Read our fact sheet on infringement notices.
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What is an infringement notice?
An infringement notice is similar to an on-the-spot fine. It may be issued to an employer who contravenes relevant Commonwealth workplace laws covering obligations relating to employee records and pay slips.
Fair Work Inspectors (Inspector) from the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) may issue infringement notices where they reasonably believe an employer has contravened the record-keeping and pay slip obligations contained in the Fair Work Act 2009 and the Fair Work Regulations 2009.
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What are the maximum infringement notice fines?
The maximum fines payable from an infringement notice are:
- $1,332 per contravention for an individual
- $6,660 per contravention for a body corporate.
Who can issue infringement notices?
A person appointed as an Inspector can issue infringement notices.
An infringement notice must be given within 12 months after the day on which the contravention(s) is alleged to have occurred.
Which record-keeping and pay slip obligations can attract an infringement notice?
Infringement notices may be issued if an employer does not:
- make and keep employee records for seven years
- include the information required for employee records
- issue pay slips to employees within one working day of paying an amount
- include the information required for pay slips.
These record-keeping and pay slip obligations ensure that accurate records are kept so Inspectors and employees can check that the correct pay, leave and conditions are being received.
For further information on record-keeping and pay slip obligations, please see our Record-keeping and pay slips fact sheet. The FWO has also created various templates to help employers meet their record-keeping and pay slip obligations. These templates are available at Templates.
When is an infringement notice likely to be issued?
In general, the Inspector may decide not to issue an infringement notice if it is the first time the employer has contravened record-keeping and pay slip obligations, or if the issue is minor in nature.
Instead, they may seek to resolve the matter with the employer and/or give the employer a contravention letter (a formal warning). An example of a minor matter is an employer’s failure to record the full name of an employee when the identity of the employee is not in dispute. Seeking to resolve the matter with the employer provides a chance to fix any problems, and the Inspector will often revisit the employer to ensure the issue has been resolved.
However, if the Inspector finds the contravention is wilful, repetitive, or a way to avoid paying employees what they are owed, an infringement notice may be issued or they may recommend the matter be taken to court. This is regardless of whether it is a first time contravention.
Paying an infringement notice
If an Inspector issues an employer with an infringement notice, the employer must pay the specified penalty amount within 28 days of being served the notice. Within this time period, employers may apply for an extension of time to pay the penalty.
The maximum extension that may be granted is 28 days. All applications for an extension should be made in writing and sent to:
Attention: Nominated Person
Fair Work Ombudsman
GPO Box 9887
In your capital city
The Nominated Person must provide a response within 14 days of receiving the application. If the request for an extension is refused, the employer will then have seven days from the date of being notified of the refusal in which to pay the penalty.
Can an infringement notice be withdrawn?
Employers may apply to have the infringement notice withdrawn. Applications must be made within 28 days of being served the infringement notice. They must be made in writing to the Nominated Person of the FWO.
While the Nominated Person must provide a response within 14 days of receiving the application, if there is no response within 14 days, the application for withdrawal has been refused. If the application to have the infringement notice withdrawn is refused, the employer must pay the specified penalty within the 28 days (or any approved extension period).
Employers have a number of payment options available to them, including BPAY and Government EasyPay (phone on 1300 130 379), as indicated on the back of the infringement notice. If you have received an infringement notice and are unable to pay by these means, please contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.
Once the infringement notice has been paid, no further proceedings can be brought against the employer for the alleged contravention for which the infringement notice was issued.
Find out more
For more information on the issuing of infringement notices, please view the FWO Guidance Note 8 – FWO Investigative Process in our Compliance and enforcement policy (DOCX 1.2MB) (PDF 695.6KB).
Infringement notices are provided for by sections 558 and 799 of the Fair Work Act 2009.
Fair Work Online: www.fairwork.gov.au
Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94
Need language help?
Contact the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 13 14 50
Hearing and speech assistance
Call through the National Relay Service (NRS):
- For TTY: 13 36 77. Ask for the Fair Work Infoline 13 13 94
- Speak and Listen: 1300 555 727. Ask for the Fair Work Infoline 13 13 94
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