PFG Australia has automated Annual Salary Agreement compliance with the Access Group gaining real-time visibility to proactively spot compliance issues.
PFG Australia is the second largest tractor and agricultural wholesaler in Australia. With 100 employees in offices across the country, the company sources leading tractor and agricultural machinery brands from around the world and distributes them through extensive dealer networks across Australia.
The challenge of ensuring Annual Salary Arrangement compliance
When the Fair Work Commission introduced changes to Annual Salary Arrangements on March 1 2020, PFG Australia needed to ensure it was doing all it could to achieve compliance.
The changes introduced new requirements for employers who pay annual salaries to employees covered by certain Modern Awards. This includes keeping detailed time and attendance records of affected employees, including breaks and outer limit hours. They must also, on an annual basis, compare the salary paid to these employees against what they would have been paid under their award.
PFG Australia discovered that it was required to comply with these obligations for 25 of its employees, who fall under the Clerks – Private Sector Award 2010, Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2020, and the Banking, Finance and Insurance Award 2020.
Debbie Monteau, Company Accountant at PFG Australia, said the company needed a more efficient method of tracking and processing the time and attendance of its impacted employees.
“Our previous system required myself and other managers in the business to manually transfer data from employee timesheets into an Excel spreadsheet, then compare what employees were paid versus what they should have been paid. This process took quite a while and wasn’t fun.”
Monteau also says that while PFG Australia was compliant due to paying its employees well above award rates, this manual spreadsheet system wasn’t capturing all the data required for compliance.
“We weren’t capturing lunch breaks if they were taken by the employee after a certain time of day,” she said. “We also weren’t aware of overtime owed to employees if they performed this overtime leading into a public holiday.”
Streamlining compliance with Employee Service
To help ensure and automate compliance with Fair Work obligations, PFG Australia chose Employee Service.
“Employee Service has given us confidence that PFG is in full compliance with its Annual Salary Arrangement obligations,” said Monteau.
Accessible anywhere, on any device, Employee Service is designed to help Australian businesses confidently ensure compliance with FWC obligations, providing the three building blocks required to do so:
Employee Service helps Australian businesses streamline the capture of employee time and attendance records, interpret these against the relevant Modern Award, and compare the interpreted data against an employee’s annual salary to identify any underpayments.
The solution can be deployed* in as little as two days as an adjunct to an existing payroll system.
Gaining more visibility of employee work hours
Not only is Monteau very happy with Employee Service, she’s also received positive feedback from other managers at PFG, who say the solution makes it easy to monitor employee work hours and leave.
“With Employee Service, our managers now have instant visibility of how many hours staff are working. We’re able to identify any compliance issues before they occur. It also allows us to be proactive in supporting our employees’ well-being. We can see if we need to employ more people or put new systems in place to ensure our staff aren’t working overtime,” she said.
Simplifying processes and saving time
Employee Service has helped make PFG’s payroll processes more efficient, said Monteau.
“Employee Service has saved us hours each week as we no longer have to manually process timesheets. Previously, we had to remind employees to send their timesheets, then collate all the data from those into Excel spreadsheets. Employee Service has eliminated these processes for us. It now takes myself and other managers about 10 minutes to approve all employee timesheets,” she said.
Empowering both managers and employees to ensure Fair Work compliance
Monteau said that Employee Service makes the lives of both managers and employees at PFG easier by streamlining compliance with Annual Salary Arrangement obligations.
“Employee Service makes the process of Annual Salary Arrangement compliance easy for both the employer and the employee. The employer can see exactly how many hours an employee has worked and the leave they have taken. And employees like it too because it makes it simple to complete their timesheets,” she said.
“And because Employee Service is a cloud solution, our employees can lodge their timesheets while working from home – which was of great benefit during the recent COVID-19 lockdowns here in Melbourne.”
Achieving Fair Work compliance with a trusted software vendor
Monteau said that she would recommend Employee Service to other businesses looking to ensure compliance with the new Fair Work obligations.
“Employee Service is a very easy to use solution. I absolutely recommend it to other businesses that want to confidently ensure compliance with Annual Salary Arrangement obligations,” she said. “We have been using Access payroll solutions for over 15 years and they have always been proactive about ensuring compliance with Australia’s ever-evolving workplace regulations.”
And to those businesses that are yet to review their Fair Work compliance, Monteau said it’s critical to do it sooner rather than later.
“You can’t afford not to be compliant. If that means you have to do extra work, or implement a new software solution, it’s critical to do all you can to ensure compliance. Especially given the reputational, legal and financial risks of not doing so. Not only that – if you value your staff, it’s imperative to ensure you’re paying them correctly.”
*Deployment timeline is based on a non-integrated solution for a business with under 200 employees. For businesses with more than 200 employees, and or have additional requirements including integration with an existing payroll system, implementation scope and timeline will need to be assessed. Staff training is not included in the implementation project timeline.Click below to share this article