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Nearly half of small business employees have problems with their pay



Small Business

By Loren Webb

Recent Xero research has revealed that payday problems are widespread across Australia.

  • 29 percent of small business employees have been paid late 
  • 43 percent of Australian workers have had mistakes in their pay, increasing to 49 percent for small business employees
  • 45 percent have missed paying bills and mortgage repayments as a result of being paid late 

The Xero survey of more than 1,000 Australian workers, conducted in partnership with Dynata, found that 22 percent of all respondents had been paid late. This increased to 29 percent for those employed by small businesses. 

Of those who were paid late, 68 percent reported feeling stressed as a result, and 45 percent had missed payments for financial commitments such as household bills and mortgage repayments. While slightly more than two in five (43 per cent) felt less engaged and productive at work, and one in three (34 percent) considered leaving their job as a result of being paid late.

Other key findings from the research included:

  • 46 percent of all workers, and 54 percent of small business employees believe improvements could be made to payment processes
  • The number one improvement sought is to be paid on time (25 percent)
  • The most common payment errors are incorrect salary payments (24 percent), late salary payments (22 percent), underpayment of salary (22 percent), and overpayment of salary (10 percent).

Matthew Prouse, Head of Industry at Xero Australia said: “There are a number of reasons why employees might be experiencing anomalies with their pay, but the majority of employers try to do the right thing when paying staff. Small businesses can sometimes have issues due to manual payroll processes, where the likelihood of error is much higher.”

Xero’s latest research findings coincide with the looming Single Touch Payroll (STP) deadline. As of yesterday (1st October 2019), small business employers of all sizes will need to comply with STP and commence digitally reporting employees’ payroll information to the Australian Taxation Office each time they pay their staff.

“Single Touch Payroll is a new way of working that will help small business owners to streamline their operations. It makes it easier for employers to do the right thing and will be a catalyst for greater accuracy, security and efficiency when paying employees,” Prouse added.