With the Fair Work Ombudsman announcing its priorities over the next 12 months, including addressing underpayments, breaches of awards and the National Employment Standards, bookkeepers have been urged to ensure their clients are compliant.
“The FWO is concentrating on compliance obligations, the application of awards to the working environment by the employer, and they are doing a reasonable job of explaining the awards and giving tools to employers to enable them to apply the workplace requirements properly. Now it is tapping employers on the shoulders and asking, are you applying them properly?” the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers executive chair Matthew Addison told The Bookkeeper.
“The professional advisers and the bookkeepers should continue to ask the questions of their employer clients, ask the clients about their approach, they should draw their attention to issues so that they can seek professional advice to totally understand the situation and apply the correct law.
“The bookkeeper can ask lots of questions, but if the employer really pushes back and says, ‘I don’t want to do any work on it’, then the contract bookkeeper can’t do anything about that, but they should still be asking the questions.”
The FWO has been actively auditing businesses across Australia, with a recent geographical audit uncovering record-keeping issues in businesses across Albury-Wodonga, Ballarat and Wollongong.
“We support Fair Work in their enhanced compliance activities because the compliant employer is really struggling to really compete with the non-compliant employer who underpays,” Mr Addison said.
“We’re not aware of any Fair Work action that has really disadvantaged the compliant employer.”