UK employees switch jobs due to poor payroll experience

Over one fifth of UK employees have changed jobs due to late or inaccurate pay from their employer.

This research was conducted by Zellis, a provider of payroll and HR software who revealed that 21 per cent of UK workers have changed jobs after being paid late.

They also found that 60 per cent of employees have identified mistakes on their payslips, with just over a third (39 per cent) said they had been paid late at least once which lead to them feeling:

  • the employer not caring about their wellbeing (48 per cent)
  • high levels of stress and worry (47 per cent)
  • feeling at risk of their financial situation (40 per cent)
  • less engaged and productive at work (25 per cent)


This issue also has a knock-on effect on financial wellbeing with 37 per cent saying they had missed payments or direct debits due to lateness of their pay.  As well as 31 per cent saying they had gone in to overdraft and 25 per cent said they had incurred bank charges and 24 per cent suffered damage to their credit rating.

John Petter, CEO of Zellis said:

I was surprised by the results of the survey, since in our experience of working with some of the UK’s largest employers on their payroll, the standards of accuracy and reliability are very high. But this research suggests our customers’ experience is atypical, and that business leaders need to champion the work of payroll professionals to ensure employees have their expectations met for accurate, on-time pay.

With an increasing trend towards employee self-service, the question of who is responsible for payroll accuracy lacks a firm answer. Only slightly more believe it is the shared responsibility of the employer and the employee (47 per cent), than believe it is the sole responsibility of the employer (44 per cent).  However, only a quarter (24 per cent) said that they check their payslip every month, and therefore may not always be aware of the mistakes that are made.

Zellis believes by “breaching employment legislation and, consequently, facing severe penalties and reputation damage, is another significant risk of running an inefficient payroll system.” The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) found that in 2018, companies paid nearly £30 million in penalties and arrears due to non-compliance with national minimum wage.

This research was put together by asking 2,000 UK employees and was conducted in August 2019 by Zellis and research firm, Onva Consulting.





Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.