue must keep records of any current leave entitlement balances, including the rate of accrual.
As evidenced above, it is of great importance that the venue’s management carefully maintains an operational environment with robust processes that allow for adequate record-keeping as required by Fair Work Australia.
The paperwork involved can be overwhelming, but fortunately over the past years great digital progress has been made to make compliance just a little bit easier:
Time-in-attendance programs - Through the use of Time-In-Attendance Programs, employees are able to clock on and off via time tracking apps, communicate to management and view upcoming rosters. Conversely, employers are able to timely review and approve timesheets. These capabilities allow for a complete audit trail and most importantly maintain compliant record-keeping.
Payroll processing programs - Most payroll softwares integrate with Time-In-Attendance Programs. This is a significant time-saver and can eliminate one of the most common issues in payroll processing: human error. Specific care should be taken when selecting the right program for your venue. Ensure the chosen program can interpret the Modern Australian Awards and is capable of calculating the correct pay rates, including any applicable penalty payments.
Even though the above programs can assist with compliance, the venue's management must continue to enforce, monitor and review processes regularly.
A good way to improve productivity and accuracy in payroll-related matters is to outsource your payroll administration function. Trusted service providers can provide your venue with objective oversight to ensure payroll record-keeping compliance is maintained.
As part of On Tap Hospitality's service offering, we can provide payroll administration solutions, tailored to your venue’s needs.
Our experts can assist with further information.
Partner at ShineWing Australia
Director, On-Tap Hospitality
Director, On-Tap Hospitality