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The Great Salary Swindle – payroll errors wholesale across Europe

Jan Van Mol
tax entitlements

Out of 4,000 employees surveyed, 44 percent had been paid late by their employers and 48 percent of those that had been paid late had also been paid incorrectly. Comment Jan Van Mol, Head of Global Alliance at SD Worx.

The survey also revealed that 79 percent of employees that had been paid incorrectly identified the issue themselves and, on average, 44 percent respondents would consider leaving their jobs (41 percent in the UK) after been paid incorrectly, with 55 percent of German respondents considering leaving, and only 30 percent of French. SD Worx conducted an independent online survey amongst employees in six different European countries, the UK, France, Austria, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany, to measure their opinions and experiences of receiving delayed and incorrect payment. The survey targeted employees working in organisations sized between 10 to 10,000 employees who had experienced a delay in payment from their employer, finding that employees in the Netherlands were most likely to be paid late (55 percent), followed by Germany (46 percent).

Jan Van Mol, Head of Global Alliance at SD Worx, commented: “The results of this survey are shocking in regards to the impact that payroll error has on employee engagement. An increasing number of employees are becoming actively disengaged in their workplace due to late or incorrect payments, something that employers need to fix to ensure that their employees are have high morale and trust in the workplace”. Alongside whether employees were paid late, employees were asked if they had been paid incorrectly. The survey found that of the 44 percent that had been paid late, a total of 48 percent had also been paid incorrectly. Among those respondents, the UK is most likely to be paid incorrectly at 61 percent, with the Netherlands in second at 55 percent. Of the respondents that were paid late, over 80 percent of all employees (other than Austria) found the issue and notified their employer themselves.

The reasons for delayed payment varied for each country, with the main two reasons being “Late third-party payments impacting cash-flow” and “System error or outage”, combining for around three-in-five (57 percent) employees in all countries. In Austria, late third party payment was the cause of delayed payment for 50 percent of employees. On average, employees experiencing a delay in payment were delayed between one-and-a-half and two weeks in all countries, except in Austria where the average delay was around three weeks. Payroll and HR is often overlooked as an essential aspect of an organisation, but SD Worx’s survey results emphasise the importance of ensuring that employers are paying their employees correctly.