Important changes to legal duties in providing payslips

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With effect from 6 April 2019, employers need to be aware of important changes to their legal duties in providing payslips.

It’s long been the case that only an individual working under a contract of employment is legally entitled to receive a written, itemised payslip, provided on or before their pay day. However, from 6 April 2019, both employees and workers, including agency, zero-hours and other casual workers, must receive their payslips, either electronically or in writing. There is no limit on the amount of additional information that a payslip can include, but must include as a minimum:

  • the gross and net total of salary earned
  • the number of hours worked (where applicable)
  • the amount of any variable and fixed deductions
  • a breakdown of how salary is to be paid (if more than one payment method is used)

The exemptions to this obligation are those who are genuinely self-employed, members of the armed forces, police force, merchant seamen and seawomen, and those paid by a share in the profits or gross earnings of a fishing vessel.

The new rules only apply to the pay period from 6 April 2019, meaning there is no obligation to provide more detailed payslips retrospectively.

This reform was brought into force following the Taylor Review of working practices, and will have a particular impact in the gig economy which engages casual workers on a large scale. Employers should consider the reputational risk and adverse publicity associated with failing to provide itemised payslips. If an employer has failed to provide itemised payslips, an individual can bring a claim in the employment tribunal. They can recover up to 13 weeks of unnotified deductions from their salary which were not included in their payslip.

From 6 April 2020 employers will also be required to provide written statements of terms and conditions to both employees and workers from day one of employment, as opposed to the current requirement of within 2 months of starting.