For Employers: Record-Keeping Warning

Workplace Law – Background

The Fair Work Ombudsman has warned employers of the increasing importance of keeping records regarding the hours and wages of employees.

Employers have been continuously penalised for failing to meet their record-keeping obligations and legislation increasing penalties for employers is being funnelled through Parliament.

As the obligations of, and potential penalties for, employers continue to mount, employers need to be vigilant to prevent mistakes, underpayments and any other non-compliance.

New App

The Fair Work Ombudsman has created a new app called ‘record my hours’ that:

  • is available for free download in 12 languages with more to come
  • allows employees to maintain a diary of their work hours


The Fair Work Ombudsman has reported that:

  • 48% of cases filed with the Fair Work Ombudsman in 2015/16 involved alleged contraventions of the record-keeping requirements of workplace law
  • over two-thirds of court proceedings contain allegations of record-keeping contraventions between 1 July 2016 and 31 December 2016
  • in that same period employers were fined a total of $1.8 million in penalties
  • a case involving a 7-Eleven operator resulted in penalties of over $400,000 against the director and the operating company
  • in a current case brought by the Fair Work Ombudsman, records for a labour-hire company are allegedly so poor only 5 of the 265 mostly migrant employees could be audited


The Fair Work Ombudsman has indicated that the app can make a real difference by:

  • using geofencing technology to automatically and accurately record when an employee is at their workplace
  • assisting Fair Work Inspectors as it would be closely considered in disputes
  • allowing employees to manually edit hours and add or delete shifts
  • collecting information and exporting it for comparison with estimated shifts and work hours manually entered
  • complementing the existing records of employers
  • enabling employers to identify any discrepancies in the reporting process above and therefore voluntarily and expeditiously address issues of concern before they escalate (and this could reduce visits from Fair Work Inspectors and/or lessen the risk of intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman)
  • posting rosters and reminders to employees
  • making the record-keeping process more user-friendly and easier for both employers and employees
  • seeking to prevent the exploitation of migrant workers
  • potentially saving employers hundreds or thousands of dollars
  • allowing the metadata in the app to be accessed and relied upon (with the employee’s permission)

Workplace Law Tips for Employers

Our Matthews Folbigg Workplace Solutions employment law team recommends employers:

  • read the information published by the Fair Work Ombudsman relating to record-keeping
  • test the app so they know how it works
  • expect one or more employees will use the app
  • ensure compliance with the record-keeping obligations of the Fair Work Act (which an employment lawyer can advise on)
  • ensure employment contracts and employment law policies comply with relevant employment laws, Fair Work Commission decisions, common law employment law principles and contractual obligations
  • understand what employment laws apply at your workplace including Awards and enterprise agreements
  • penalties can apply for breaches of employment laws including Awards and enterprise agreements (which an employment lawyer can advise on)
  • damages can apply for breaches of employment laws including Awards and enterprise agreements (which an employment lawyer can advise on)

More Information

For further information regarding any matter to do with workplace law, please call the leading employment lawyers in Parramatta, the Matthews Folbigg Workplace Solutions employment law team on 9635-7966 to speak with one of our employment lawyers.