Employers must issue pay slips to each employee within one working day of their pay day. It is best practice for these to be written in plain and simple English. The pay slip must be issued in either electronic form or hard copy. Employers must ensure that a pay slip is always issued to an employee, even when they are on leave.

What information must be on a pay slip?

An employee’s pay slip must include:

  • the name of the employer (for example, XYZ Pty Ltd trading as XYZ Pie Shop)
  • the name of the employee
  • from 1 January 2010: the Australian Business Number (ABN) (if applicable) of the employer and the employee’s name
  • the date of payment
  • the pay period (for example, 24/3/09 to 30/3/09)
  • the gross and net amount of pay
  • any loadings, monetary allowances, bonuses, incentive-based payments, penalty rates or other entitlements paid that can be singled out
  • if the employee is paid an hourly rate: the ordinary hourly pay rate and number of hours worked at that rate, and the amount of pay at that rate
  • if the employee is paid an annual rate (salary): the rate as at the last day in the pay period
  • any deductions made from the employee's pay, including the amount and details of each deduction (including superannuation) with the name, or the name and number, of the fund or account the deductions are paid into.

If you are required to pay superannuation contributions for your employee’s benefit, you should include:

  • the amount of each superannuation contribution made during the period to which the pay slip relates, or the amounts of contributions that you are liable to make
  • the name or the name and number of the superannuation fund you put or will put superannuation contributions into.

Deductions

Generally, an employer is allowed to make a deduction from an employee's pay if:

  • the employee agreed in writing and the deduction is principally for the employee's benefit
  • the employee authorised the deduction in accordance with an enterprise agreement
  • the deduction is authorised by or under an award or an order of the Fair Work Commission
  • the deduction is authorised by or under a law or an order of a court.

Example: a court ordered deduction

Steve has a court order that requires child support be deducted from his weekly wage.

This is a permitted deduction and does not contravene the FW Act.

However, generally an employer cannot make a deduction from an employee's pay even if it is authorised by an award or an enterprise agreement if:

  • the deduction is for the benefit of the employer or a party related to the employer and is unreasonable in the circumstances
  • the employee is under 18 years of age and the employee's guardian or parent hasn't authorised the deduction in writing.

Example: when a deduction is not permitted

Kai crashed the work car driving between two building sites. Kai’s employer says that the business will be deducting the insurance excess from Kai’s next pay.

This would contravene Kai’s rights under the FW Act.

Kai’s employer may wish to seek legal advice regarding other remedies available.

Contraventions

Penalties of up to $12,600 for individuals and $63,000 for bodies corporate can apply where employers fail to correctly issue pay slips. Where it is found that a person knowingly contravened their obligation to correctly issue pay slips, as part of a systematic pattern of conduct relating to one or more persons, a court can order penalties of up to $126,000 for an individual and $630,000 for bodies corporate.