Poor payroll processes are impacting workers’ mental health

Working in retail, hospitality or healthcare is stressful. These jobs demand a lot from their employees. Whether it’s long shifts on a hospital ward, dealing with angry customers all day in a department store or working late into the night behind a bar, staff are often overworked and underpaid. 

The same can also be said for emergency workers and teachers. It’s just a fact of life that sometimes your job can be stressful, but the added pressures of the pandemic has left lots of people in these industries feeling burnout, anxious and stressed. All these negative emotions combine to have a detrimental effect on workers’ mental health

Working on zero hours contracts, having to be furloughed or working too much overtime, are just some of the reasons employees’ mental health is suffering. But there’s one totally avoidable reason why staff are feeling anxious and that’s because many of them aren’t getting paid on time. 

Lot’s of companies’ managed payroll processes aren’t up to standard and the uncertainty around getting paid on time is negatively affecting a lot of workers’ mental health.  

In this article we’ll look at how bad this situation is and suggest some solutions, like payroll outsourcing, that could help improve managed payroll processes.

The extent of poorly managed payroll processes – facts and figures

The figures relating to poorly managed payroll processes in the UK are quite shocking. Many retail and hospitality employees are struggling with their mental health on a daily basis as they’re worried about getting short changed by their bosses. As many as 1 in 10 are concerned their salary won’t appear in their account on payday*.

Furthermore, around 300,000 workers in the hospitality sector alone don’t trust their employer to pay them the right amount each month.

When we look at the health services these figures get even worse. 16% of healthcare professionals, around 480,000 workers in the UK worry that the contents of their pay packet might not be what they’re expecting. 

The same goes for teachers with 69,000 of them saying they don’t trust they’ll be paid the right salary each month.  

These worries and poorly managed payroll processes, have led to many people getting by with short term, high interest payday loans. A report from the University of Edinburgh Business School found some NHS workers were heavily reliant on high-cost credit with APR as high as 1333%.  

The majority of UK workers, around 77%, now expect to receive digital payslips from their employers. But as many as 1 in 5 workers said anxiety over poor communication around pay makes them think about looking for a new job. This number rises to 22% in the medical and health services; hospitality and leisure sectors.  

*All facts and figures in this section were taken from research conducted by IRIS software and YouGov.

Why do these sectors struggle so much with poorly managed payroll?

Besides being hard hit by the pandemic, all these sectors have complex payroll requirements. Retail and hospitality businesses employ a large number of gig-economy workers. Employees in these sectors will often have wildly different shift patterns each week which means calculating their tax contributions as well as keeping on top of a weekly payroll cycle can be challenging for Payroll teams. 

Healthcare and education employers have to contend with complex and constantly evolving legislation. Keeping on top of these ever-changing sectors can be a headache for stretched Payroll teams but working with a Payroll Outsourcing company can help payroll departments that are trying to make sense of tricky legislation.      

Regardless of how complex a company’s payroll processes are, that is no excuse for poor payroll practices and management. People need their salaries to live and when there is uncertainty around pay it can have devastating effects on employees mental health as well as your business.   

What can businesses do to tackle poorly managed payroll processes? 

All sectors have felt the strain during the pandemic but if businesses want to avoid the worst of the great resignation they need to make sure their payroll processes are airtight so they don’t needlessly lose staff to other industries. 

Thankfully there’s two easy solutions to this problem that can help embattled Payroll teams overcome the worst stresses of managing payroll. 

Onboarding some new HR software can really help revolutionise your Payroll team’s processes. New payroll tools can reduce complexity and increase efficiency in your team leading to fewer errors and data being input ahead of deadlines. 

All of this leads to a more productive Payroll team that can guarantee employee’s wages will land in their bank accounts when they’re expecting them to. 

You could decide managed payroll is the best way for you to manage the complexities of running payroll. Hiring a third party team of experts means you don’t need to worry about payroll deadlines and you can rest easy knowing that a team of professionals are keeping abreast of complex legislative developments for you. 

Do you need help improving your payroll processes?

Do you want to improve your payroll processes in 2022? If you’re looking for an external partner to help you do that, Phase 3 can help. We help Payroll teams improve their processes, onboard new technologies and plan strategies  for the future. If you’d like to hear how we can help you contact us here.

Laura Lee image
Written by : Laura Lee

Laura’s role as Head of Marketing sees her continually looking for new opportunities to tell the world how great Phase 3 is.

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