Access to records

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EmployerEmployee / worker

The information on this page applies only to employers and employees in the WA state industrial relations system. The state system covers businesses which operate as sole traders, unincorporated partnerships, unincorporated trust arrangements as well as any unincorporated associations or not for profit bodies that are not trading or finanical corporations. The Guide to who is in the WA State System has more detail.

This information does not apply to any business which operates as a Pty Ltd business and is a trading or finanical corporation nor to any incorporated association or not for profit body that is a trading or financial corporation. These businesses and organisations are in the national fair work system and should visit the  Fair Work Ombudsman website for information on employment laws.

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.

Record keeping

All state system employers are legally required to keep employment records that detail time worked, leave taken and pay received by employees.

Learn more on the record keeping requirements page

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