So, now for something completely different. I always say at the start of any training session I run that I am not politically correct. And in today’s world, in my view, being politically correct is way over the top. I find payroll challenging, hard work and I love it with a passion, but I have always had FUN while doing it as well. If you cannot enjoy what you do, find another passion.
Some of things I see management and HR wanting payroll to do stun me with the level of stupidity and lack of understanding there is about what payroll can and cannot do. In addition, there is no appreciation of the impact those decisions will have, the additional work that payroll will need to do (for no real benefit to the employee or business) and the extra risk, especially when it undermines compliance.
I could easily cry but choose to laugh because payroll can only advise and inform about the correct way to do things within the legislation. However, payroll acts on instructions (even if they are totally wrong). By at least pointing out what the law states, payroll has done its job. Just retain the email so when things do blow up you can show that payroll did advise what was needed. You can then feel confident you did your job as best you could (as our hands are tied).
So, here are 12 practical (but possibly illegal!) ways to reduce work for payroll:
- If employees are talking about wanting to have children put lots of pictures of dogs or cats around the workplace and a poster for a local adopt-a-pet organisation. Hopefully they will get a pet instead of having a child, so no parental leave is taken. Watch out if they ask for pet leave!
- Many people state when an employee sits in a specific office chair that they will get pregnant. Well problem solved. Get rid of the chair, so no parental leave is taken.
- Also, if an employee drinks water from a specific water point provided in the workplace, they get pregnant. Break the machine and problem solved, so no more parental leave is taken.
- For employees that do have children put up lots of relationship counselling posters and hand out brochures, so they keep their relationship strong and don’t break up, hence no child support notices to action in payroll.
- Instead of paying a bonus why not just give an employee a certificate of appreciation for the extra 100+ hours worked each week, so no more bonus payments coming through payroll. The exception to this is payroll as we should get the bonus but we’re also happy to get the certificate as well!
- Give labour inspectors more meaningful work other than causing havoc with employers and payroll regarding the Holidays Act (as they provide payroll with no leadership or support). How about becoming a parking enforcement officer? The outcome of both roles is still the same so they can enjoy their work, just allowing payroll one less headache.
- Dump your computerised payroll system and use pen and paper. Do the calculations yourself and you will most likely enjoy payroll again. You can see what you are doing and it will give you a better outcome than many of the payroll systems that are currently being used.
- Create a specific payroll email address that sends everything to HR.
- Suggest, and then work with HR about adding a redundancy clause into employment agreements. Once implemented make HR redundant so payroll will be left in peace.
- Have a bring-a-dog-to-work day so you can bring a rottweiler to sit at the payroll office door so no one dares come in! You can have a quiet day to get payroll work done.
- Find a payroll system that has self-service payroll so employees can pay themselves. Payroll can then focus on value-added payroll as we never have the time.
- Lastly, hire contractors! Then accounts will have to deal with them!
As stated at the start of this post, have fun in payroll! You may dream of the 12 points above, but it can only ever be a dream. Payroll staff are the unsung heroes in any workplace. We are the foundation that ensures employees are paid correctly and on time.
If you are offended by this post, you probably shouldn’t think of a career in payroll as we live in the real world.
NZPPA supporting payroll since 2007 (and still having FUN)!