Keeping the right records


Thousands of employers have used our templates to get their records straight.

On this page:

Why is record-keeping important?

Accurate record-keeping will help you:

  • keep a close eye on your finances
  • comply with the law
  • avoid fines and penalties.

Get your paperwork in order by using our online tools. We have templates to assist employers with pay slips and piecework agreements as well as other employee records.

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What are the basics about record-keeping?

Making and keeping proper employee records is not only good business practice – it’s also the law. To comply with the law, employee records:

  • must be written in English, and be clear and easy to access
  • can only be changed to correct an error (you need to keep details of the change made)
  • can't be false or misleading
  • must include all the required information for each employee
  • must be kept for 7 years.

For a full list of information that must be kept for each employee, go to our Record-keeping page. To comply with the law you need to make and keep the full list of information for each employee. 

To download templates, go to our Record-keeping page.

For more information about rosters, and to download a template, go to our Rosters page. 

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Do I have to give pay slips & what has to be on them?

You must issue pay slips. Pay slips have to be given to an employee within 1 working day of pay day, even if they are on leave. They can be in either electronic form or hard copy. To comply with the law, pay slips must contain:

  • employer’s and employee’s name
  • employer's Australian Business Number (if applicable)
  • pay period
  • date of payment
  • gross and net pay
  • for employees on an hourly rate:
  • the ordinary hourly rate
  • number of hours worked at that rate
  • total dollar amount of pay at that rate
  • for employees on an annual rate, the annual rate
  • any loadings (including casual loadings), allowances, bonuses, incentive-based payments, penalty rates or other paid entitlements
  • the pay rate that applied on the last day of employment
  • any deductions including:
  • the amount and details of each deduction
  • the name or name and number of the fund/account the deduction was paid into
  • any superannuation contributions paid for the employee’s benefit including:
  • the amount
  • the details of the superannuation fund that the contributions were made to.

For more information about what needs to go on a pay slip, how to manage requests for pay slips and what happens if you don’t issue pay slips or they have the wrong information on them, go to our Pay slips page.

You can also use our free pay slip template (53.5KB) (478.8KB) to help you get it right.

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What do I have to record in a piecework agreement?

An employee and employer may enter into an agreement to be paid a piecework rate under the Horticulture Award or Wine Award. If you’re paying piecework rates, you must record it in a written piecework agreement.

You need a written piecework agreement signed by you and each employee. The agreement has to be genuinely made:

  • without pressuring the employee
  • before the employee starts performing piecework

The piecework agreement must set out the piecework rate. Piecework rates must be set at the time a piecework agreement is made. The rates must also be reviewed regularly by your employer. For help on how to calculate piecework rates go to our Pay & piecework rates page.

You need to give the employee a copy of the piecework agreement and keep a copy for your own time and wages records.

For more details on creating a piecework agreement, go to our Horticulture piecework agreement assessment guide.

To create an agreement and see what should be included in one, use our Horticulture Piecework agreement template.

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How can I learn how to keep the right records?

Our Record-keeping & pay slips online course will teach you how to make and manage employee records for your business. By completing the course you'll learn more about:

  • what employee records are and why they need to be kept
  • when employee records need to be made and how long they need to be stored
  • what pay slips are and what information need to be included in them
  • what tools and resources are available to help you manage your record-keeping and pay slips.

The online course is free and only takes about 25 minutes to complete.

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What type of piecework rate records should I keep?

If an employer chooses to use piecework rates, they should be able to demonstrate how they calculated their piecework rates.

Keeping the types of records listed below for each piecework agreement with an employee can help you to:

  • show how you calculated piecework rates at the time you entered into the agreement
  • assess whether piecework rates met the minimum required.

A record of what you considered

This kind of record will help you show the factors you considered when determining the piecework rate and entering into the piecework agreement. It can include:

  • any previous piecework rate data 
  • any industry data (for example, about the time it takes to become competent) 
  • any specific factors for your business that would impact on how long it takes to become competent or that might affect piecework rates.

Records of when you reviewed your rates

A record of any times that you reviewed your piecework rates. This could be either periodically or at critical times such as:

  • weather events
  • changes to piecework conditions like growing or picking conditions
  • changes to the workforce.

Employers need to regularly review the piecework rates that they’re paying to ensure those rates are compliant.

Pick rate records

For example:

  • records of the actual pick rates of your employees
  • records of any reviews of average pick rates of employees with different levels of experience.

Industry body advice

You may also receive information, recommendations or other documentation in relation to piecework rates from an industry body about:

  • how long it usually takes to become competent
  • how to set appropriate piecework rates.

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