Employment records: What employers need to know 

Maintaining accurate employment records helps you protect and manage your business. It helps you keep track of employee details, identify problems and keep your business running efficiently. Employers have an obligation under federal laws to keep comprehensive and complete records. This article provides a guide for employers on what you need to know about record-keeping. 


What records must be kept?

There are several employment records that must be kept. These include records for employment details, hours worked, amounts paid, leave details, agreements with employers and termination details. Information to be included in these records for each employee is set out in the Fair Work Act 2009 and Fair Work Regulations 2009. 


What are my obligations as an employer?

As an employer, you are legally required to make and keep employment records. These records must be in plain English and kept for at least 7 years. You are also required to issue employee pay slips, within 1 working day of payment. The purpose of these obligations is to ensure that employees receive their correct wages and entitlements. 


What are the rights of my employees?

Employees have the right to have their records kept private and confidential. Employers must make copies of an employee’s records available at the request of an employee or former employee. If an employee makes an underpayment claim in court, the onus is on the employer to produce proper employee records and payslips to prove whether they have or have not underpaid the employee.  


What happens if records are not kept correctly or are fraudulent?

Fair Work Inspectors (FWIs) have the right to ask for time and wage records to verify what an employee is entitled to and whether they have been paid correctly. Failing to produce certain records to a FWI is breach of workplace laws and carries significant financial penalties. FWIs can fine employers, called an infringement notice, if an employer does not: 

  • include the right information on a pay slip; 
  • issue pay slips at all or within one working day of payment;  
  • keep employee records; or 
  • keep incorrect, false or misleading records. 


Key takeaways

  • Employers must issue employee pay slips within one working day of payment. 
  • Employee records must be in plain English and kept for at least 7 years. 
  • Failure to provide proper records to FWIs may lead to an infringement notice.  


Gladwin Legal are experts in employment and industrial relations law and have extensive experience in advising businesses. If you require assistance in understanding your legal obligations, please contact us at or 1300 033 934.