Infringement notices

This page has been reviewed and updated to include changes that took effect on 15 September 2017.

Read about the changes, including who they affect, what they are and what they mean for you.

An infringement notice is similar to an on-the-spot fine. It can be issued by a Fair Work Inspector (an Inspector) to an employer who doesn't follow its record-keeping and pay slip obligations under Australian workplace laws including:

  • not making or keeping time and wage records
  • not including the right information on a pay slip or employee record
  • not issuing pay slips within 1 working day of paying employees.

It's important for employers to keep accurate records to avoid fines and so employees and Inspectors can check that employees are getting the correct entitlements.

Infringement notice fines

  • Up to $1 260 per breach for an individual
  • Up to $6 300 per breach for a corporation.

When an infringement notice can be issued

An infringement notice can be issued any time an employer doesn't follow a workplace law relating to record-keeping or pay slips. This includes the first time a problem occurs. An infringement notice can be issued for 1 or more breaches. When deciding whether to issue an infringement notice an Inspector may consider factors such as:

  • if it's the first time the employer hasn't followed a workplace law
  • how serious the breach of the workplace law is
  • if the employer intentionally didn't follow the workplace law
  • if the employer didn't keep the right records to avoid paying employees what they're owed.

If an Inspector decides not to issue an infringement notice, the Inspector might find another way to help the employer fix the problem. The Inspector may check that the problem has been fixed at a later date.

An Inspector who decides to issue an infringement notice has to do so within 12 months after the day the breach happened.

Paying an infringement notice

An infringement notice has to be paid within 28 days of getting the fine.

How to pay

You can pay an infringement notice online or over the phone using:

  • Government EasyPay external-icon.png on 1300 453 579 for credit card payments
  • BPay for cheque or savings accounts or credit card payments.

Contact us for other payment options.

Getting a payment extension

An employer can apply in writing to extend the due date of the infringement notice. This has to be done within 28 days of the Inspector issuing the notice.

Write to:

Attention: (Relevant Inspector)
Fair Work Ombudsman
GPO Box 9887
In your capital city

The maximum extension an employer can get is an extra 28 days.

If we refuse to give an extension, you have 7 days (after the date of refusal) to pay the penalty.

Apply to withdraw an infringement notice

If an employer thinks a mistake has been made and they have not breached an Australian workplace law it can apply to have the infringement notice withdrawn.

Write to:
Attention: (Nominated Person)
Fair Work Ombudsman
GPO Box 9887
In your capital city

This must be done within 28 days of the Inspector issuing the notice. If we refuse to withdraw the infringement notice, the employer has to pay the penalty specified in the notice.

Result of paying or not paying the fine in an infringement notice

If an employer pays the fine in an infringement notice on time, it doesn’t mean:

  • they've admitted to any breaches of the law, or
  • it’s been found they haven’t followed the law.

We also can’t take them to court for the specific breaches in the notice. 

However, if an employer doesn't pay the fine within the required time, we may take them to court for the breaches in the notice. If it goes to court, higher penalties could apply.

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