Majority of UK employers not set up to cope with paying gig workers

But nearly three quarters of survey respondents recognise that changing staffing models requires introducing new approaches to payment.

The majority of UK employers are struggling to meet the challenges of paying gig economy workers, according to new research.

The study conducted by human capital management consultancy ROC Consulting revealed that only 56% of private sector decision-makers and just under two out of five public sector managers believed their payroll system and processes were up to the job. This was despite the fact that nearly three quarters of respondents recognised that if they changed their staffing models, they would also need to find new ways of paying workers.

Sunny Patel, ROC’s cloud practice head, said: “Contractors, freelancers and Millennials, who are all forcing new working practices, allow organisations to access rapid, short-term expertise and support, but it’s only one way the world of work is changing. What’s clear is that traditional IT approaches lack the speed, flexibility and intelligence to support these new approaches, but if they don’t change employers will find themselves missing out on top talent.”

Some 56% of finance and IT managers agreed that it was necessary to find better ways of paying workers quickly. But cut-off dates and systems that were no longer fit for purpose meant that three out of five respondents were unable to pay new joiners until the start of a new payroll cycle.

As a result, because 78% paid on a monthly basis and three out of five ruled out paying daily, many workers ended up waiting six weeks before receiving any money. As to what was holding employers back from paying more quickly or frequently, reasons included a lack of resources to do so and old technology.