Will Payslip Law Change See Reduction In Free Labour?

21st March 2019

Free Labour

From the 6th of April 2019, new legislation – known as the Employment Rights Act 1996 will change how UK employers provide payslips to their workforce and will make things a little clearer and give a means for employees to see if they have been paid properly. Employers will now be required to provide employees who are paid according to ‘time worked’, details of the number of hours being paid on their payslip this time.

“where the amount of wages or salary varies by reference to time worked, the total number of hours worked in respect of the variable amount of wages or salary either as – 

  1. i) a single aggregate figure, or ii) separate figures for different types of work or different rates of pay.”


The Trades Union Congress (TUC) found that UK workers gave their employees £32 billion of free labour last year which is a staggering total of two billion unpaid hours.


There has been a lot of bad press focused on zero or low hour contracts. Some companies were requiring individuals to be available on demand, yet with no or limited guarantee of pay for that work. As a result, employers were not meeting their obligations with regard to deductions and employee rights.

Frances O’Grady, TUC’s general secretary, said “Overworking staff hurts productivity, leaves workers’ stressed and exhausted and eats into time that should be spent with family and friends. Bosses who do steal people’s time should face consequences.”


The new payslip law will make it easier for employees to see exactly how many hours they have been recorded as working and what they have been paid for those, so they can easily see whether they are working some hours for free or not. This could result in a reduced amount of free labour that we have seen recorded recently and ensure employees being paid fairly and correctly.


Not all employers provide hours information to their payroll or, if they do, choose not to show such information to their employees on their pay statement. This will need to change. Companies that have a competent outsourced payroll provider or use payroll software already will have had these changes already provided to them and will not need to worry.


Top 10 Payroll Issues 2019

Read our eBook on the critical issues facing payroll and HR teams in 2019

Download Resource