Employees who Google 'Payroll' never resolve mistakes easily

22nd August 2017

googleSo, you’ve received your payslip and it’s got a mistake, or worse still you haven’t been paid. Your overtime is missing or they haven’t paid you for the hours you’ve worked, or your bonus or commission is wrong. What do you do?

Surprisingly increasing numbers of employees try to find a solution with a Google search.

But stop. If you work for XYZ company and add search terms with ‘payroll’ into the search engine within Google you may well get half a dozen payroll provider ads or organic links for companies that do not do your company’s payroll. Ring the wrong company and it all gets a bit embarrassing.

So where do you start to resolve your payroll query?

Your line manager/ colleagues

Payroll issues are more common than you might think. You colleagues may well know where to go for payroll issues, but I always recommend your first shot should be speaking with your line manager. They may be able to point you in the right direction or even help get the issue resolved. Asking colleagues can be useful but you may detonate a multitude of stories about how their own pay was wrongly paid a few years ago, wasting your valuable time. Asking your manager is always the safest bet for the most up to date way to resolve your payroll issue.

But what if your line manager can’t help?

Ask the Payroll/ HR / Finance team

If your line manager can’t help they will probably be able to tell you who to contact. If you work for a large company you will probably have a payroll department – a great bunch of professionals who work exceptionally hard to try and make everyone happy each month by paying them for their hard work. They’ll probably be listed under your company intranet or internal phone directory.

It is very, very unlikely they’ll be listed on Google.

In SMEs, payroll may be handled by finance or by one of your HR team.

For micro employers, it usually falls to one of the directors or your company accountant.

But no company is the same and unless you have a stellar induction to the company or a company handbook it can be difficult to pin down the right person.

‘But I know my payroll is handled by an outsourced payroll provider. I’ll just Google their name’

That’s easy then, isn’t it. You’ll just get their number from Google and ring them direct?

Hold on there, not so fast. No one company handles payroll for the entire country. And of course, Google doesn’t know who does your payroll and will show results on your search based on paid for adverts those companies organically who have a great ‘payroll’ rating. So, you’re unlikely to find the right number to ring.

But if you do track down the outsourced payroll provider you may still not get the resolution you’re after. A payroll provider worth their salt is very protective of your personal data, under Data Protection act rules, and will be even more vigilant when General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) come in next year.

They should not give you any information over the phone or by email, no matter how frustrating it is, or how angry or rude you become. That’s because the person ringing in could be some scammer trying to get hold of your hard-earned money, rather than actually you. Don’t believe it could happen? Read how Snapchat’s payroll team were duped by a bogus call.

Instead they should always direct you to your company payroll department contact for that information.

‘It could be better, couldn’t it’

There are many reasons why payroll mistakes occur, but one of them is employing a poor payroll provider. If your payslip continually contains errors you might want to suggest your company reviews its payroll practices.

For employers it’s all about communication. You can start with advice on induction or through a staff handbook, on the bottom of payslips or on your intranet. Simple guidance can go a long way.

Sorting out payroll errors can be costly in terms of time and money, but also demotivating for staff. Having a provider who ensures you’re paid on time every time should be the norm.