Payroll reform vital for Australian business growth

The Australian payroll system is one of the most complex in the world, costly to administer, and is in dire need of reform, according to long-serving human resources and payroll expert Dean Morelli.

The Australian payroll system is one of the most complex in the world, costly to administer, and is in dire need of reform, according to long-serving human resources and payroll expert Dean Morelli. 

Sydney-based Morelli, who is the Managing Director of Aussiepay and has more than two decades of experience in the industry, said that last year payroll administration cost Australian businesses $2.16 billion, and with so many complicated and different regulatory requirements, corporate compliance issues and laws for each state, companies are needlessly spending hours on payroll rather than devoting time to improving employee engagement and increasing productivity. 

“Government across Australia, State and Federal, should recognise that this is a huge overhead for business and an unnecessary bureaucratic cost,” argued Morelli. “It is complicated and time-consuming to administer and with eight states and territories and a Federal Government, keeping on top of compliance can be difficult.

“For example, annual leave accruals are governed at Federal level under the Fair Work Act, but long service leave is covered at State level. Add in the complexities of parental leave, part-time work, sick leave, redundancy, and various tax and superannuation requirements, and payroll can turn into a very difficult, time consuming and expensive task to administer. Simplifying payroll will have significant impacts on the bottom line of many businesses across Australia.”

Morelli said that in order for Australian companies to be truly competitive on the international stage, reform should not be limited to payroll and called on Government to examine red tape associated with industrial relations legislation and Australia’s overly complex tax systems for business.

“Where are the benefits to be gained by so much regulation? Australian businesses are weighed down by the burden of unnecessary regulatory obligations that other countries don’t have to deal with,” Morelli said. “If we are to realistically compete internationally, whatever the industry, we need to get rid of expensive and complicated systems.”

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