Work Smarter

Work Smarter

Smart means planning to succeed: a tailored HR plan, managing your risks and making the right decisions first time. Working smarter saves you time, money and rework.

Grow Stronger

Grow Stronger

Strength is your growth foundation: right people in the right roles and a culture of high performance and low maintenance. Growing stronger equals success... and more time for you to enjoy it.

Move Faster

Move Faster

Faster is better with smart speed: an engaged, confident and capable workforce achieving more in less time. Moving faster means first to new customers and new opportunities.

Work Smarter

Work Smarter

Smart means planning to succeed: a tailored HR plan, managing your risks and making the right decisions first time. Working smarter saves you time, money and rework.

Grow Stronger

Grow Stronger

Strength is your growth foundation: right people in the right roles and a culture of high performance and low maintenance. Growing stronger equals success... and more time for you to enjoy it.

Move Faster

Move Faster

Faster is better with smart speed: an engaged, confident and capable workforce achieving more in less time. Moving faster means first to new customers and new opportunities.

Reverse onus of proof: employer records keeping

Innocent until proven guilty, right? Not under reverse onus of proof obligations when an employer fails to meet Fair Work Act record keeping or payslip obligations.

The presumption of innocence is a fundamental principle of common law. Presumption of innocence imposes on the prosecution the burden of proving the charge and guarantees no guilt can be presumed until the charge has been proved beyond reasonable doubt. The burden of proving the charge is known as the “onus of proof”.

Makes sense, right? Someone accuses you of a wrongdoing, so the onus of proof should be on them to prove their accusation has validity.

In certain employment scenarios however, the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) takes a reverse onus of proof position. Reverse onus of proof shifts the burden of proof away from the person making the accusation and onto the individual (or business) accused to disprove an element of the information.

Reverse onus of proof can apply when an employee makes a claim of adverse action against an employer: the onus is on the employer rather than the employee to establish why a person was adversely affected. We’ve written on this topic previously and invite you to check out our blog on adverse action and general protections here.

Reverse onus of proof can also apply when an employee lodges a complaint with the FWO that they may have been underpaid or have not received a payslip. Should the FWO elect to investigate the employee’s claim, employers who do not meet record-keeping or pay slip obligations and cannot give a reasonable excuse must disprove allegations instead of the FWO having to prove there was a breach.

If unable to disprove the allegations, employers can be ordered to pay:

  • penalties for giving pay slips they know are false or misleading to their employees
  • double the previous maximum penalty for failing to keep employee records or issue pay slips
  • triple the previous maximum penalty for knowingly making or keeping false or misleading employee records.

Reverse onus of proof laws can be found listed under section 557C of the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Act 2017.  You can also read more about the penalties applying to breaches of the Fair Work Act at the FWO Litigations page.

When it comes to HR and employment compliance, it’s worth getting things right. Understanding your employment obligations and making sure you hold the right documents and records for your business is the difference between sleeping well at night and continually feeling on edge. Slept well recently?

Bare Bones Consulting specialises in two things: managing your HR risk and getting the best from your people. We’re the Gold Coast HR Consultant that does everything to help you get it right first time while keeping things simple for you. Like to know more? Check out our compliance and risk management overview here and give us a call. Then go take a nap. You deserve it.

  • PO Box 3956,
    Burleigh Town 4220,
    Queensland
  • 07 5576 4693
  • 0401 279 065
  • Bare Bones Consulting

Contact Us

Give Bare Bones Consulting a call to discuss our range of HR services to help your business succeed.

Even if you elect to not proceed after our first complimentary consultation you’ll be in a better position to know what’s possible.

We believe our approach to HR is unique... but then again, so is your business.