Over the past year, we have seen many stories of well-known companies that have landed in hot water for underpaying their staff.
In response to these incidents, the Australian government has implemented sweeping regulatory changes which set out new requirements to help employers pay their staff correctly.
Since 1 March 2021, employers who pay annual salaries to employees covered by certain Modern Awards have been required to satisfy new obligations when it comes to payroll reporting and compliance.
This includes keeping detailed time and attendance records of affected employees, including breaks and outer limit hours. They must also, on an annual basis, compare the salary paid to these employees against what they would have been paid been under their award.
Getting on the front foot
To ensure its compliance with the new Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) Annual Salary Arrangement obligations, Mitsui & Co. (Australia) moved quickly to implement a software system to manage its employees affected by the legislation.
Antony Auliso, Director and General Manager of HR at Mitsui, says the company needed a more detailed and efficient method of tracking and processing the time and attendance of its impacted employees.
“We were using Excel spreadsheets to record our employee’s time and attendance, which involved a lot of time-consuming manual work.”
“Our payroll and HR team spent a lot of time not only chasing up and consolidating timesheets, but also manually entering data into our payroll system. It was also difficult for them to interpret the timesheets against the Modern Award to ensure employee pay was correct.”
“We were looking for a software solution that would allow us to automate this process and help us confidently ensure compliance.”
Streamlining compliance with Sage Employee Service
To help automate compliance with the Annual Salary Arrangement obligations, Mitsui chose Sage Employee Service.
“As a cloud-based solution, Sage Employee Service allows our staff to enter or retrieve time and attendance data if they’re working remotely, from their laptop or smartphone.”
Accessible anywhere, on any device, Sage Employee Service is designed to help Australian businesses confidently ensure compliance with the new FWC Annual Salary Arrangement obligations.
It helps Australian businesses streamline the capture of employee time and attendance records, interpret these against the relevant Modern Award, and compare the interpreted data against an employee’s annual salary to identify any underpayments.
Automating compliance and instilling confidence
With Sage Employee Service, Antony says it’s now much quicker and easier to track and process employee time and attendance. Not only does the solution help eliminate manual processes, it also provides the business peace of mind that it is compliant.
“Sage Employee Service saves our HR team two days per week by automating our Fair Work Annual Salary Arrangement obligations, eliminating the manual data collation and entry required with our previous system. It has made updating timesheets far simpler for our employees and has streamlined the timesheet approval process, helping to avoid countless emails between staff and approvers.”
“The summary reports we get from Sage Employee Service also make performing annual reconciliation calculations easy.”
Spotting compliance issues thanks to real-time insights
Antony says the real-time insights Sage Employee Service provides have been key to proactively identifying issues which may lead to non-compliance with new Fair Work obligations.
“The fact that we can get a status report from Sage Employee Service in real-time, at any time, is invaluable. It gives our team peace of mind that we’re compliant,” says Antony.
“We’re able to easily run reports for the various departments and group companies within Mitsui to quickly see if they’re meeting their Annual Salary Arrangement obligations and help ensure there are no underpayments.”
Empowering staff to meet Fair Work obligations
Antony says that Sage Employee Service has given Mitsui the tools to make compliance with Fair Work’s Annual Salary Arrangement obligations quick and easy.
“Sage Employee Service is very easy to use for our staff, and I would highly recommend the solution to other businesses who want to simplify compliance with Fair Work’s Annual Salary Arrangement obligations.”