It’s easy to get caught off guard when it comes to employee wages. There are numerous pieces of legislation and considerations to take into account when paying wages and getting it right can be hard.
Consider these 5 tips to help you pay your employees correctly.
1. Minimum Wage
Depending on the type of work your employee undertakes there may be industrial instruments (e.g. awards, enterprise agreements), employment agreements and workplace policies that can stipulate the wages an employee should be paid, when they should be paid, and how, given the hours they work.
Employees can use the BrightHR Blip app to clock in and out so you can easily track their hours.
When hiring your employees, make sure you are aware what stipulations apply to the position and reflect this in their wages or pay rate. There are over 120 Modern Awards, so it’s important you set the foundation for the position appropriately so you can be comfortable that you are meeting your obligations as an employer.
2. Pay A Fair Rate
Your employee is entitled to be paid at least the minimum wage for the job they do depending on their award/enterprise agreement and their employment contract. However, you may want to consider whether the minimum rate is fair compared to the going market rate for your industry.
Paying your employee a little bit more than the minimum requirements may result in a more satisfied employee and one who is likely to stay in the business rather than looking for a higher paid job elsewhere, saving you the bother and the cost of hiring someone new.
To find out how much employees are generally being paid for their specific job, salary checkers and salary guide reports can be found online or acquired through your industry body.
Besides specific provisions regarding breaks in awards and registered agreements, workplace health and safety legislation generally says that an employer must provide a safe work environment for employees. This can include giving employees meal and rest breaks.
Generally, rest breaks are short ‘comfort’ breaks where an employee can use the facilities and kick back for a bit; these are usually paid. Meal breaks are longer breaks that allow an employee enough time to have a meal and are generally unpaid. You can use the roster tool in BrightHR to schedule shifts and breaks.
Employers can’t deduct from an employee’s pay on a whim. Deductions are usually only permitted if required by law (for example child support) or at the direction of a court; in accordance with an industrial instrument; or if it is authorised in writing by the employee and is principally for the employee’s benefit, though the employee may withdraw this agreement at any time.
5. Payslips and Record Keeping
An employee must be provided with a copy of their payslip within one working day of the day they were paid, even if an employee is on leave. There are specific requirements as to what should be listed on a payslip, and you are required to keep employment records, specifically wage and time records, for at least seven years.
If you engage casuals, it is important that you separate their base rate of pay and their casual loading to ensure that they understand the casual loading has been factored into their wages.
BrightHR can help employers effortlessly keep track of employee rosters, timesheets, leave and absenteeism, and store employee profiles, wage and time records and related documents securely in easy to use, cloud-based systems so you meet your record-keeping requirements and can easily access employee information when you need it. Bright HR can help you understand what to pay your employees and how to meet recordkeeping requirements.