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Employment records


If you employ people, you have to keep employment records. You’re legally required to keep some employment 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
  • superannuation contribution amounts

While not all employee records have to be kept, it is best practice to keep other records to provide a full employment history. These include:

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

You may also need to provide employee wage and employment details to Centrelink if your employee is a Centrelink customer.

Go to the Fair Work Ombudsman website to learn more about employee record keeping.

Check out Fair Work Ombudsman online learning course on pay slips and record keeping.

Tax and super records


You must keep all records for your employee for 5 years relating to:

  • tax
  • superannuation amount calculations
  • how you met your choice of super fund obligations

Learn more about tax and super records you need to keep.

Pay slips


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 pay slips include:

  • providing a pay slip within one business day of pay day
  • ensuring pay slips have required information (including the amount paid and tax withheld)
  • issuing 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.

Check what information you need to include in your play slips.

Rosters and timesheets


If you employ staff, you may need to create rosters and timesheets to record their hours of work. It's best practice to keep these records.

Under most awards you and your employee must agree on the hours of work and rostering in advance, especially if they're full-time or part-time.

What is a roster?

A roster is a timetable that shows the days and times your employees are required to work. It usually includes the employee’s name, dates and hours to be worked and any scheduled breaks. A roster needs to be displayed in an easy to access place for employees and given in advance.

Your enterprise agreement or award may also have rules about when and how a roster should be displayed, and the process than you need to follow to change it.

What is a timesheet?

A timesheet is a timetable that shows the days and times that your employees actually worked. Your employees will usually complete this document. The pay slip you provide to your employees will reflect the hours your employee actually worked.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has free roster and timesheet templates to help you get started.

Payment for time worked

If you ask an employee to start work before their rostered start time or stay back after their rostered end time, you must pay the employee for additional time. As it is counted as hours worked.

If you require an employee to attend a meeting or compulsory training, you will need to pay for this time.

If you’re asking staff to work outside their usual hours remember to check your enterprise agreement or award, as penalty rates or overtime pay may apply.

Read next

Learn more about employee pay, leave and entitlements.

Learn more about what digital operation tools can offer you and what is available.

Check your other obligations as an employer.