Your wage slip is a crucial piece of paper and it really is important to understand fully what understand the information on it.
All employees are legally entitled to a wage slip around the time they are paid – be this monthly, weekly or fortnightly. Independent contractors or freelancers are not entitled to a wage slip, but casual staff are.
Your wage slip does not necessarily need to be a piece of paper, it is perfectly acceptable, and maybe easier, for it to be sent electronically by email or to be accessible via a secure website.
There are several bits of information that your wage slip must contain and it is advisable to make sure you double check this information on a regular basis so you catch any possible mistakes early.
Your total pay before any tax deductions has been taken home is usually the first line – this is gross pay as net pay is the amount after all deductions.
There will also be a figure given for the deductions taken off – usually this will be tax and national insurance and this will tend to vary each month. Your wage slip will also detail fixed amounts that are taken off your pay each month – this can include various items such as subscriptions, cycle to work loan, childcare vouchers or pension contributions.
Most wage slips also tend to have additional information that are not legally required but your employer will include as a matter of course, this may include National Insurance number, pay rate and tax code.
There may also be a payroll number, which companies use to identify each employee, as well as a pay date that lets you know when to expect the funds to be paid into your bank account.
Some wage slips may also include a summary of the year to date that provides information on how much you have been paid so far for the financial year (which runs from April 6th to April 5th), as well as totals for how much you have paid in tax, student loan repayments and pension contributions.
Look after your payslips
It may be easier to just pop your wage slip in your pocket and forget about it, but it is worth keeping it safe for a number of reasons.
The wage slip obviously details a lot of personal information that could be used for identify fraud so don’t let it fall into the wrong hands. They also give evidence of your earnings which may be needed if, for instance, you apply for a mortgage as the lender often asks for the last three payslips as proof of income.