Roster and Payroll


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Roster and Payroll

In many businesses one of the highest input costs is salaries and wages for the workforce. It therefore pays dividends to ensure the business employs staff with the right skills and availability to meet the needs of the business work input to meet customer demand.


Striking the Right Balance

Rostering too many staff or over qualified staff in excess of business requirements leads to cost overrun. Rostering too few staff or underqualified staff risks poor quality or inadequate output to meet business requirements, leading to customer frustration.

In many businesses there are peak and off peak cycles that need to considered. Some cycles are annual such as fruit harvesting, monthly such as pension day shopping, weekly such as TGIF drinks after work, and others are hourly such as the mid-morning coffee stampede to your favourite café.

Whatever the peak high and low cycles of your business or industry sector, the business needs to measure monthly, daily or even hourly sales patterns to predict likely future demand. In turn, this is used to roster labour resources to meet and maximise business return on that demand.


Legislative Considerations

Australian workplace legislation sets rules and guidelines on minimum pay rates by industry award, employee age, employee responsibilities and type of employment whether full time, part time or casual. Some government jurisdictions may offer employers incentives to offer trainee or apprenticeship positions. Others again may offer incentives to employers to offer employment to disadvantaged, special needs or long term unemployed job seekers.

Many types of employment also include additional responsibilities on the business, such as leave loading, long service leave accrual, sick leave, compassionate leave, carer leave, superannuation or industry specific allowances. These can include sun protection for outdoor workers, laundry allowance for workers required to wear protective or work related uniforms, and car allowance for commercial travellers.


Optimising the Workforce

An effective roster needs to match the quantity of labour, skill sets relative to work tasks, level of supervision or management responsibility. This considers if government incentives apply or are desired, age which may affect experience, supervision or manual capability and loadings, if applicable, to optimise the labour force in time blocks to cost effectively meet business output requirements.

These points are the baseline, and there may be other external factors affecting employment costs, such as competition for labour, skills shortages or workplace desirability that add additional costs. Once a roster is created that meets business needs and accurately calculates total salary and wages, then the labour cost as percentage of sales can be compared against Australian industry benchmarks.

If the business is not large enough to support an in-house paymaster, then a completed roster adjusted for any changes in shifts worked can be electronically uploaded to a payroll service to accurately calculate wages, taxes, superannuation, loadings and allowances to meet Australian legal compliance. If necessary, the verified payroll data can then be electronically uploaded to the business' banking service for electronic transfer payment to the employees, superannuation funds and tax liabilities into a quarantined accrual account in readiness for the quarterly BAS (business activity statement) returns.

These electronic rosters, outsource payroll services and electronic banking provide an additional layer of compliance certainty to businesses. In many cases, they relieve the small business owner operator from many hours of additional bookwork.