From 6 April 2019, the legal right to receive an itemised payslip will be extended to all workers, not just employees. The new right applies to payslips covering pay periods which begin on or after 6 April 2019. Furthermore, additional information must be shown on a payslip for workers whose pay varies depending on the number of hours that have been worked. Paul Tew, small business consultant and freelance advisor, looks at what employers need to do to plan for achieving compliance with these new statutory requirements.

From 6 April 2019, all workers will have the statutory right to receive a written itemised payslip. There are some limited exclusions from the right to receive a payslip, such as for members of the armed forces, merchant seamen and women, and those in the police service. A written statement is one delivered as such or is capable of being produced in writing, ie an electronic pay statement where adequate printing facilities are available to the individual to print off a hard copy. Payslips must be provided by an employer on or before an individual’s payday.

Detail to be included on payslip

This payslip must include all the following details:

  • the gross amount of the wages or salary

  • the amounts of any fixed deductions and the purposes for which they are made, eg voluntary deductions such as trade union subscriptions, season ticket loan, etc

  • the amounts of any variable deductions and the purposes for which they are made, eg income tax, National Insurance contributions, etc

  • the net amount of wages or salary payable

  • when different parts of the net amount are paid in different ways, eg as a cash payment and a balance credited to a bank account, the amount and method of each part payment.

The employer may choose to give either a pay statement that specifies the amounts and purposes of every fixed deduction separately or only the aggregate amount of all fixed deductions without any explanation of their purpose.

If the last option is chosen, the employer must give the employee a standing statement of fixed deductions at or before the time when the pay statement is issued. Employers must update this every year incorporating any amendments.

Where pay varies by time worked

From April 2019, there is a new requirement for those workers whose pay varies depending on the number of hours that have been worked. Where this applies, the number of hours paid for on this basis (ie on the amount of time worked) must be shown. Any other hours do not need to be shown (although of course they can be shown if an employer considers it would be helpful to employees to do so). This could be the case where a worker has a fixed salary each month and works variable overtime with additional pay at an hourly rate; only the hours of overtime need to be shown.

Example

A salaried worker is contracted to work 40 hours per week for a salary of £40,000 per year. The worker’s basic hours are Monday to Friday between the hours of 9am–5pm, but as the workload varies from pay period to pay period, such that there are some periods when the workload is much higher, and the individual needs to work late and/or undertake some weekend working as well. When this happens, the individual is paid an additional hourly overtime rate for any hours worked outside of the basic contracted hours.

In the last pay period, aside from the basic hours, the individual also worked eight hours of overtime. The payslip does not need to show the basic hours for which a salary is being paid as this does not vary based on the number of hours worked. The only variable amount of pay in this pay period is the eight hours of overtime, and it is this figure of eight hours that must be included on the payslip.

The hours can be shown either as a single total of all such hours in the pay period, or they can be broken down into separate figures for different types of work or different rates of pay. It should be clear which pay period they were worked in. They only need to be shown for pay periods which begin on or after 6 April 2019.

For proving NMW has been paid, hours must be shown on a payslip separately from the number of hours worked in the pay reference period.

If a worker’s pay does not vary by time worked (for example, because the amount paid is a fixed salary each month) there is no need to include an hourly figure to account for variations in pay caused by taking unpaid leave (for instance, a career break or sabbatical) or being on long-term sick leave and in receipt of only Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

Such cases do not amount to pay varying depending on the amount of time worked, but rather to pay varying because of a departure from the normal working and pay arrangements caused by the unpaid leave or SSP. However, if a worker is paid according to the amount of time worked and takes unpaid leave or receives SSP, any hours that were worked will still need to be included on their payslip.

Example

An employee is paid according to hours worked and is paid monthly. The employee was off work through sickness and unable to work for two weeks (or 10 working days). For these 10 days the employee received only SSP which was lower than the hourly rate. As the employee is paid according to hours worked and was working for the rest of the month, the hours that were worked that month still need to be included on the payslip.

This new right does not affect term-time workers employed by a school where the contract provides that no work is done at all during school holidays, only during term time. This is because the employee is paid monthly in equal instalments regardless of whether it is term time or not. As the employee is paid monthly in equal instalments, the pay does not vary depending on the amount of time worked and therefore the hours the employee works do not need to be included on the payslip.

A worker who believes that they have not received a payslip or that the payslip received lacks the required information as specified by law, may bring a claim before an employment tribunal.

Four ways to prepare for April 2019 changes

  1. Review any lump sum payments made this tax year to identify, which, if any, will need to have hours shown alongside them.

  2. Make sure the payroll software is capable of showing hours on payslips for any relevant employees.

  3. Identify any workers who currently receive a remittance advice, who will need a payslip.

  4. Review the company pay policy to ensure this complies with NMW as the new payslip legislation brings increased transparency.

Last reviewed 22 February 2019