11 March, 2024

WA businesses fined for breaching record keeping requirements

Industrial inspectors in the WA state industrial relations system have powers to enforce breaches of employment record keeping requirements by private sector businesses that operate as:

  • Sole traders.
  • Unincorporated partnerships.
  • Unincorporated trust arrangements, where none of the trustees or other entities in the trust arrangement are Pty Ltd entities.

An industrial inspector may issue a civil infringement notice to a person whom they believe has breached a record-related provision under the Industrial Relations Act 1979. Similar to an 'on-the-spot' fine, an infringement notice contains details of the alleged breach and specifies a penalty to be paid.

As a result of the Private Sector Labour Relations’ proactive compliance activities and investigations of underpayment complaints in 2023, four businesses were issued infringement notices for not issuing payslips to employees and/or not keeping timesheets recording start and finish times and hours worked for each employee. This resulted in the recovery of $33,031 in unpaid wages and entitlements for employees and a total of $3,900 fines paid by the businesses.

Infringement notices can specify a maximum penalty of $6,500 for a body corporate and $1,300 for an individual. Failure to pay an infringement notice can lead to proceedings taken in the Industrial Magistrates Court.

Employers who are subject to the WA state industrial relations system can visit the Employment records - employer obligations page to find information about the legal requirements on record keeping to ensure compliance.