This information is only relevant to employers and employees in the WA state industrial relations system – sole traders, unincorporated partnerships, unincorporated trusts and some incorporated or not for profit organisations. Find out more on the Guide to who is in the WA state system page.
If you operate or are employed by a Pty Ltd business – you can find information on this topic on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.
For information on what records employers must keep - visit the record keeping requirements page.
Employee access to time and wages records
If an employer receives a written request from an employee or a former employee, the employer must allow them to inspect their own time and wages records during their employment or after their employment has ceased. The employee can also give written authorisation to another person to inspect the records on their behalf.
Access to records includes being able to enter the employer’s premises for the purpose of inspecting time and wages records, and taking copies or extracts of those records.
Employers must provide access no later than the end of the pay period after the written request is received, or seven days after the request.
Union access to records
If employees are covered by a WA award, union representatives authorised by the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission can inspect time and wages records for the purpose of investigating a suspected breach.
The authority to access records includes being able to enter the employer’s premises during working hours for the purpose of inspecting time and wages records, and taking copies or extracts of those records. The union representative must show proper authorisation.
An authorised union representative must give the employer 24 hours’ written notice if the documents are kept on the employer’s premises, or 48 hours’ written notice if the documents are kept elsewhere.
If there is no award covering employees, union representatives do not have the authority to inspect employees’ time and wages records, unless an employee authorises in writing for a union official to have access to his or her individual records.
Industrial Inspectors access to records
The Industrial Inspectors at the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety are State Government officers with legal authority to access time and wages records for individual employees or groups of employees. This includes being able to enter any premises where records are kept for the purpose of inspecting those records, seizing the records or taking copies or extracts from the records.
Industrial Inspectors use the time and wages records to check that employers are paying the correct wages and other employment entitlements.
Records can be inspected during a routine workplace visit or as a result of a complaint by an employee or previous employee.