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Timesheet Policy

Version 1.0 Updated 13 Mar 2018
Policy Manage

Who can use this Policy

This Policy can be used by all employers throughout Australia, except the following excluded employers:

  • Non-constitutional corporation employers in Western Australia;
  • State public sector employees (ie employees of a Minister, the Governor, or the Crown); and
  • Local Government employers — except in Tasmania and Victoria.

 

Excluded employers may however, wish to use this document, but they should first obtain legal advice.

Commentary

Many employers require employees to complete and sign timesheets to record their attendance at work.  Provisions in industrial instruments (awards, enterprise agreements, contracts, etc) may set requirements in this regard.  Legislation and regulations also require employers to keep records of hours worked for some employees.

The Fair Work Regulations 2009 (Cth) (the 'Regulations') provide that employers who are subject to the Regulations must keep records regarding the hours worked by employees. An employer’s record keeping requirements may differ, based on whether the employee is employed under an industrial instrument or not. Accordingly, you should seek specific advice if you are unsure of your record keeping obligations under the Regulations.

Employers are required to keep records for employees who are entitled to be paid a penalty rate or loading (however described) when working overtime hours, of either:

  • the number of overtime hours worked by the employee each day; or
  • the starting and finishing times of the overtime hours worked.

 

For casual and irregular part-time employees who are guaranteed a rate of pay (for example, a set hourly rate), employers must keep a record of the hours worked by those employees.

For all employees paid an hourly rate of pay, their payslips must record the ordinary hourly rate and the number of hours in the pay period for which the employee was employed at that rate.

If an employer and employee agree to average an employee’s hours (for example, 38 hours per week averaged over 26 weeks) the employer must keep a copy of that agreement in writing.

Timesheets, whether in print or electronic form, can be an effective means of recording employees’ hours of work and complying with an employer’s record-keeping requirements.  They may also assist if there is a dispute over pay or absenteeism.  Many organisations also use timesheets for other purposes, such as allocating job costing.

It is a lawful and reasonable requirement to direct employees to complete timesheets.  If an employee refuses or fails to comply with this direction, the employee may be disciplined.  However, it is important that an employer investigate the circumstances for non-compliance before taking disciplinary action against an employee.  If you are in doubt, seek legal advice prior to implementing the disciplinary action proposed.

A timesheet policy should also provide a procedure for resolving disputes over timesheets.  The policy provided is an example of a timesheet policy which can be amended to meet the individual requirements of an employer’s business.

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