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The danger of relying on spreadsheets, amongst wage theft laws and legislative changes

Updated: Mar 12

Last week recMate founder Andrew Rodger hosted the final RCSA Tech Talks session of the year. Andrew was joined by Col Levander, Founder and CEO of Ratescalc to discuss the danger of relying on spreadsheets, amongst wage theft laws and legislative changes.


It’s a subject that must be at the forefront of business leader’s minds to ensure that their recruitment firm is sitting on the right side of the law when it comes to staff and contractor payments.


Here are our key takeaways from the session...


Manual processing/spreadsheets


Manual processing is fraught with human error, reliance on key operators, protected by passwords and a dependency on an antiquated system. It is only as good as the payroll operator. Many businesses are relying on these processes but these days, technology is required to ensure compliance.


If you’re not tech-savvy, in this space then you’re extremely exposed. The problem with relying on manual processes is that it simply cannot be maintained which leaves you with no visibility whatsoever and therefore, no risk radar across your business.


Legislative changes


The current landscape within our industry is change. COVID-19 has forced change upon all of us. Not only is the current business situation changing along with the health risks but there are also lots of legislative changes.


Col highlighted that Fair Work is releasing updates in 3 tranches now instead of 1. This has the potential for very costly ramifications in your business.


Wage Theft Laws are being enacted in most states making non-compliance illegal. Along with new legislation changes to the way we consider and calculate workers, penalties and rights.


Just a couple of examples of recent legislation changes include:


Wage Theft Laws - Qld has just passed new wage theft laws, Vic also passed new laws in and other states are following suit. Penalties for owners, managers and payroll officers who do not comply.


ASIC Guidance - under Chapter 2M of the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act).1The Guidance states that companies should: calculate how much may be owed in employee entitlements for past and present casual employees working regular and systematic hours; and make a provision for this in their next financial statement.


Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. Laws and Legal information are properly advised, published and circulated. The use of the internet makes it impossible to say that lack of knowledge of the law is a reasonable excuse for breaking it.


As business owners, we have a responsibility when managing people, processes and employment to get it right. With systems in place to check, double-check and audit the process. Fair Work penalties for non-compliance have been placed on owners, managers and payroll staff recently and the fines are steep. This could mean the end of your business.


Here’s a few of Col’s ‘Gotcha’s that will get you’:

  • Inadequate systems and technology

  • Poor payroll practitioners that don’t understand your industry or keep up to date

  • Misinformation provided by clients

  • Lack of understanding or ignorance

  • Your naivete, or lack of ‘Plan B’

  • Antiquated dated spreadsheets that require manual handling

  • Limited knowledge within the business, poor oversight of payroll

  • Contingency with payroll. Who is filling the shoes while payroll is away and who else understands your business and having a lens on the processes


We’re operating in a forever changing space and there’s simply no way to predict the future.


Unfortunately, ignorance is by no means defence and relying on manual processes and spreadsheets to handle this is leaving your business exposed. Fortunately, we have a few helpers in the industry to keep us on the right side of the law and outside of the radar of fair work - one of those is Ratescalc.


Ratescalc is a unique and powerful software platform that automates recruitment businesses workflow and ensures legal wages and payroll compliance, rate accuracy and efficiency. Ratescalc seamlessly automates your process to avoid manual error, keep all of your data in one location as a single source of truth and maintain the high standard set from the start.


Ratescalc is kindly offering a free health check to Tech Talks participants to ensure compliance. Just get in touch with Col (col@ratescalc.com 0439 169 999) to secure your ultimate business protection equipment!

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