National Payroll Week 2015: educating the nation

National Payroll Week celebrates the impact of payroll on businesses, and this year’s theme is ‘it pays to learn’. Payroll can play a huge part in educating employees and helping to improve their wellbeing.

It is now becoming apparent to employers that the holistic wellbeing of their employees is increasingly important: it’s not just about healthcare, but about all the other aspects that make up their wellbeing. Payroll teams in all businesses do a fantastic job managing benefits, and the emotional and social wellbeing of employees is at their core.

What’s the issue?
Payroll teams make sure employees get paid: they get their pay cheque every month, but is that enough? Employees take their salary and go out and spend it, but there’s no clarity around the process of getting paid. Most people don’t even look at their payslip because they don’t understand it: they just look at the number on the bottom so they know what they’re getting, but some won’t even do that. So employees need to understand what they can do with their pay and where it goes. Some may go on bills, insurance policies, transport, childcare, hobbies or treats, but many employees don’t realise that they can make their pay work harder for them and get more out of it. There are also hidden payments that come directly out of pay without any action needing to be taken by employees, such as income tax, National Insurance, pension, student loans and so on. But employees can get more out of their pay by investing in the benefits offered by their employers. Some of those insurance policies they pay for could be covered in their benefits package, they could save through pay while saving on tax to achieve their financial goals, they could maximise the payments that go into their pensions to ensure a comfortable future after work. But they don’t realise they can do this and that they could save money by paying less tax on their benefits.

What can Payroll do?
The payroll team’s job is to build a bridge between salary and benefits, to help employees re-engage with their pay and realise that they can do much more. If employees understand their benefits and know how to make their money work harder, they won’t be blaming their boss for how much they get paid, and pushing for a pay rise. In fact, a pay rise often wouldn’t help many employees. If individuals have poor financial habits, a pay rise just enables them to squander more money: they would just go out and spend more on things they don’t need rather than having a clear plan. The payroll team is one of the most important for tackling absence within any company, as the leading causes of absence are often rooted in stress. Stress can be caused by any number of things, but money worries is one of the leading causes. Employers and payroll teams can help alleviate these worries by educating employees on their benefits packages. Alleviating this stress is beneficial to employers as it can help to reduced absence, which in turn reduces costs. Furthermore, educating on benefits means employees understand what is on offer, employers’ spend on benefits is not wasted, and employees feel more valued and motivated. Employers should not just accept absence as a given; they should dig deeper and find the source to help support their employees with their lives in and outside of work.

For more information, speak to your usual Jelf consultant or visit our website.