You’re legally required to keep some records for 7 years, such as:

  • employee details including information about pay, leave and hours of work
  • reimbursements of work-related expenses
  • workers compensation insurance for each employee
  • pay as you go (PAYG) tax instalments
  • superannuation contributions

Whilst not all employee records are legally required to keep, it is best practice to keep other employee records to provide a full employment history. These include:

  • resumes and job applications
  • contracts of employment
  • performance reviews
  • trade or registration certificates


Alongside the importance of paying employees correctly and on time, as an employer, you must also understand your obligations to provide pay slips.

The legal requirements of a pay slips include:

  • provide a pay slip within one business day of pay day
  • ensure pay slips have the required information
  • issue the pay slip either electronically or on paper

It’s also recommended that you:

  • use plain English that is simple to understand
  • give pay slips to staff securely and confidentially
  • provide pay slips in an easily printable format
  • ensure your staff can access and print pay slips in private

Not providing a pay slip, or providing one without the required information, can result in a fine for your business.

Learn more about employee pay, leave and entitlements.

Employees pay leave and entitlements

Find out how to resolve complaints and disputes with employees.


We have acted for employees and for employers, we know there are two sides to every argument.


Employees are generally protected by the Fair Work Act. Proceedings are usually conducted in the Fair Work Commission (FWC) but can be in the Federal Circuit Court (FCC). 

The benefit of taking action in the FWC is that there, the proceedings usually do not award cost to the winning party. However, the FCC is a costs jurisdiction. That means the losing party must pay the winning party’s legal costs.


The most frequent actions are about unfair dismissal, underpayment of wages, allegations of bullying or discrimination in employment. Below is an extract from the Fair Work Commission annual report;

Employment Dispute Applications



Some workers are not employees, they are independent contractors. The tests used to characterise a worker as either employee or independent contractor are found in the common law.

There are some tests which purport to determine if a worker is an independent contractor or employee for example, the Australian Taxation Office “Contractor Decision Tool”. We say these are not reliable. The common law tests are contained in hundreds of pages of many decisions of higher courts in Australia and other common law countries. We say it is completely unreasonable for authorities to reduce the complex legal reasoning of the best legal minds in the common law world to 6 buttons.

If there you are involved in a controversy about classification of a worker as an employee or independent contractor GET LEGAL ADVICE.

We do caution employers to not be “tricky” with these matters. If you are found to have made a sham contract, serious consequences may follow.




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