Happy employees and HR compliance

November 24, 2019

If you got audited by Fair Work would you be confident and comfortable with the level of your HR compliance?

Whether you have employees – or contractors who should be classified as employees – this is a question you simply must confront on a regular basis as an employer.

Yes, it can be hard enough to keep up with all the changes around PAYG and superannuation, let alone the Fair Work legislation and awards. You cannot be expected to know everything, but employers are expected to obtain professional advice around award interpretation and employment contracts.

What is the Fair Work Act 2009?

The Fair Work Act 2009 was created by the Fair Work Commission and started on 1 July 2009.

The Fair Work system is the national workplace relations system and it governs minimum employment laws and agency bodies.

Key features of the Fair Work Act 2009 are:

  • Minimum National Employment Standards
  • Awards that apply nationally for specific industries and occupations
  • The national minimum wage
  • Protection from unfair dismissal.
  • Awards, together with the National Employment Standards and the national minimum wage, make up a safety net of entitlements for employees covered by the Fair Work system.

Questions an employer should ask themselves:

  1. How do I ensure that I maintain legally compliant HR policies?
  2. Are my employee contracts legally compliant?
  3. Have I identified the right award and am I paying staff the correct amounts?
  4. How do I keep up to date with all the legislative changes?
  5. Can I ensure that we manage staff in line with Commonwealth Fair Work regulations?
  6. Am I using the right documentation to performance manage staff?
  7. How do I effectively and fairly measure performance indicators?
  8. How can I minimise the time overhead of our HR administration?
  9. How well do I manage our staff to KPI’s? And are those KPIs relevant to the employees job descriptions, so that I’m not exposed to unfair dismissal?
A small business owner with employees should never underestimate the true importance of position descriptions, successful onboarding, staff engagement and retention, and how to have positive and productive performance reviews.

Happy staff = successful business

Properly managing staff expectations and fostering better employee-employer relationship can help to:
– reduce the risk of unfair dismissal claims,
– protect your business,
– protect your personal assets,
– increase productivity which in turn grows your business, and
– save time and costs associated with recruitment and training.

Software for managing HR Compliance

If HR is creating some level on anxiety at present, time-saving software can allow you to manage staff more efficiently.
We partner with HR specialists to provide software and they also advise us, review our policies and contracts and assist our clients.  We love having a online suite of legally compliant documents that are tailorable to our business but also legally compliant to Fair Work.

Efficient cloud-based HR and payroll systems are making professional services more accessible and affordable than ever before. Using cloud-based apps helps you to save time and allows you to focus on working ON the business rather than IN it, which ultimately leads to a simpler life.

Your HR compliance system should ideally integrate with your cloud accounting software and employee data will synchronise across. Since the introduction of Single Touch Payroll (STP) almost all employers, even the smallest employers, are now using cloud based payroll systems within Xero, MYOB etc.

Contact us for a free 15 minute HR Compliance Health Check

The role of your accountant to reduce risk

We take a 360 degree approach with all of our clients’ businesses, analysing their accounts and advising all year round, not just at tax time. As accountants, our client brief includes helping you reduce risk because we want to protect our business as well as yours.

As accountants and tax agents, we can’t just assume our clients are paying their employees’ correct wages and entitlements. We’re required under our licence to advise our clients on taxation laws. The Fair Work Ombudsman regularly prosecutes accountants and payroll personnel for ‘accessorial liability’ when their clients are found guilty.

Now more than ever all employers need to comply with super obligations – no more hiding from the ATO with STP and super fund monthly reporting to the ATO.

Directors are now personally liable for super if they don’t lodge an SGC statement for unpaid super by the due date. They can potentially face jail time. Directors are also personally liable for unpaid PAYG withholding, and deductions are now denied for payments if PAYG was not withheld when it should have been.

Please ask us how we can help you to successfully manage your employer obligations and minimise personal risks. 

Contact us for a free 15 minute HR Compliance Health Check

This information is only general in nature; it does not take into account your personal or business situation or objectives; it is not intended to replace professional advice and should not be acted upon. For professional advice based on your individual circumstances,  please do not hesitate to contact us.

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