Payday Pain: 49% Of Small Business Employees Having Pay Problems

Published October 01, 2019 (last updated July 22, 2020) -

A survey of 1,000 workers has revealed a pervasive pay problem in Australia, with 43 per cent of employees having issues with their pay, including late payment and underpayment. Alarmingly, the number jumps to 49% for small business employees.

The research, conducted by Xero and Dynata, found that the most common issue was error in salary payments, which included 24 per cent of all respondents, late salary payment and underpayment of salary both at 22 per cent, and over payment at 10 per cent.

The survey also showed that when it came to late payments two in five workers felt less productive a work, and over 30 per cent had thought about leaving their job due to late payments.

“There are a number of reasons why employees might be experiencing anomalies with their pay, but the majority of employers try to do the right thing when paying staff,” Matthew Prouse, head of industry at Xero Australia told Accountants Daily.

“Small businesses can sometimes have issues due to manual payroll processes, where the likelihood of error is much higher.”

The key findings also showed that 46 per cent of all employees, and 54 percent of employees from small businesses, believed that the payment process could be improved, with the number one improvement being employees wanting to be paid on time.

The data from Xero and Dynata shows how simple it is to make record keeping errors and how they can result in big headaches for small business.

Under the Fair Work Act, the perfect payslip for employees must include specific information including the employee’s name, the business name and ABN, date of payment and pay period as well as other important details.

Under new reverse onus provisions must be able to disprove wage claims in court. It is up to the employer to make sure they are on top of record keeping and to ensure that their systems are compliant with what is required.

Related: Record Keeping and Payslip Obligations [Infographic]

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