Employee Records and your rights: When and how you can request access

Under the Fair Work Regulations, employers are legally obliged to maintain employee records for seven years, which can be inspected by employees upon request. These records must include:

  • Basic employment details such as name of employer, your role or type of work (full-time, part-time or casual);
  • Pay;
  • Overtime;
  • Averaging arrangements;
  • Leave entitlements;
  • Superannuation contributions;
  • Termination of employment (where applicable);
  • Individual flexibility arrangements and guarantees of annual earnings.

The regulations state that records must be properly maintained and accurate. They must also be legible and readily accessible for an inspector.

Can I request my employment records?

Yes. If you are a current or former employee you may request to inspect your employee record or ask that your employer make a copy of those records. The best way to do this is in writing so that you have a clear record of the date you made the request and the specific nature of your request. 

How long can I expect to wait?

If your employment records are stored onsite or at your workplace premise, your employer is obliged to make your records available within three business days of the request or, they must post a copy of your records within 14 days of receiving the request.

If your employment records are stored offsite (not on work premises), then your employer must make a copy available at the premises or post a copy to you, as soon as practicable, after receiving the request.

When making a request to inspect your employment records, your employer must tell you where the employment records are kept.

While your employer is making your records available, you may question or interview them (or their representative) in relation to these records. This allows you to track the progress of your records.

Accuracy

Employers have obligations to ensure that your employment records are accurate and up to date.

Any record which an employer is obliged to keep (as above), must not be misleading or false to the employer’s knowledge. Where a record is found to be false, the employer is obliged to rectify this on the record as soon as they become aware, noting where a correction has been made.

An employer or any other person must not alter any employment record accept in the above case, or as otherwise stated in legislation.

Why is this important?

Recent media stories have highlighted the importance of checking your pay and other entitlements to ensure you are being paid correctly and on time. The requirement for employers to keep accurate records relating to your employment is an important safeguard for employees and allows for investigation about whether entitlements have been paid correctly. A first step in any investigation process is to compare the pay records with what has been deposited into your bank account or into your superannuation fund to ensure that they match up. Diligence is key to ensure that systemic underpayments do not occur.

If you are having trouble accessing your employment record or are having an issue with your employment, please get in touch with one of our specialist employment lawyers today on (03) 9603 3000.