We are delighted to launch our 2019-20 edition of our Payroll Salary & Market Report.
We hope that the findings provide you with valuable insights into the some of the top trending issues in the market and salary fluctuations across professional services, financial services and commerce & industry.
The data in this report is the result of indepth qualitative and quantitative research of payroll teams across the United Kingdom. Many thanks go to The Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP), Vickie Graham, Business Development Director at the CIPP, Jen Christie, Founder of Rise Well Ltd., Sharon Tayfield, GPS Director, Global Outsourcing at BDO, Anita Williams, Payroll Management Accountant at Legg Mason and our network of payroll professionals who all contributed to the final report. Thank you!
Vickie Graham | DipM ACIM
Business Development Director
Chartered Institute for Payroll Professionals
It is encouraging to see the profile and position of payroll increasing in importance within organisations. With over £301bn expected to be collected through PAYE and National Insurance contributions in 2019-20, payroll is vital to the growth of the UK economy, something that is more fundamental with Brexit causing uncertainty.
There are over 174 pieces of legislation directly impacting payroll in the UK, and changes are continuous. The CIPP will continue to keep members informed of legislation updates and lobby on your behalf at government consultation forums.
The latest challenge for payroll professionals is the introduction of off-payroll working regulations or ‘IR35’ for the private sector. This will bring many challenges to the payroll department in identifying where workers are
employed versus self-employed. With the increase in flexible working arrangements, particularly in the ‘GIG’ economy, these rules are important to protect workers’ rights, but also to ensure that individuals are paying broadly the same Tax and National Insurance that they would if they were employed. We are seeing an increase in bookings for our Employment Status and Modern Employment Practices training course to help employers prepare and understand how to assess worker status and comply with the legislation.
Diversity is an increasing topic in payroll, with pay gap reports being required for gender, CEO pay ratios and voluntary ethnicity pay gap reporting whilst the government considers whether to make this mandatory.
Artificial intelligence and robotic automation are topics which are constantly discussed and in still a fear amongst payroll professionals. These technologies will increase in prevalence within the industry, but instead of causing a reduction in jobs within the UK, it will bring new opportunities for payroll professionals to upskill and add more strategic value to organisations.
The CIPP is seeing an increase in education within payroll; we are working with a number of apprenticeship delivery partners to supply CIPP content to support the level three Payroll Apprenticeship Standard, and have partnered with Loughborough University to deliver an MSc in Strategic Leadership to provide more experienced professionals with a qualification through which they can draw levy funding.
A robust and efficient payroll function is crucial to the success of its organisation. However, with an increasingly complex regulatory landscape, economic uncertainty and changes to employment practices, today’s payroll
professional must be able to handle the demands of their core function and to adapt to the pace of change in the wider business world. It is no surprise therefore that in a recent Frazer Jones survey of payroll professionals, 74% agreed that payroll has a higher profile than it did five years ago.
Employment trends have changed dramatically in recent years, with flexible working, employee mobility and remote workstations increasingly becoming mainstream. Within this shifting employment landscape payroll must ensure that employees get paid accurately and on time and that the company remains compliant with regulatory requirements.
Technology is another key driver of change for payroll operations, and with a move away from manual processes and towards tech solutions that digitise, integrate and automate payroll functions, systems and data, payroll
professionals need to expand their knowledge beyond the basics.
Soft skills, such as communication, are also paramount, as organisations look to payroll staff to collaborate closely with other departments, such as HR and finance. Around a third (34%) of payroll professionals surveyed said that payroll should report into HR, while the same proportion opted for the finance function. Just over a quarter thought that payroll should be a standalone function.
As well as their pivotal role in fulfilling tax obligations and maintaining compliance, the payroll teams are becoming increasingly valuable in helping to attract talent, and deliver the reward strategies that will impact positively on employee engagement and retention. A less obvious but hugely valuable role for payroll is its effect on employee morale. In these uncertain times, when employees are likely to be questioning the financial stability of the business, the performance of the payroll team can be one of the best indicators of how the organisation is doing.