Tackling award compliance with SBS Group
Bonnie Grimshaw is the Finance Manager for SBS Group, a construction group tasked with supplying Australian projects with quality steel framing and smarter building solutions for over 15 years. For SBS Group, paying their staff correctly and on time is non-negotiable, everyone deserves fair pay for a fair day’s work.
On March 1st 2020, the Fair Work Commission introduced Annualised salary clauses into 20 modern awards. The changes introduced added compliance requirements for companies with both salaried and casual staff, however, weren’t widely reported on, leaving many organisations in the dark. “I’d say 50% of businesses don’t even know the clauses exist because it hasn’t been publicised very well,” Bonnie remarked. SBS Group were in this exact position, with all staff being covered by a relevant modern award, and a group within that receiving an annualised salary. “We’d heard nothing about it, it was a huge change,” stated Bonnie.
After consulting with other payroll professionals, Bonnie initially built her own award interpretation in excel, however was not confident that the solution could accurately complete a better off overall test, and reconcile any potential underpayments correctly. “I’ve done it, and it’s not accurate,” Bonnie continues, “I had to build my own set of rules, it’s a nightmare.” Dissatisfied with their existing annualised salary testing, SBS Group set out to find a solution.
The key compliance challenges for SBS Group
- Unexpected changes to modern awards can often leave businesses scrambling to find a solution.
- Conducting better off overall testing is complex and time-consuming.
- Ensuring the compliance of salaried staff is essential for guaranteeing all staff are paid correctly.
A complete compliance solution
Having used Tanda extensively at another organisation, Bonnie knew it was the perfect fit for SBS Group. Tanda’s Wage Compare feature was built specifically to comply with annualised salary clauses and uses Tanda’s existing award interpretation to conduct a better off overall test. The report compares employee salaries against the pay they would have received under the relevant modern award based on their timesheets. Once complete, any negative variance can be seen, and broken down for further insight so employers know exactly why the underpayment occurred. Reconciliation and back payments can then be made as an allowance in the employee’s regular pay run.
Award interpretation & payroll
Once SBS Group were confident salaried staff were being paid correctly, it was time to address payroll inefficiencies in the rest of the business. Tanda’s award engine automatically interprets timesheets and ensures staff are paid correctly, without the manual work. SBS Group previously spent three hours per week manually calculating pay and entering it into their payroll system. “It’s administration time that’s just wasted,” said Bonnie.
Now using Tanda’s managed award templates, payroll takes Bonnie 15 minutes thanks to a one-click export to MYOB. The templates also receive automatic updates when Fair Work introduces changes, saving additional admin each year. “When it came to last financial year, I literally just pushed the button in Tanda and that’s all I had to do.”
Bringing it all together
Annualised salary compliance is just one part of paying staff correctly and on time. When you do right by people and pay them correctly, it creates a culture of trust and a workplace that people love to be a part of. Here are some of SBS Groups favourite features: