Time and leave records – what must be kept?

A  couple of weeks ago I attended the immigration update which again flagged the importance of time and leave records.  Apart from all other legal obligations they can also affect visa approvals.

The 2016 amendments to the Employment Relations Act saw amendments made to requirements around time and leave records.  These included clarifying that records could be kept electronically so long as that information can be easily accessed and converted to written form and the recording of hours worked and holidays taken in each pay period.

The current position is that you must record all hours worked unless the usual hours of work are clearly stated in the employment agreement or a roster or any other document or record used in employment.  Another words, unless your employees work the same days and hours each pay period, and these are clearly set out in their employment agreement you should be keeping a record of actual hours worked.  This is so that you can evidence that all minimum entitlements are being met including minimum wage for all hours worked no less than weekly.  Records of annual holiday entitlements and time taken and paid must also be clearly recorded to evidence that entitlements have been correctly awarded and paid. 

There is still a requirement to keep time, pay and leave records for a minimum of 7 years, even for staff who have left employment.

With the introduction of tiers to essential skills visa’s and changes to skilled migrant and accredited employer schemes much closer attention is being paid to actual hours of work.  This is because there have been cases of salaries being paid to reach visa thresholds which have then required incumbents to work significant hours.  There is an expectation that evidence of actual hours worked will be provided for all required visa applications.

If you would like more advice about what records you should be keeping for your team contact a member of the Grow HR team.