Professional April 2020


Adding value

Jerome Smail, freelance journalist , presents the views of industry luminaries

V alue is a magic word in the world of work. Whether you’re an employer or an employee, the more value you can add the greater your chance of success. In the modern workplace, and in an increasingly competitive job market, the onus is on the employer to provide workers with more than just a regular income. Flexibility, for example, is becoming an expectation and, in many cases, a necessity. Richard Dutton, account director for human capital management and enterprise resource planning organisation Symatrix, says this can come in many forms. “Today’s workers are increasingly ...flexible pay will need to become a more common feature in employee packages, especially for

attracted to an employer because of flexibility of pay and the benefits offered,” he says, adding that: “It may suit their lifestyle to have a change in the frequency of pay, like being paid weekly rather than monthly. They might want online access to payslips as and when they need it. They may also, on occasions, need to access a proportion of the money they have already earnt before their regular pay day.” Organisations should be looking to support employees’ wellbeing, obviating the need for them to borrow money that then has to paid off with high interest rates, he adds. “With a flexible payroll solution, money can be available to the employee when needed and then included in the calculation of the next pay day.” CIPP board director Stuart Hall believes flexible pay will need to become a more common feature in employee packages, especially for lower-paid employees. He explains: “In the past, maybe a company might have said, ‘Our payday is always the last working day of the month.’ But then how do you handle the employee who joins you and then says ‘Do you know what, for the last ten years I’ve been working for a company where the paydays are on the 26th, so that means my mortgage and all my outstanding bills

go out on the 25th or the 26th’? “They’re going to struggle there because they will have to wait until the end of the month. But through smart banking, you can have payroll systems where the employer will say, ‘OK, if you want to have part of your salary paid on the 25th to cover your mortgage payment and bills, we can do that, and then the remainder of your salary will be paid on the last working day’. Or it may well be that some employers will say, ‘You can get paid whatever day you like after the 25th of the month’.” So how can payroll deliver this? “First, they need a robust payroll system,” says Dutton. “That means documenting payroll processes and ensuring technology is configured correctly to enable operational excellence. They must also ensure HR [human resources] and payroll data are managed in a single application, that systems are singular, and data is available to users based on their job role and security profile. That is fundamental. If the HR process is working well, it is the foundation of the flexible payroll service that is needed to support employee wellbeing.” However, Dutton points out that delivering this kind of payroll service also places demands on payroll teams. “To

lower-paid employees

| Professional in Payroll, Pensions and Reward | April 2020 | Issue 59 26

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