What are the benefits of making payslips easier to understand?

What are the benefits of making payslips easier to understand?
What are the benefits of making payslips easier to understand?What are the benefits of making payslips easier to understand?

Approximately half of adults in the UK have the numeracy skills that are expected of a primary school child – yet few products or services take this into account. This leaves a disconnect between what’s being communicated and a large percentage of the population.

Payslips are a vital tool for employees to understand their income and deductions. Studies by the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (‘CIPP’) show that over 26% of employees were found to struggle to understand their payslips, with consequences including:

  • Poor financial management: If employees don't understand their payslips, they're less likely to be able to manage their incomings and outgoings effectively. This can lead to debt and significant financial stress which impacts health and wellbeing
  • Lack of savings: Employees who don't understand their payslips are less likely to save money. This can have a negative impact on their long-term financial security
  • Reduced financial resilience: Employees who don't understand their payslips are less likely to be able to cope with unexpected financial shocks, such as job loss or illness

Employers and payroll companies can take action to make payslips easier to understand for employees. These include:

  • Using plain language: Payslips should be written in plain language that’s easy for everyone to understand. This means avoiding jargon and using simple explanations
  • Providing clear explanations: Payslips should provide clear explanations of all the different deductions that are made from employees' wages. This will help employees to understand why they are being deducted money and how it affects their take-home pay
  • Using interactive tools: Interactive payslips allow employees to explore their pay information in more detail. This can be helpful for employees who want to understand their pay better or who want to track their spending

Making payslips easier to understand helps both employees and employers. It supports employees in managing their finances better, which can lead to greater financial security and resilience. It also helps employers to build trust with their employees, creating a more positive workplace.

What are Numeracy Rates in the UK

Studies show that over 20 million people in the UK have poor numeracy. According to a recent study by the National Numeracy Trust, only 38% of adults in the UK have the numeracy skills needed to manage their everyday finances, leaving over 60% of adults in the UK struggling with understanding things such as percentages, calculating interest rates and managing their finances.

The lack of numeracy skills in the UK has several negative consequences. It can lead to people making poor financial decisions, such as taking out high-cost loans, or failing to save for retirement because they're failing to manage their personal budgets.

How Poor Numeracy Impacts Employees Understanding their Payslips

Poor numeracy and a lack of understanding of traditional payslips has many negative consequences for employees' financial wellbeing. Employees may be unable to:

  • Calculate their take-home pay: Creating difficulty in budgeting and tracking spending
  • Identify opportunities to save money: Making it difficult to build up savings for the future
  • Understand the different deductions that are made from their pay: Leading to confusion and errors or disengagement with the payroll process
  • Plan for unexpected financial shocks: Making it difficult to cope with unexpected expenses, such as a job loss, illness     or financial emergencies within the home

How does PayCaptain help?

In a three-year partnership, PayCaptain is working with Plain Numbers, a social enterprise that exists to help companies improve their communications to increase their customers’ understanding.

By using a Plain Numbers approach, research shows that double the number of customers can understand the communications they’re receiving. This leads to them making more informed decisions about their finances and ultimately benefitting from greater financial wellbeing.

Plain Numbers offers Partners and Associates support in embedding a Plain Numbers Approach into their organisations. In the case of payroll, this ensures that payslips are helpful and informative, making them easier for employees to understand as well as giving tools to understand the data better.

Key members of the PayCaptain team, including Anna Buckle, Head of Employee User Experience and Sheryl Steel, Head of Payroll Experience are Plain Numbers-certified Practitioners which means the Plain Numbers approach has high profile within the comapny and is being embedded in everything we do.


PayCaptain launches the First Plain Numbers-certified Payslip

In a world-first, PayCaptain has launched a Plain Numbers-certified Payslip, making it easier for employees with lower numeracy skills to understand their payslip and reach their financial goals.

The new PayCaptain payslip has been assessed by Plain Numbers and found to have reached the high standard of clarity for how numbers are communicated, deductions are laid out and take-home pay is explained.

Working closely with Plain Numbers, PayCaptain has adopted best practices for communicating information to increase understanding and resilience for employees being paid through the cloud-based payroll solution.

PayCaptain now offers employees three choices for viewing their payslips through the PayCaptain app - graphical, traditional or the new Plain Numbers format.

To see more, watch our video here

In summary, making payslips easier to understand for employees is an important step towards improving their financial wellbeing. By providing clear and concise information, employers can help employees to make better financial decisions and to plan for their future.

By working in close partnership with Plain Numbers, PayCaptain is helping tens of thousands of employees to understand their payslips better – leading to better engagement with the payroll process and giving employees more tools and information to improve their financial wellbeing.