The Fair Work ombudsman has ‘appified’ the timesheet. The free app is aimed at tackling the persistent problem of employers underpaying staff and breaching record-keeping and pay slip laws. We tested the app and we were impressed.
What does the app do?
‘Record My Hours’ lets workers automatically keep track of and store their working hours. Upon downloading the app, the user is required to input their workplace details and the app will then use geofencing to automatically record the precise time at which the employee arrives at and leaves their workplace. Now before you go citing some Orwellian nightmare, note that the data is not stored anywhere other than on the user’s phone. The user may then email the employer a timesheet for a given period. The app is not a means for employers to surveil their employees. Rather, it is a tool for Fair Work to assess employer compliance with workplace law by cross-checking the app data with the employer records. Such a tool is needed given that roughly two thirds of disputes filed with the Fair Work Commission are alleged record-keeping or pay slip contraventions.
Who is the app for?
The app was designed primarily with young migrant workers in mind as this group bares the brunt of record keeping breaches. That said, the app will likely serve a much broader range of employees and employers, particularly in industries where work is done on a casual and irregular basis. As the Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James explains, the app will be of ‘particular benefit to small business owners who do not have the resources to install expensive automated time-recording systems’. Do note, however, that the ultimate responsibility of record keeping resides with the employer, and the employer cannot discharge that responsibility simply by encouraging workers to use the app. The app will nonetheless serve as a backup in times of dispute or inconsistency between employer and employee records.
Does it work?
The user interface is clean, sleek and simple. The app contains a roster, notification and reminder function which are all fairly intuitive. We noted that the working hours could be manually edited, but the Fair Work Ombudsman explains that metadata will reveal when hours have been altered. We also noted that wifi had to be enabled for time keeping to occur automatically.
Overall, the ‘record my hours’ app is an effective tool for easily creating uniform and accurate time sheets. For this reason, we think it will be of utility to both employees and employers. Should you have any questions regarding your record keeping duties as an employer, or your rights as an employee, then contact the employment law experts at Rankin & Co.