13th September 2011
"In legal terms Section 8 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 requires employers to provide a written, itemised pay statement to employees at or before the time the payment is made. While the act explains, what should be included in a pay statement and when, it falls short of defining how it should be delivered.
The difficulty is when the Employment Rights Act 1996 was created, paper payslips were the only means of presenting pay. Since then advances in technology have opened up more cost effective and desirable electronic ways to deliver payslips but are they legal?
Unfortunately, if you are reading this article looking for a definitive answer to whether epayslips are legal I can’t offer it to you here. Even the best legal brains have scratched their heads over whether a ‘written’ pay statement can apply to electronic documents as well as print. If ‘access on or before the time payment is made’ can be justified if the employer can’t guarantee the employee has access to view their epayslip.
What I can say is that at Prolog Print Media we have helped many organisations avoid this legal minefield, how? Our multi-channel Epayslip Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) gives employees a choice of how they receive their payslips. Each employee can view online their current and historical payslips, opt for printed payslips – prepared by Prolog Print Media – or do both. Providing employees with choice ensures organisations comply with legal requirements on access to information, but also gives organisations the scope to reduce costs and improve communications.
Does it work to offer multi-channel payslips?
Prolog Print Media epayslip clients come from very different industry sectors with equally diverse workforces so their approach to offering our multi-channel epayslip SaaS has been quite different. One client for example wrote to employees to tell them the business would be moving to epayslips and to ask anyone with access problems to opt-out and they would provide a printed alternative. Only 3% stayed with paper payslips. Another client wanted to run both epayslips and printed payslips in parallel to give employees the option to opt-in. Within four months of going live 60% of the workforce had opted for epayslips and the figure continues to grow.
In summary, my view is this: why invest time and resources understanding or seeking answers to legislation that is out of touch with the working world when there is a black and white answer: simply give employees choice".