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A whopping 90% of payroll managers find laws confusing and contradictory, according to a recent survey of payroll managers conducted by The Australian Payroll Association.

The survey also found that:

  • Only about 10% of payroll managers have a competency-based payroll qualification.
  • 90% of payroll managers were also unsure how to apply laws to real-world situations because they were unsure how to interpret the wording of the awards and legislation.
  • Only 58% of payroll managers who were confused consult with other payroll, HR and legal experts to clarify legislation for compliance.

“I’m not surprised by the findings of this report. However, I am surprised that businesses still expect payroll managers to do their job competently without support from qualified HR and employment law experts like us.” says Sean Wilson, CEO of Better HR.

More and more businesses are being prosecuted for underpaying workers. There are almost daily headlines about “wage theft” and the list of businesses accused of breaching Australian employment laws keeps growing; 7-Eleven, Michael Hill, Pizza Hut, Flight Centre, Commonwealth Bank, Chatime, Caltex, Nandos, Arnotts, Lush, Chemist Warehouse, Subway, VIP Security Services, Super Amart, Crystal Carwash, Cotton On, Sunglass Hut, Yogurberry, Neil Perry’s Rockpool, Zumbo, Oaks Hotels & Resorts and more.

“There are laws in Australia to regulate how businesses must pay people. Laws such as the Fair Work Act. There are also compulsory National Employment Standards. As well as over 130 Modern Awards which regulate minimum entitlements. You also have the Fair Work Regulations. Enterprise Agreements are also important in many businesses.” Sean says.

“Businesses should not expect payroll managers to understand and interpret all these laws and legal instruments. Payroll managers need help from qualified HR and employment law experts to do their job competently, and to protect your business from big fines and penalties, damaging employee claims and expensive back-pay orders.” Sean says.

Is your business at risk?

Start by asking these questions to determine if you and your business are at risk:

  • Does your payroll manager have access to HR and employment law experts to help (eg. Better HR’s team of experts)?
  • Have you clearly documented the role for each employee in your business (eg. competency-based position descriptions)?
  • Has an expert determined the correct Modern Award coverage and minimum entitlements for each employee based on the competency-based job description?
  • Is your business issuing/keeping mandatory payroll records to meet its legal obligations (eg. issuing payslips within 1 working day, keeping time and wages records, etc)?

Need help with HR and compliance?

If you hear alarm bells ringing, get help from qualified HR and employment law experts like Better HR.