It seems to be the season for companies admitting that they’ve underpaid their employees. Bunnings admitted to underpaying employees for 8 years, Woolworths has underpaid over 6,000 employees, Celebrity Chefs have been caught underpaying and even the City of Fremantle will shell out half a million in back pay to underpaid staff!
The scariest news article I read was in the Sydney Morning Herald where dozens of small businesses were caught underpaying staff! It was revealed by the Fair Work Ombudsman as a result of audits they performed on cheap Sydney eateries which are EVERYWHERE! Here’s what you can do about it
When the national minimum wage increased this month, it got us thinking about the role the payroll professional plays in a business. Payroll is an important and often complex aspect of every business — and a topic we cover in our MYOB training course — but it’s often the most underestimated. So we decided to take a deeper look at the role of the payroll professional.
Payroll: There’s Quite a Lot to It
Even though payroll sounds easy enough — you just pay people their wages, right? — it’s actually not as simple as it sounds. As a payroll professional, you’re entirely responsible for understanding and interpreting the ever-changing regulations and legislation relating to payroll; as well as managing the demands of both the employer and employee.
And as such, payroll is not a simple task for the uninitiated; it requires a person with solid knowledge of PAYG and superannuation, as well as an understanding of Australian tax.
For instance, how do you ensure you’re making the correct contributions to an employee’s HECS or HELP debt? Or make sure super contributions are made correctly (and to the correct fund)? Are you certain your employees are being paid according to the correct modern award? Getting these things wrong is not just time-consuming to rectify, but can also incur fines to your company!
In a recent new book by Tracey Angwin called The Payroll Revolution (which has gone on to become an Australian best seller) Angwin discusses the responsibility of the payroll professional and offers practical and guided tips on Australian payroll.
Just some of the skills that Angwin suggests the payroll professional should possess are:
Strong people skills
AIS/payroll software experience (such as MYOB)
General email, word and excel skills
Strong understanding of superannuation and PAYG
Good knowledge of the Fairwork Act
Ability to work under pressure and to tight deadlines