Payroll Compliance: Clerks Private Sector Industy

Cloud-based payroll software can provide a simplified and automated approach to compliance, helping employers to stay up-to-date with the latest regulations under
the Clerks Award. 


The Importance of Modern Award Compliance

Modern awards are a vital component of the Australian workplace landscape. They serve to highlight the specific terms and conditions surrounding employment in various industries and provide a compliance framework for all businesses operating within those industries.

This compliance framework is essential in ensuring that businesses operate within the law and provides employees with a clear understanding of their rights and entitlements. Modern awards also help level the playing field between different businesses, ensuring that all companies operate under the same guidelines.

This ensures that employees are treated fairly and equally across all workplaces, regardless of their employer. Without modern awards, the Australian workplace would be significantly less fair and regulated, and employees would be at a greater risk of exploitation. As such, modern awards play an essential role in protecting the rights of all employees.

Breaching workplace laws can result in heavy fines. One way to avoid this is to ensure you are compliant with the Clerks Award, as set out by the Fair Work Act 2009. This includes correctly paying wages and entitlements and applicable penalty rates. Failure to do so could result in a breach of workplace laws, which could have serious consequences.

And if you continue to contravene your obligations in terms of the Clerks Award, you may face severe consequences for your business, including potentially having to pay back any lost wages and rates to the employee(s). This can be seriously detrimental for most organisations, with additional penalties often ranging from:

  • Fines of up to $12,600 as an individual for each breach
  • Fines of up to $63,000 as a company for each breach.

Biggest Pitfalls in the Clerks Industry

Awards are an essential part of the employment landscape in Australia. They help ensure that employees receive a fair wage for their work and provide a minimum level of entitlements and conditions. Awards differ from industry to industry, so it is important to ensure that you are familiar with the relevant award for your sector.
The Clerks Private Sector modern award in Australia is a legally binding document that sets out the terms and conditions of employment for clerks working in the private sector. The Award covers a wide range of topics, including job descriptions, hours of work, overtime payments, annual leave entitlements, and sick leave entitlements. 
Unfortunately, there’s not much guidance from the Fair Work Commission regarding staying compliant with all its regulations. In addition, the Fair Work website is not always easy to navigate, and it can be hard to find the information you need. So we often find employers fall into non-compliance traps purely on the grounds of a misunderstanding.

Combined with the specific nature of each area of the industry, and the very technical legal jargon, it’s no wonder that so many businesses struggle to stay on top of their compliance obligations.
For example, a clerks employee who works more than 10 hours a day (excluding unpaid meal breaks) must be at the overtime rate for any additional hours. Overtime also applies beyond ordinary hours.

This is a common condition in the Clerks Private Sector Award that catches a lot of businesses off-guard.

For example, if a part-time employee works on Wednesday and Thursday between 9 am, and 5 pm, starting earlier at 8 am and finishing at 4 pm will incur an additional hour of overtime even though they’ve worked the same number of hours.
Employers in the private sector must be aware of the potential pitfalls associated with awards and allowances.

Employees are eligible for specific allowances based on their skills or tasks, which can often be significant. It is common for employers to think that they can add a chunk of money to their employees’ salaries. But that’s not how it works.

It’s your responsibility to pay them each and every allowance relevant to their line of work. Should you fail to do so, you could be subject to some rather harsh penalties.
So, what is the solution? Cloud payroll software and automated time and attendance software.

As the world of business changes, so too must the way companies manage their payroll. In the past, payroll was a time-consuming and error-prone process, often reliant on paper records and manual calculations.

However, with the advent of cloud-based payroll software, businesses now have a simpler and more automated approach to compliance. Cloud-based payroll software provides a centralised platform for managing employee pay and benefits and can help automate many of the tasks associated with payroll processing. As a result, businesses can stay compliant with changing regulations while also freeing up time and resources that can be better spent on other business areas.

Employment Hero Cloud Payroll

Employment Hero’s cloud payroll software automatically applies modern award or enterprise agreement rules to ensure your business remains compliant year-round. 

Beyond that, you can automate your entire payroll process from importing timesheet data, gross to net reporting and leave accruals for all scenarios to super calculations and ATO reporting.


NoahFace Time &
Attendance Software

NoahFace offers an app-based time and attendance software called NoahFace Go which automates scheduling, time tracking and attendance records for site workers. 

In addition, the timekeeping records will automatically integrate with your Employment Hero cloud payroll software. 


Employment Hero

Go paperless and automate the employee onboarding process with Employment Hero’s employee HR software - an end-to-end people management platform that covers every aspect of the employee lifecycle.

By incorporating everything you need to recruit, onboard, roster, and manage your aged care team, Employment Hero increases efficiency and drives productivity across every aspect of your workforce.


How Pay Cat Can Help


If you’re like most business owners, managing HR and payroll is a time-consuming and complicated process. That’s where Pay Cat comes in.

We offer an all-in-one system that makes it easy to manage your employee information, process payroll, and stay compliant with government regulations. With varying modern awards and industry regulations to get your head around, we understand that working out your obligations as an employee can be overwhelming.

Let our implementation specialists ensure your business remains compliant and in line with relevant regulations, awards and employee entitlements.

Our team of experts can help you stay out of the danger zone and on track with industry-specific standards.

Never get it wrong. No back pay calculations. No inefficient manual interpretation. No data re-entry.

If you’re interested in moving from a manual payroll system to an automated cloud payroll system, get in touch with us today for a free demo.