Camilla King, Flexi-pay Product Owner at Mitrefinch, shares her thoughts on data transparency to celebrate National Payroll Week 2018.
National payroll week is a fantastic celebration of the great success and raised profile the payroll industry. It’s got me thinking– with increasing automation and complex legislation changes, what does payroll actually mean to us?
The question I’m raising is, for the benefits of modern technology, have we enabled or isolated our end users?
With an ever increasing volume of employees accessing their data digitally (whether this is by updating their personal information via self service, checking their pay through online portals, or payments made digitally) do people understand or value the information on their payslips?
To start off with, payslips often contain our complete identity, where we live, our National Insurance number, how much money goes to the bank and at what frequency. As an individual what do you do to protect this information? It’s all well and good the employer and the payroll system provider applying the latest security measures to protect the sending of a payslip, but once it is out to the employee how do they know how to protect the information?
The second part of the question is, how did all that stuff get onto the payslip? With an increasing number of ways to make up an employee’s remuneration, let alone all of the statutory stuff – how can employees check that their pay is correct?
The calculations required to get an employees pay correct are hidden away under layers of business logic, just providing an output. Is it time that these calculations become more transparent to our employees? Through transparency we share knowledge, and through this knowledge would our employees start to make more smarter choices about their pay?
For example, if you know how your tax is calculated, would you be more incentivised to take advantage of certain benefits, for example a cycle to work scheme, through your employer?
Would this also work the other way, if an error occurred on an employee’s payslip – would they know how to spot it and who could correct it? The amount of times people have not understood their tax code, which has led to them being paid too much or too little into their bank account. What can we as a payroll profession do to help improve the data we send to our employees to allow them to gain the knowledge they need to gain the full financial benefits of their employment?