Professional December 2017/January 2018


Benefits beyond the budget So while the reasons for the popularity of e-payslips among workers is clear, what’s in it for employers? The main driver for many organisations that are considering the implementation of e-payslips is cost, since offering staff a payslip to view online is significantly cheaper than printing and posting them – particularly for larger businesses with sizeable workforces. Potential savings made through e-payslips can range from 75–90%, so there is a strong business case for them. “The cost saving is substantial,” says Daniel Stachowiak, managing director of, which provides secure solutions for companies dealing with sensitive documents. “Not many employers think of payroll as a substantial cost, but 90% is still 90%. That’s a win in anyone’s eyes.” Although there is no denying that savings on print and post can be significant, employers should consider the other benefits e-payslips offer, according to Darling. “Notifying employees by email gives the employer an opportunity to engage with remote staff periodically,” he says. “Company news can be circulated within a document that the recipient wants to read.” Stachowiak agrees that there are numerous advantages to using e-payslips in addition to the financial benefit, including a reduction in carbon footprint by not printing the documents. “If an employer is worried about its green credentials, there’s a strong argument for e-payslips around the reduction in waste,” he says. Security is also a key benefit of e-payslips since unique log-ins are required to view information, compared to a paper payslip which can easily be misplaced or accidentally picked up by the wrong person. The reduced administrative burden should not be underestimated either. After all, payroll professionals will no longer have to spend their time preparing and sending out individual payslips. In addition, if staff can access and print historical pay information this should, in theory, lead to fewer payroll requests from employees. And, of course, employers need to cater to those entering the workforce and their needs and preferences, as well as

Selecting the right partner Before introducing e-payslips, employers should remember that payslips are very personal for a lot of employees. Whether they choose to receive them at a work or a private address, individuals have a sense of ownership when it comes to their pay data, says Hughes. Employers wanting to find a suitable provider of e-payslips should first look at themselves as a business and identify the key aspects of the payslip that are important to them, for example, do they want their own branding or logo? “They need to put together a wish list and then go out and look at the providers in the market,” advises Hughes. She suggests they ask the supplier to show what it can do for their organisation and why they should be selected. They should also ask if they are GDPR compliant and where the data is stored, she adds. “Some have a two-step authentication process, which is an added security step for those who are really security conscious,” she says. “This means there’s a really good audit trail. You can’t tell who’s looked at a paper payslip, but you can see this with e-payslips.” Darling advises employers to select a supplier with experience and vision: “Payslips, in any format, are business- critical documents and must be accurate and delivered on time. The cheapest solution will not always offer the buyer a long-term partnership, so look at the supplier’s research and development roadmap and how committed they are at staying at the cutting edge of the market”. Additionally, employers may be concerned about changes required to internal systems that enable data to be output in the required format for e-payslips. “Some providers will require data in specific formats which may be costly for the client. We would always advise selecting a supplier with expertise in data handling and with experience in both print and e-output,” Darling adds. Cost implications Employers need to bear in mind the costs of launching a new system and associated set-up fees, as well as any training that may be necessary for employees. However, any e-payslip system costs incurred at the outset are likely to be offset over time through the efficiency savings.

taking into consideration the needs of their existing staff who may feel more comfortable with an online offering. “When you look at the demographic of the newer workers, particularly graduates and school leavers, they are very digitally switched on and many of them have never seen a paper payslip; it’s alien to them,” explains Hughes. ...savings made through e-payslips can range from 75–90%, so there is a strong business case... Potential problems But while meeting the needs of a workforce could be a key reason to introduce electronic documents, it could also be a barrier. One of the potential hurdles to overcome for employers introducing e-payslips is definitely the attitude towards digital among staff, especially if an organisation has a digitally adverse workforce, says Hughes. “But don’t assume they are not going to want digital payslips,” she warns. “There should be less assuming what employees want and more asking them what they want because employers may be surprised.” Stachowiak points out that when it comes to e-payslips, the losers are those still attached to legacy systems. “If you don’t have a computer or internet you are discriminated against because you can’t access your information. It’s often a generational issue that can’t be solved overnight, but there are ways around it,” he says. “You could use parallel systems for a while or allow your system to cater to a small minority by allowing them the option to print their payslips.” Stachowiak also believes that data privacy is also a significant concern, particularly with the imminent introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018. “A digital payslip can create security issues if you’re not careful. It can introduce data leaks and potential liabilities, that’s why the way it’s introduced is very important. Ideally you should transfer the information into the hands of the employee directly.”

| Professional in Payroll, Pensions and Reward | December 2017/January 2018 | Issue 36 40

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