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  • Writer's pictureMartin Hesse

Top 5 Reasons Why You May End Up On The Wrong Side Of The Compliance Fence

In today's fast-paced business environment, managing a workforce efficiently and ensuring accurate payroll processing are essential for any organisation's success. However, the complex landscape of Australian and New Zealand payroll legislation, including industry awards and enterprise agreements, presents numerous challenges. Below, we will explore the top 5 reasons why you may end up with a remediation project and discuss how to prevent such issues from arising.   


Misinterpretation of Industry Awards and Non-Compliance with Enterprise Agreements 

Australian and New Zealand workplaces often operate under industry-specific awards that govern employee pay rates, overtime, allowances, and other conditions. The intricate nature of these awards can lead to misinterpretations, resulting in incorrect payroll calculations and non-compliance. Failure to adhere to industry awards can lead to underpaying or overpaying employees, which may necessitate a remediation project to rectify the errors. 


Moreover, some organisations have enterprise agreements negotiated directly with their employees or their unions. Compliance with these agreements is equally crucial, as any deviation may expose the company to legal liabilities and disputes. An overlooked clause or misapplied agreement can lead to severe consequences, including costly remediation efforts and enforceable undertakings by the FWC (Fair Work Commission) to resolve disputes and bring payroll practices back into compliance. 


A workforce management system coupled with a locally compliant payroll system should be able to calculate wages depending on the award or enterprise agreements, but many systems have limitations with their award interpreter which leads to incorrect or incomplete calculations.  


At Rosterspace, the confidence in the award interpretation capabilities is so high that they use the SCHADS award as a benchmark; if Rosterspace can handle SCHADS, one of the most challenging awards, it can handle any award. 



Incorrect Application of Payroll Legislation

The Australian payroll landscape is governed by an extensive legislation and regulations. Properly applying these laws is essential to ensure accurate payroll processing and compliance. However, it is not uncommon for businesses to make errors when handling factors such as taxation, superannuation, and leave entitlements. Incorrectly classifying employees, miscalculating leave balances, or mishandling taxes can quickly snowball into a remediation project, requiring extensive efforts to rectify the mistakes and reimburse affected employees. 


This particular risk is best mitigated by implementing proven, locally developed payroll systems. 



Outdated or Inadequate Payroll Software

The right workforce management software can streamline payroll processing, ensure compliance, and minimise the risk of remediation projects. However, using outdated or inadequate software can lead to various issues. Legacy systems might lack necessary features or even vendor support, making it challenging to stay compliant with ever-changing legislation. 


Inefficient software, such as inflexible integrations or a low-quality award interpreter, can introduce errors during data input or processing, resulting in manual work and payroll inaccuracies that demand remediation. Investing in modern and robust workforce management software that is regularly updated can significantly reduce the likelihood of encountering remediation projects.     



Insufficient Payroll Training and Support

The human factor in payroll processing is equally critical to avoid remediation projects. Insufficient training for payroll teams can lead to mistakes and misinterpretations of complex legislation and awards. Employees responsible for payroll must have a deep understanding of the relevant laws, awards, and agreements applicable to their organisation. 


Organisations should invest in comprehensive training and ongoing support for their payroll teams. Regular workshops, access to expert resources, and updates on legislative changes are essential to keep employees informed and competent in their roles.  


Skilled users of business systems are crucial. The access to training and the ability for payroll teams to be able to become masters of the software being used should be a determining factor when choosing a software vendor. At Rosterspace, training is an essential component of the implementation phase as well as the ongoing relationship with customers, and as an Australian based business, payroll teams can always access support at a timely manner. 



High staff turnover in payroll

High turnover is undesirable and costly in any department. In the payroll world, this can mean loss of company-specific knowledge and loss of systems knowledge. Having robust, compliant systems for WFM and payroll in place can greatly contribute to job satisfaction and, ultimately, staff retention. Naturally, having close and solid relationships with systems vendors is crucial to achieving this. 




Maintaining compliance with Australian and New Zealand payroll legislation is crucial for businesses in avoiding the headaches and costs associated with remediation projects. Misinterpretation of industry awards, non-compliance with enterprise agreements, and incorrect application of payroll legislation can all lead to serious consequences. 


Equally important is investing in up-to-date workforce management software like Rosterspace combined with local payroll systems, as well as providing proper training and support to payroll teams. In doing so, organisations can ensure accurate payroll processing, reduce compliance risks, and focus on achieving their business goals without the burden of remediation projects. After all, prevention is always better than cure when it comes to payroll compliance. 


Rosterspace is an Australian workforce management software made for advance award interpretation and complex rostering needs. To find out more head to www.rosterspace.com.au. 

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