Date posted: 20/02/2020

Chartered Accountants ANZ responds to unlawful underpayment of employees remuneration

In consultation with members, CA ANZ lodged a submission to the Economics References Committee

In brief

  • It is important to distinguish between deliberate (with intent) and accidental underpayments made due to error as a result of an overly complex system
  • Businesses should be encouraged to continue to self-report and rectify issues
  • Single Touch Payroll may help incentivise renewed interest in achieving greater alignment

On 14 February 2020 Chartered Accountants ANZ, in consultation with members, provided a submission to the Economics Reference Committee on the terms of reference of their Inquiry relating to unlawful underpayment of employees’ remuneration. 

In our submission we recognise that extensive work has already been carried out in reducing the number and complexities of modern awards (replacement of 1,560 state awards to 122 modern awards) however note that complexities still exist, which impact the understanding and application of awards. We consider it important for the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) to continue to encourage organisations to self-report and for the FWO to work collaboratively with businesses early in the process when issues are identified.  

Our submission also refers to the recent introduction of Single Touch Payroll (STP) and its expected expansion. STP may help incentivise renewed interest in achieving greater alignment across employment laws. The expansion could also include information on employee awards, which would provide a data point from which regulators, such as the FWO, could more easily check if entitlements were being met without needing to intrude in a more time-consuming way on those who operate the business.  

We also suggest the committee considers ongoing education of employees (as well as employers) of their entitlements and avenues of support that maybe available. Now with STP employees have real-time data about PAYGW deductions and superannuation through their MyGov account. 

Submission on unlawful underpayment of employees' remuneration

Chartered Accountants ANZ responds to Economics References Committee on the terms of reference.

Read submission

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