The CIPP releases its annual payslip survey findings

18 September 2015

The CIPP’s Policy Team has been undertaking this research each year since 2008 with the aim of understanding the long term trends affecting employee payslips. Once again we would like to thank all those who responded, as we wouldn’t be able to undertake this research without the support and input from our members and the profession.

The research was conducted using an electronic survey tool, links to which were circulated to CIPP members through news alerts. The survey was also published on the CIPP’s LinkedIn page to obtain views of payroll professionals who may not be members of the Institute. There were 124 respondents which is a pleasing increase on previous years, however as with all research, not all respondents answered all questions.

This research looks at the number of people being paid, the frequency with which they are paid, the method of payment, the information included on payslips and how the payslips are distributed as well as looking at the potential benefits and cost savings of electronic payslips. In addition, with the increasing roll-out of employer obligations to automatically enrol workers into a workplace pension scheme, this year the research has again included questions to establish whether these obligations have brought additional financial and resource burdens.

As with previous years, there is reassuring consistency with some findings and some surprises with others. In summary:

  • The on-going roll-out of automatic enrolment obligations continues to bring additional financial burdens which have been estimated to be as high as £25,000 for middleware to perform automatic enrolment functions, and up to £35,000 for additional resource to prepare for automatic enrolment.
  • The agents who responded to this survey have not yet reported incurring any additional costs, but with small employers now beginning to automatically enrol their workforce this may impact agents over the next 12 months so this question will be asked again in next year’s research.
  • Reversing the results from 2013-14, there has been a reduction in the number of respondents paying more than 10,000 employees, down from 15.9% to 12.7%, though the number paying between 5,001 and 10,000 employees has increased.
  • Last year’s research saw a sharp rise in the number of payroll bureaux operating more than 1,000 payrolls, leading us to question whether this was as a result of the increasing administrative and legislative burdens being placed on employers. However this year the figure has dropped, becoming more consistent with the results prior to 2013-14.
  • One result that remains reassuringly consistent throughout all the years of this research is the pay day, with Friday being by far the most popular pay day for weekly, fortnightly and four weekly payrolls. The last working day of the month continues to be the most popular pay day for monthly payrolls.
  • Processing payroll and distributing payslips in-house continues to be the most popular response at 41.2%, however this year has seen a significant increase in the number who process payroll in-house and provide only online payslips, up from 12.5% in 2013-14 to 25.8% in 2014-15.
  • The number of respondents providing payslips in pressure sealed / heat activated envelopes has dropped from 73.1% last year to 60.8% in 2014-15.
  • The number of respondents using electronic payslips has increased slightly from 33.9% in 2013-14 to 37.2% in 2014-15.
  • The perhaps surprising finding this year is that, despite more respondents saying they only provide online payslips, and the number of heat activated envelopes falling, the number providing online payslips has risen only slightly. Perhaps in the past respondents have provided a choice of how the payslip is received and it may be that the choice of receiving a hard copy payslip is being gradually removed.
  • Accessing payslips through an employee self-serve system is now jointly the most popular method of distributing payslips, along with sending the payslips to the relevant department.
  • With the slow and steady progress towards electronic payslips, 77.8% of respondents who have introduced them say they have seen benefits from doing so, however 11.1% say they have not experienced any benefits from the introduction of electronic payslips.
  • Complaints regarding the confidentiality of personal information on payslips continue to fall, down to 33.3% in 2014-15 from 41.2% last year.
  • Looking at the information contained on the payslip, 100% of respondents include the tax code on the payslip but only 80.8% include the National Insurance category.
  • Despite having a legal obligation to show earnings before and after deductions, less than a third of respondents (30.8%) show the gross contractual pay, 96.2% show the tax deducted and 98.1% show the employee’s National Insurance contributions.
  • And finally, showing that last year’s results were not a fluke, we still have the extraordinary situation where only 97.1% of respondents show the worker’s name on the payslip.

The full report is available to view through the link below.

CIPP payslip statistics comparison report: 2008 – 2015