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Rhiannon Riches
Emma Dalley
, Indigo Legal Pty Ltd

Recording pay and superannuation contributions has requirements that must be met.

To make sure you are complying, take a few minutes to check how you record these matters against the list below, compiled by workplace relations and human resources consultant Indigo Legal, trading as Optometry Australia Employer Assist.

The office of the Fair Work Ombudsman undertakes regular campaigns in relation to workplace rights and obligations. The most recent audit campaign in health care targeting the optometry profession was in January this year.

Fair Work Ombudsman officers were contacting optometry employers randomly to ensure their employees were correctly paid and that employers were complying with the Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2010 and the General Retail Industry Award 2010.

Officers were auditing employees’ time sheets to assess compliance against roster, break and leave requirements, and wage requirements.

The following information from Indigo Legal explains how to keep an accurate record of salary and superannuation contributions.

Record-Keeping: requirements to record pay and superannuation contributions

Under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FWA), employers who engage employees must make and maintain accurate and complete records for all employees including but not limited to the recording of pay and superannuation contributions.


To avoid any penalties, pay and superannuation contribution records must comply with the provisions set out in the FWA and the Fair Work Regulations 2009 (Cth) (Regulations). These are as follows:

  • must be kept for seven years
  • in a legible form
  • in English
  • readily accessible to a Fair Work Inspector
  • must not be changed unless to correct an error
  • must not be false or misleading.

Pay records

Under the FWA and Regulations, pay records must also include all of the following:

  • employer’s name
  • employee’s name
  • whether the employee is full-time or part-time
  • whether the employee is permanent, temporary or casual
  • the date on which the employment began
  • ABN of the employer
  • the rate of pay paid to the employee
  • the gross and net amounts paid
  • any deductions from the gross amount
  • the details of any incentive-based payment, bonus, loading, penalty rate, or other monetary allowance or separately identifiable entitlement paid
  • if the employee is casual or an irregular part-time employee who is guaranteed a rate of pay set by reference to a period of time worked, the hours worked by the employee must be recorded
  • the number of overtime hours worked by the employee during each day or when the employee started and ceased working overtime hours
  • the leave taken and leave balance (adequate records must also be kept of any cash-out arrangement)
  • the superannuation contributions (see below); and
  • if applicable:
       *  the agreement to average the hours of work
      * the individual flexibility arrangement and any notice or agreement that terminates the agreement
       *  the guarantee of annual earnings
       *  the manner of termination and the name of the person who terminated the employee.

Pay slips

Pay slips must be issued to each employee within one working day of pay day, even if an employee is on leave. Pay slips can be in hard copy or electronic form. Under the FWA and Regulations, pay slips must include all of the following:

  • employer’s name
  • employee’s name
  • period to which the pay slip relates
  • date of payment
  • gross and net amount of payment
  • any bonuses, loadings, allowances, penalty rates, incentive-based payments or other separately identifiable entitlement paid
  • employer’s ABN.

If applicable, a pay slip must include any of the following:

  • any deductions made from the gross amount, including the name, or the name and number, of the fund or account into which the deduction was paid
  • if the employee is paid an hourly rate of pay:
       *  the rate of pay for the employee’s ordinary hours
       *  the number of hours worked at that rate
       *  the amount of payment made at that rate
  • if the employee is paid an annual rate of pay (salary), the rate as at the latest date to which the payment relates
  • if the employer is required to make superannuation contributions for the benefit of the employee:
       *  the amount of each contribution the employer made or is liable to make during the period to which the pay slip relates
       *  the name, or name and number, of any fund into which the superannuation contributions were made or will be made.

Superannuation contribution records

Under the superannuation guarantee, employers are currently required to contribute 9.5 per cent of an employee’s ordinary time earnings to an employee’s superannuation fund.

The FWA and Regulations require superannuation contribution records to include all of the following:

  • the amount of the contributions paid
  • the period over which contributions were paid
  • the dates payments were made
  • the name of the fund into which the contributions were made
  • the basis on which the employer became liable to make the contribution, including a record of any election made by the employee (including the date) to have their superannuation contributions paid into a particular fund.

Note: ‘contributions’ does not include contributions in respect of a defined benefit interests in defined benefit funds.

What happens if you fail to keep the required records?

If employers fail to keep and maintain the required employee records and pay slip obligations, or if those records are incorrect, Fair Work Inspectors can issue fines (infringement notices). The maximum fine payable is $540 per contravention for an individual or $2,700 per contravention for a body corporate. However, if the employer continues to fail to meet the reporting requirements, or the failure is serious or wilful, Fair Work Inspectors may refer the matter to the courts.

Need assistance?

Indigo Legal trading as Employer Assist provides all Optometry Australia members with advice in regards to the requirements to record pay and superannuation contributions, or any other employee records. Contact Employer Assist on 1300 101 391 for assistance.


This article is intended for information purposes only and should not be regarded as legal advice. Contact Indigo Legal for any legal advice required.

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Acknowledgement of Country

In the spirit of reconciliation Optometry Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.