09/10/2017- Ten times the fine, won’t leave you feeling fine!

Employers beware! The Australian Government has recently imposed harsher penalties for employers who fail to comply with the Fair Work Act in keeping the wages for their business accurate. Under this new legislation which was passed through the Senate in September this year, employers can now receive penalties up to 10 times for this new category of ‘serious contraventions’. This is not to be taken lightly because, as of now, the new maximum penalty will increase from $12,600 to $126,000 per contravention for individuals, and from $63,000 to $630,000 per contravention for corporations. That’s a serious increase!

In addition to this, the Act explicitly prohibits an employer from devising or keeping employee records that they know to be false or misleading or submitting a pay slip that is known to be false or misleading. Also, employers that do not comply with their record keeping obligations and cannot give a reasonable excuse for non-compliance will have to deal with court time to dispute the claims.

From the 27 of October 2017 onwards, this Act also has serious implications for franchisors in particular. During the case of non-compliance, franchisors will have increased liability and potential penalties imposed on them, where there appears to be a significant degree of control or influence over the franchisee’s affairs, if they knew or could have known of franchisee non-compliance. At the end of the day, if you are a franchisor, you now have greater responsibility to demonstrate that you have taken ‘reasonable steps’ to prevent a breach by your franchisees.

Now that the entire franchise sector is under the microscope, the FWO won’t overlook the legal obligations of a franchisee. These increased penalties magnify the impact on franchisees and sanction that all employers across all industries and sectors are liable for their practices within the workplace

Keeping up with all of these constant changes in legislation as a business owner can be time consuming and easily overlooked. Here at Tradie Bookkeeping Specialists we are always across these new laws and will confidently keep your business covered so you can run your business freely and not have to worry about the red tape! Contact Ari today for a free consultation!