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May IR Insights: Record Keeping Requirements


So, what are you legally required to share with employees?


Both Australia and New Zealand employers are legally required to keep time and wages records for a period of 7 years.  So, what do those records include?  


  • An Employment Contract or Employment Agreement  

  • Pay Slips – In Australia the payslip should show the pay rate, gross and net amounts paid, any deductions, and details of any payments like bonus’s, loadings, overtime, or penalty rates that apply to the pay period. In New Zealand there is no requirement to keep a payslip unless this is set out in the Employment Agreement.    

  • Time Keeping Records – in Australia a roster than can confirm when and where hours are worked, total hours per week and any unpaid meal breaks taken.  In New Zealand this is the Wages and Time record, and will include the employee’s rate of pay, what has been paid and holiday and leave information.   

  • Superannuation/Kiwi Saver records, and  

  • Leave balances.  

 

Hot Tip for our Australian clients – keep your time keeping records for the life of your employees as you may need to access the hours an employee has worked to calculate Long Service Leave entitlements.   

 

Anything else?


If requested, you should provide an employee any correspondence you have sent to them about their employment. This can include letters confirming a pay increase, agreements about changes to work conditions, performance review documents, disciplinary notifications, and disciplinary outcome letters (just to name a few).  

 

What about the notes that an employer may take during a disciplinary meeting?  

 

In Australia, if you don’t want to share your meeting notes you are not required to do so – but it is always recommended that you set this expectation at the beginning of the meeting and offer the employee or their support person the opportunity to make their own notes.  If you are planning on sharing your notes with the employee or their support person, let them know that the notes are being provided for transparency purposes and may be provided as a summary (not verbatim).  

 

If the disciplinary meeting requires an investigation, and there is a need to get statements from several complainant/s or witnesses, the notes kept from these meetings should not be shared amongst these people or with the person alleged to have engaged in the conduct.  This is to ensure that the Investigation process is protected and no party to the investigation is victimised.     

 

In New Zealand the requirements to share meeting notes are very different.  First, there is a requirement to keep records of the meeting (in writing). Even in the case of minor matters, the employer needs to document the conversation they had with the employee and set out the future expectations with the potential that disciplinary action may be taken if the matter arises again. These notes need to be shared with the employee, so they understand the expectations and consequences.  


Similarly, where a Workplace Investigation is undertaken, the accused employee is entitled to know the identity of the witnesses so they can respond to the allegations against them. In this case the notes made by the employer when interviewing the witnesses must be first shared with the witness to confirm the conversation as correct before sharing these notes with the accused.    

 

If you have any questions about your obligations to maintain employee records, or sharing of notes with your employees, please contact Streamline HR.  

 

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