Payroll Compliance

Fair Work and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) are the two primary regulators of payroll compliance in Australia.

What is the difference between the Fair Work Commission and the Fair Work Ombudsman?

The Fair Work Ombudsman enforces compliance with the Fair Work Act, related Legislation, Awards and Registered Agreements. They also assist employees and employers by providing advice, education and assistance on workplace rights and obligations.

The Fair Work Commission is the national workplace relations tribunal. They help resolve disputes at work, create Awards, approve Enterprise Agreements and review the minimum wage. People can lodge applications for unfair dismissal and general protections with them and apply for orders to stop bullying or sexual harassment.

What is the History of the Fair Work Commission?

Australia's national workplace relations tribunal was first established as the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration with the passage of the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1904. Since then, the institution has evolved in line with substantial legislative, social and economic changes.

The Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) was a tribunal with powers under the Workplace Relations Act 1996 (and equivalent earlier legislation) that existed from 1956 until 2010. It was the central institution of Australian labour law. The AIRC replaced a previous system of State based industrial courts, which were broadly engaged in the same functions.

The AIRC was known as the:

  • Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission (1956 to 1973)

  • Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission (1973 to 1988)

With the passage of the Fair Work Act 2009, Fair Work Australia was established, then renamed the Fair Work Commission by the Fair Work Amendment Act 2012.


A brief history of Industrial Relations Law in Australia.

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Stay current with Australian Payroll Compliance resources.

Staying up-to-date with the always evolving, never-ending changes to payroll is a thankless and tiresome task. To assist, we have provided the following information and consolidated (where possible) the many available Federal and State payroll resources in this one location.