In a time before online payslips, there was something traditional and comforting about a paper payslip.
For employees, there was always that fizzle of excitement when you handed out those pieces of paper that signified a reward for a hard month’s work.
But times have changed.
The digital revolution has swung many businesses away from serving customers paper payslips.
According to a Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP) research paper, 47% of respondents said they distribute employee payslips via an online portal, with 33% providing an online self-service facility.
You might be part of one of the businesses still on the fence when it comes to modernising your payroll processes.
We’re going to run through why paper payslips are so problematic, and why online payslips and P60s are the way ahead.
Here’s what we cover:
Issues of using paper payslips and P60s
You may be issuing paper payslips within your business for perfectly understandable reasons. You might not have invested in the right technology, or you have staff that either reject or say they wouldn’t be able to access an online payslip.
But there are significant inefficiencies in doing payroll with paper.
Monthly printing can be expensive, while sealing, distributing and sending this paper can take a significant amount of time.
Needlessly printing sheets of paper every month is certainly not sustainable, and it’s inconvenient for employees to carry around and store valuable pieces of paper that feature confidential information.
According to a Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP) survey, 83% of those asked saved money by doing payslips online. When asked to quantify how much, answers ranged from £1,200 to £6,000 per year.
Similar is true with a P60, the annual statement you issue to employees that outlines the tax and National Insurance they’ve paid over the previous tax year.
It is indeed legal to issue a P60 in a paper format, but it makes things needlessly difficult for an employee who might need a copy of this document as proof of earnings or by HMRC for Self Assessment.
Instead of potentially losing a P60 in the back of a home filing cabinet, why not allow your employees to access this confidential document at their convenience, whenever they want, via the cloud?
Seven ways self-serve can benefit employers
Employee self-service (ESS) portals are web-based tools that allow your employees to access the information they need from a central online site or gateway.
Sometimes it’s focused on employee benefits or HR services, while you can use others as part of an employee intranet.
A basic self-service system would allow your employees to remotely access payroll information, including payslips, contact details, and employee documents such as contracts and handbooks.
They can also make leave requests and view their annual leave entitlements—information such as holiday entitlement is personal data.
If you wanted to get more than the basics, you could also add functionality to online self-service, such as benefits enrolment, training, performance management, and even wellness resources.
With self-service, you can:
- Support GDPR legislation best practice, which recommends that you provide employees with a secure self-service platform that offers direct password-protected remote access to what they need.
- Log in at any time to view employee payslips, HR documents and other payroll reports such as money owed to HMRC.
- Automate the distribution of payslips and payroll reporting, potentially making them available to employees as soon as details are finalised.
- Standardise processes, reduce errors and enhance reporting capabilities.
- Consolidate redundant information and web pages, improving productivity as employers spend less time looking for the information they need.
- Improve employee satisfaction, giving your people an excuse to extol the virtues of working for a company that provides an excellent payroll experience through digital accessibility and enablement.
- Benefit through sustainability, as there’s no need to print out or post payslips, which means less paper consumption.
How self-serve can benefit your employees
Today’s employees have certain expectations when accessing their financial and confidential data.
Self-serve remote access provides them with direct access to their payroll information anywhere, at any time.
In addition to that, self-service can help employees in a number of ways.
By having easy access to their payroll data, your employees don’t have to spend time chasing you, their manager or the HR/payroll manager for their details. In turn, that gives them more time to focus on value add tasks and less time dealing with manual admin.
Self-serve also satisfies a natural expectation that they should have control and empowerment over their information. After all, they’re able to do so in other avenues, such as with their online banking, so they may have an expectation that they can do the same with their payslips and P60s.
If they need to find a document when they need it, perhaps due to a last minute request from a solicitor as part of a mortgage application, for example, your employees can find them quickly and easily. On any device.
How to start offering online payslips and P60s
Ready to move away from paper and manual processes and move to the online world?
Don’t worry about finding an IT expert who can create an online portal for you.
Instead, turn to cloud payroll software.
A good solution will provide you with an online portal, meaning you can give your employees access to online payslips and P60s, while you receive peace of mind.
As a small business, cost-effective cloud payroll software will offer you flexibility and a return on investment, while also helping you to modernise your payroll processes.
With cloud payroll software, look for the ability to:
- Protect employee confidential wage and salary and information, as well as control over payroll processing.
- Digitally create professional, secure, accurate, and compliant payslips for each pay period in a more streamlined manner.
- Track absences, attachments, bonuses, expenses, holiday pay, hourly payments, National Insurance, overtime, pensions, and salaries.
- Access 24-hour digital support for questions or emergencies.
- Eliminate errors from manual data entry as you upload hourly pay or salary information only once upon employee hire.
- View payslips and P60s via a mobile device.
- Automatically assess new employees as they are added to the system to ensure compliance and accuracy.
- Update legislative changes automatically.
- Do annual reporting, allowing you to quickly review and file tax documents and payments, which makes the end-of-year tasks easier to manage and takes the stress off you and your employees.
When it comes to adopting new cloud payroll software, make sure you offer training and support to your employees, so when it comes to using payroll self-service, they know what’s required.
In your training, cover the benefits, user experience, practical details about services, and how to find ongoing support.
Create a smooth transition from the old methods to the new technology so your employees are comfortable with the changes.
Ensure that you engage with your employees, especially those who are used to doing things in a certain (traditional) way.
Involve them in the payroll software process from the start, so they have a better chance of easily adapting to the new ways of working.
And aim for a high early adoption rate with the software. Make early users enthusiastic about using the system and ask them to encourage other colleagues to use the technology.
Final thoughts on online payslips and P60s
Modernising payroll is not just about providing online payslips, it’s about providing an experience to your employees that is pleasant, and they’ll keep returning without complaint.
But, having said that, giving your employees the ability to access their payslips and P60s online will make life easier, both for them and for you.
It’ll save time all round, which can be used for value-add tasks.
And you’ll be complying with the GDPR, which means you’ll save money too—the chances of your business being fined for not being compliant will be greatly reduced.
The ultimate guide to payroll compliance
Facing the challenge of keeping up with payroll compliance? Read this guide for essential tips to make sure your business complies with the relevant payroll legislation.
Never miss an episode
Subscribe by email and get Sound Advice delivered to your inbox every two weeks with the Sage Advice newsletter with a ton of related articles, templates and problem solving guides for small businesses so you can put our sound advice into practice.