Professional December 2017/January 2018


e-payslips and employee benefits in a cash-free future

Lisa Gillespie, human resources services director at Moorepay, provides insight to payment related developments

O nly last week I saw something I have not seen in a long time: a contract of employment stating the worker would be paid in cash ‘to save banking costs’. After a sharp intake of breath, I was somewhat comforted to see it did also refer to a pay statement. However, I have advised the employer to rethink their approach, as the recommendations in the recent Taylor review herald the final nail in the coffin for cash payments. The same week I also had a query from a client who wanted to introduce an incentive scheme in which they would present vouchers to employees for excellent performance. Interestingly, the client felt that paying an incentive through payroll doesn’t have quite the same ‘Ta da!’ moment that presenting a voucher in front of the team has – and I have to say I agree. This got me thinking generally about the perception and value of cash versus electronic payments. Do people check online payslips, and are they conscious of what they are paid versus what they spend? I admit that I am one of those Luddites who has yet to succumb to Android/Apple Pay, but I am the proud owner of a PayPal account and it does make it really very easy to buy online and on one’s phone. On a recent Radio 4 programme a chap was interviewed about his gambling addiction and the impact his habit had on his life. He said he had lost close to E-payslips – are people checking their income?

is being deducted, but some are now going further by offering help with financial planning. I hope we see more of this because, in truth, helping employees develop financial management skills can only benefit businesses, especially since financial difficulty is one of the top non-work- related causes of stress in most surveys of employee absence. And if employees learn to manage their own finances they will be that much more aware of budgets at work as well. Annually many of us now get to choose benefits and voucher schemes through our employer, so I’m not being too far-fetched here. Employee benefits such as discount schemes have been around for years, but I don’t yet think we have seen the full potential of these platforms in terms of driving real value in employee remuneration packages – perhaps because they are not yet linked to spending patterns. In my ideal world – although perhaps impossible in a post-GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) world – spending habits would be linked and group purchases of ‘favourite’ items made possible as workforces become consolidated and powerful customer groups. Imagine a world where you could link your online shopping to your employee number and get offered group discounts before you buy. It could save me a fortune on shoes n

£1 million, all through making payments electronically, enabling him to spend thousands in a split second. ...a world where you could link your online shopping to your employee number and get offered group discounts... I concluded that cash has two opposing personalities. As Matthew Taylor rightly observes, a ‘cash in hand’ economy is invisible and potentially vulnerable to abuse – both in the sense payments are not traceable for HM Revenue & Customs’ purposes and because those working in it may not be receiving minimum/living wage and other statutory entitlements – leaving those working within it exposed to or living on the edge of modern slavery. And then its other persona is very visible, in the sense that when you have cash in your wallet or purse you notice when it’s running low, giving you the visual cue to rein in your spending. In my opinion it is far too easy to lose control of spending in today’s online marketplace. What next? Employers are obliged by law to provide a statement (i.e. the payslip) setting out what employees are being paid and what

| Professional in Payroll, Pensions and Reward | December 2017/January 2018 | Issue 36 38

Made with FlippingBook flipbook maker