The NZPPA was set up to develop payroll as a recognised profession in New Zealand. We do this through training, professional development, NZPPA certification, networking, and the list goes on.
As with all professional bodies, it is important that we, as payroll professionals, work towards helping others. NZPPA Campaigns detail the areas in which we are trying to help the wider community while also showing that payroll is a professional group.
Current NZPPA Campaigns
WHY PROVIDING PAYSLIPS SHOULD BE A LEGAL REQUIREMENT
There is nothing in past or current legislation in New Zealand which requires a payslip to be provided when an employee is paid.
There have been lots of stories in the media about employees not being paid correctly: from issues with the minimum wage and the Holidays Act, through to downright deliberate exploitation of employees from overseas.
Paying employees correctly is one of the fundamental objectives of payroll and providing a payslip is not rocket science – it’s an effective way payroll can show it has done this. If there are any issues, they can be identified there and then, so they do not become a nightmare for the employee or payroll.
NZPPA started this campaign in January 2019 with a letter to the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety. To date, we have not received a response.
We have also sent a copy of this letter to the Minister of Revenue, CTU, Business NZ, and Greens, as well as a range of unions and the National Party. A lot of these organisations are quick to find issues; we just hope they can put politics aside and support a practical way to help employees.
Here is a copy of the letter sent to the Minister:
WHY PROVIDING PAYSLIPS SHOULD BE A LEGAL REQUIREMENT
Established in 2007, the New Zealand Payroll Practitioners Association (NZPPA) represents over 1300 members in the payroll industry. Its purpose is to develop payroll as a profession, and we provide payroll technical training throughout the country and anywhere in the world where New Zealand payroll is processed. We have also established a leading certification framework to assess current levels of competence for payroll professionals along with annual recertification to ensure they are up to date in their knowledge.
At the NZPPA, over the last couple of years we have seen many cases where an employee has not been paid correctly. I would like to put forward an easy option to help resolve this issue which gives employees more transparency over what they have been paid, when they are paid.
In New Zealand there is no legislative requirement to provide a payslip to an employee; however, many employers do this anyway, and in some cases, it is an agreed term included in the employee’s employment agreement (usually it is found in older collective employment agreements). If there was a legislative requirement to provide a payslip to an employee each pay, then this would allow an employee to clearly see what has been paid both in relation to the work they have undertaken and what payments have been agreed in their employment agreement.
Overseas, it is common to see a legal requirement to provide a payslip to an employee when they are paid. I note that from April 2019 in the UK, there will be an additional requirement to include on the employee’s payslip hours worked for the purpose of “increasing transparency over whether employees are paid correctly” (UK Employment Rights Act 1996 (Itemised Pay Statement) Order 2018).
If it is a legal requirement for an employee to be given this information each pay, then they can question their employer at that time. If they cannot get payment questions answered from the payslip or no payslip is provided, they can then escalate the issue to the appropriate body. On the investigative or enforcement side, this would assist the employee in getting information from an employer in a form that is clear, concise and easy to understand. A payslip would be an additional report that would sit with a wage and time, or holiday and leave record which are already provided for in the legislation. However, a payslip is a much more practical and employee-friendly record.
If a payslip is to be provided by legislation, it is important to clearly state what information has to be on the payslip as a minimum so that this can be standardised. It is very important that any information on a payslip is in plain English so that an employee can easily understand. The employee can then be educated on what they are looking at on their payslip so they can question their employer if they do have concerns about what the information shows.
One of the issues that would be raised if this were to be implemented would be the additional compliance costs to the employer in providing a payslip to an employee. I do not see this as an issue as all existing and modern payroll systems already have some form of payslip option. A payslip is just a reporting option from a payroll system and would not be a major development cost. To reduce ongoing compliance costs, it would be important to ensure a payslip could be provided in a number of ways using technology instead of having to print out paper payslips. I would suggest that if included in legislation there is a clear requirement that if a computerised payroll system is used, then that system must be able to provide a payslip, so employers are not forced to find other options when the payroll provider does not include it in their software. I started in payroll counting money and handing out paper payslips many years ago and payroll does not want to go back to that (please!).
I have provided this as a very high-level overview of how, if included in legislation, a payslip could help employees see and understand what they have actually been paid at the time of payment, so they can question their employer to resolve any issues before they become anything major. I see this as a proactive, positive and timely step in the present environment, where payroll could help resolve a lot of the issues that are regularly being reported in the media of employees not being paid correctly.
I am happy to discuss this important issue further and I would be grateful if you gave it some consideration.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Chief Executive Officer
How can you help?
We are developing a template letter that you can sign and email directly to the Minister asking for his assistance in making it a legal requirement to provide a payslip in New Zealand.
The letter will be available on this page shortly.
NZPPA supporting NZ payroll since 2007!