More than pocket protectors and payslips — Trends for NZ Payroll in 2017

pocketRecently I was asked by NZ Business Mag to provide comment on current trends affecting New Zealand businesses and the payroll industry in 2017. As I am never short of a word I will share my comments over several posts. The following are some of my thoughts.

What are the key payroll issues business owners and payroll managers will have to face in 2017?

1 . Holiday Pay related issues will continue to be a problem for some employers. Even if it doesn’t directly affect them or their staff. The fact that there’s so much media coverage, labour inspectors and unions asking questions, sows seeds of doubt and it causes them to second guess their systems.

The holiday’s act is a fairly simple piece of legislation which is badly applied, largely due to the fact that it was written for a time when employees took time off in large chunks i.e. weeks when the reality is employees take time off in increments as small as hours.

The other issue employers face with the Holidays Act is the level of misinformation. Everyone has an opinion on how it should be applied or know someone who knows someone who knows something about it. Yet in most cases, these people have never read the Act and are making assumptions. For most small businesses they don’t have the resources to investigate the proper application of the law but unfortunately in this case ignorance is not an excuse.

The key to staying out of trouble with this key piece of legislation is to carefully review what you are doing and if in doubt ASK. Even if you just review what is suggested on sites like — Employment NZ

2. The second key change we will start to see having an impact is how employers report their PAYE. While not coming into effect until April 2019, the pending, major changes to how employers report PAYE (IRFiling etc) to Inland Revenue will start to be part of the conversation. In order to come into effect in 2019 systems will have to be updated during 2017–18 and this is not a minor update. This change will also cause employers to start to look at their current systems to ensure they will be capable of implementing these changes. It is likely that some provider won’t be able to handle the change.

3. The third change which will come into prominence is the shift from PC-based systems to Cloud based systems. More and more employers will be looking at where their existing PC-based system will meet their needs and given changes like those mentioned around IRFiling now is the time to make a change.

What assurances and advice can you give to business owners who still harbour doubts about switching to cloud delivery of payroll?

The irony is many people who express concern about the cloud with respect to a payroll already use systems such as online banking. They have no concerns about security, access, confidentiality etc and the reality is most (not all) Cloud Payroll systems have similarly robust security controls. You probably have more chance of someone stealing your laptop with your PC based payroll on it than you do of someone hacking your cloud payroll.

In a future post, I will talk about some of the key consideration businesses should give when looking to move to a new payroll or employee management system.

In coming posts, we will talk more about the trends we are seeing in the Payroll and Employee Management space.

Feel free to comment on this post or if you have questions please email me at steve@timehub.co.nz

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