The president of the Victorian Farmers Federation's Wimmera chapter says communications need to be improved now that workplace compliance is changing.
Graeme Maher's comments come as the Australian Tax Office is preparing to introduce a new system to reduce the rate at which workers are being underpaid from July 1.
The 'Single Touch Payroll' system will compel small businesses to send their employees' tax and super information to the ATO each time they run their payroll and pay employees.
Mr Maher, who farms a mixed operation at Lubeck, Dadswells Bridge and Mount Dryden, employs two people full-time and up to eight part-time during shearing season.
He said as with other small businesses, most farmers' employment and payroll records were computerised.
"The government is enforcing a process of following all transactions but not supplying the communications suitable for us when reporting those transactions," he said.
"At some stage in future, the whole payment system will be done over internet."
Mr Maher said he and wife Sarah undertook their workplace compliance obligations at their property, where internet reception was good. He said mobile data presented challenges when he had to meet his National Livestock Identification System obligations.
"If you're tracking data by phone it doesn't work," he said.
"If you've got a load of sheep leaving your property, these will be scanned on to a truck to say they're leaving but you've got to wait till you get back to an area with reception to load that information into the system."
On Friday, the Fair Work Ombudsman revealed a recent audit of 1385 businesses in six regional areas Australia-wide found 22 per cent failed to pay their employees correctly. A further 15 per cent were not providing proper payslips or keeping proper employment records. Forty-eight per cent of businesses were found to be unaware of their workplace obligations
Graham Keay, Business Horsham chairman who also owns Horsham's Clark Rubber, said this was understandable.
"The amount of information you can receive about requirements is overwhelming, and sometimes people don't think about what they are if they're 15 years into their business," he said.
"What I have noticed with my own business is interpreting awards is a hard thing, and when paying the right rates for the right level of employee it helps to have outside assistance to make sure you are doing the right thing.
"I'm a member of the Australian Retailers Association which sends out newsletters and updates and gives you guidance on what you should be doing. People's accountants do the right thing so it's a matter of knowing where to go."
Mr Keay said Business Horsham worked to connect business owners with information, policies and contacts on compliance.
A similar FWO audit of the Stawell/Ararat region in January found a compliance rate of just 55 per cent. The ombudsman ossie sthree infringement notices and recovered more than $32,000 for 38 employees from 12 businesses.
Fair Work Australia defines a small business as one that has less than 15 employees. Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows as of June 30 2018, there were 879 businesses employing between one and 19 people in the Horsham Rural City Council area.
Businesses with 20 or more employees switched over to Single Touch Payroll on July 1 2018.
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