In this month’s round-up, payslip dilemmas, how not to handle employee engagement and new guidance from ACAS on agency workers.

Paper, online or no payslip at all?

A recent US blog post by HR Bartender Sharlyn Lauby addressed a question from a former employee of a company in Ohio about payslip availability. The company didn’t issue paper payslips, everything was online and the employee couldn’t access their information online.

The answer is not clear-cut in the US, each state has different statutes that apply, not all employees have the right to access their pay records. California appears to be one of the more enlightened states, in California employers can be penalised if they don’t give access to payslips to current and former employees.

It’s different in the UK, employers must provide payslips on or before payday, but can choose whether they provide employees with printed or electronic (online) payslips. However employers don’t have to provide contractors, freelancers or workers* with payslips. If an employee can’t access an online payslip an employer has to issue a paper payslip.

Not every business is adhering to the requirement, a blog post on unpaid Britain found evidence that in 2014 at least 10% of employees in London didn’t receive any form of payslip, (Wales was the worst culprit with 14.3% not receiving payslips of any kind).

NB: Using attendance software lets you set up employees with the correct codes, deductions, etc., to ensure accuracy and fairness. Giving employees access to their timecards through online Employee Self-Service or email helps to raise and iron-out any pay issues before they get to payroll!

Employee engagement but not as we know it

More evidence that happy employees mean better business. Researchers from Norwich Business School recently looked at US reviews on the employer rating website Glassdoor, firms rated highly by their current employees in terms of satisfaction often achieved greater financial performance compared to firms with low levels of employee satisfaction.

US United Airlines is one business that recently managed to upset most of its employees across the board. Already battered by a series of customer PR disasters over the years, (none of which help staff morale), including the YouTube video, United Breaks Guitars which has had over 18 million views since 2009, the airline recently caused a furore amongst its employees by launching a new incentive scheme – a bonus lottery.

The lottery would have resulted in larger cash and other prizes for fewer people. In the past more people were eligible for the regular smaller bonuses. In addition, only those with a perfect attendance record would be allowed to participate, (which as we know can be manipulated by the unscrupulous if clocking systems are lax), and some job roles would have been excluded entirely. The company has since suspended the scheme to re-think it.

On a much more positive note, a recent piece in HR magazine demonstrated how UK bank TSB, has created a very different banking culture after Lloyds sold 50% of its holdings in TSB in 2013. The different approach has helped it go from strength-to-strength, (it’s now part of Spanish banking group Sabadell).

TSB knew customers wanted more transparency from their bank, the HR team decided to embrace this transparency and embed the ethos in its approach to staff as well as customers. ‘A world without sales targets’ was introduced. All employees, (now called partners), regardless of position within the company receive a performance bonus, even staff in-branch who’d never been recognised before now have their contribution to the business acknowledged.

DPD changes driver’s employment status

The gig economy and the rights of workers has been much in the news. A few recent high-profile employee tribunal cases such as Pimlico Plumbers have also highlighted the issues around when is a worker self-employed and when are they due some basic rights of employment.

DPD has reviewed its approach in response to a driver whose death last year from diabetes was attributed to his missing hospital appointments. Drivers faced a fine of £150 per day if they couldn’t find cover for their rounds which meant this driver had to skip appointments or lose out financially. DPD is now planning to introduce a self-employed worker contract that will offer drivers a choice that falls between being directly employed by DPD or working with DPD on a self-employed franchise basis. The fine has been scrapped in favour of a fairer points-based system.

In short

As the dust settles after the gender pay gap reporting deadline, how will pay disparities be addressed in our workplaces?

Dean Royles, Director of HR and Organisational Development at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust sums up the findings and the implications for the NHS

New agency worker guidance

With 865,000 agency workers in the UK and the numbers set to rise, ACAS has issued some timely guidance for prospective workers, employers and agencies. ACAS agency staff guidance

An increasing number of recruitment agency customers find our cloud-based uAttend clocking system an easy and accurate way to track agency staff hours on customer sites.

*  This is changing, from April 6 2019 all workers and not just employees are required to receive payslips. Find out more

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