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Hair & Beauty Australia Industry Association


Posted March 5, 2018

Record keeping is a requirement of the Fair Work Act 2009. Records include everything from wage records, payslips, leave records, records of superannuation and rosters – anything that has to do with your employees in salon. All records must be written in plain English and accessible for employees (or former employees by request) and authorised persons – like government inspectors or union representatives. These records can be digital so long as they can be printed if requested.


Recently a massage parlour owner found himself in hot water with the law when he was penalised for contraventions of record-keeping and pay slip laws, following legal action by the Fair Work Ombudsman. Being “too busy and lazy” to keep records resulted in the salon owner having to pay out $43,200 in penalties – and other salon owners could be at the same risk if audited by the Fair Work Ombudsman.


By keeping strong records, salon owners are protected by evidence in the event that underpayment issues or annual leave entitlements questions are raised. These are your ONLY line of defence once an investigation and by having them you are assured a fair and accurate outcome of any investigation.


Salon owners should be aware that the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Act 2017 has now come into effect, which means a reverse onus of proof can now apply when the Fair Work Ombudsman pursues legal action in relation to underpayments that have occurred since the commencement of the Act. This means that salon owners who don’t meet record-keeping or pay slip obligations will need to disprove allegations in wage claims made in court. If the employee claims that they were underpaid and the salon owner didn’t keep the right records, make those records available or issue a payslip, then the salon owner will need to find another way to prove that they did pay the employee correctly or gave them the right entitlements. This could prove difficult without the correct records.


There are a number of core records that all salon owners should keep, which can be found in detail here.

Part of the value that HABA provides to its members is representation and advice when things get a little hairy in salon. If you have any further questions, please call HABA on (02) 9221 9911 or lodge a ticket through our Members Area, and one of our industrial relations specialists can help you develop a record keeping policy for your salon.

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