Late or incorrect salary payment hits employee engagement, report reveals

But just under half of those questioned in 6 countries across Europe acknowledged that they had been paid late.

Late payment of wages is almost certain to have a negative impact on how European workers view their employers, which in turn hits engagement levels, according to research.

A survey among 4,000 employees in Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK revealed that an average of 88% who were not paid on time felt the scenario had an either ‘slightly’ or ‘highly’ negative affect on how they perceived their employer. Some 44% of those questioned by HR and payroll services provider SD Worx acknowledged they had fallen foul of this situation, while just under half of those who had done so also indicated they had been paid incorrectly.

Jan van Mol, head of global alliances at SD Worx, said: “An increasing number of employees are becoming actively disengaged in their workplace due to late or incorrect payments, something that employers need to fix to ensure that their employees have high morale and trust in their workplace.”

The survey found that employees in the Netherlands were most likely to be paid late (55%), followed by Germany (46%). Workers across the board attributed this occurrence mainly to ‘late third-party payments impacting cash flow’ and ‘system error or outage’. On average, it took between one-and-a-half to two weeks to sort the problem out, although in Austria, the average length of time was three weeks.

As for incorrect pay, it was staff in the UK who experienced the highest levels (61%), followed by the Netherlands in second place (55%). A huge four out of five workers assigned the wrong amount identified the issue themselves rather than being notified about it by their employer.

But worryingly, an average 44% of respondents who were paid incorrectly said they would consider looking for work elsewhere as a result. The figure rose to 55% among Germans and fell to 30% among the French.