New Fair Work requirement to record start and finishing times for employees

From March 1 2020, it will be compulsory for employers to keep a record of the starting and finishing times of work, and any unpaid breaks taken, of salaried staff covered by the following awards earning up to $148,700.

Banking, Finance and Insurance Award 2020
Broadcasting, Recorded Entertainment and Cinemas Award 2010
Clerks—Private Sector Award 2010
Contract Call Centres Award 2010
Horticulture Award 2010
Hydrocarbons Industry (Upstream) Award 2020
Legal Services Award 2020
Local Government Industry Award 2010
Wool Storage, Sampling and Testing Award 2010
Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2010
Mining Industry Award 2010
Oil Refining and Manufacturing Award 2020
Pastoral Award 2010
Pharmacy Industry Award 2010
Rail Industry Award 2010
Salt Industry Award 2010
Telecommunications Services Award 2010
Water Industry Award 2010

Employees have to acknowledge the record of hours they’ve worked is correct by signing in writing or electronically at the end of every pay period or roster cycle. The move is seen as an attempt to clamp down on underpayment and wage theft, which has dominated headlines in recent months.

According to the Fair Work website, employers who want to pay an annualised wage or salary for employees covered by the above award need to place the arrangement in writing and give their employee a copy. The document needs to include:

  • the annual wage that will be paid
  • which award entitlements are included in the annual wage
  • how the annual wage has been calculated, including any assumptions used in the calculation
  • the maximum (or ‘outer limit’) number of penalty hours and overtime hours the employee can work in a pay period or roster cycle without extra payment.

The employer must also undertake an annual reconciliation, using their record of hours worked (i.e. start times, finish times and unpaid breaks), to ensure their employees have been paid at least the same amount they would’ve been paid under the award if they weren’t on an annual wage. If an employee’s annual wage is less than the award payments that they would have received, their employer has to pay them the difference within 14 days.

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