Nearly half of European employees have been paid late

paid late

Research has revealed that out of 4,000 employees surveyed, 44 per cent had been paid late by their employers and 48 per cent of those that had been paid late had also been paid incorrectly.

The survey also revealed that 79 per cent of employees that had been paid incorrectly identified the issue themselves and, on average, 44 per cent respondents would consider leaving their jobs after being paid incorrectly, with 55 per cent of German respondents considering leaving, and only 30 per cent of French.

The independent online survey was carried out amongst employees in six different European countries, the UK, France, Austria, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany, to measure their opinions and experiences of receiving delayed and incorrect payment. The survey targeted employees working in organisations sized between 10 to 10,000 employees who had experienced a delay in payment from their employer, finding that employees in the Netherlands were most likely to be paid late, followed by Germany.

The delay in payment caused a predominately negative perception of employers from the employees that SD Worx surveyed. The majority of employees who experienced payment delays felt their perception of their employer had a ‘slight negative’ to ‘highly negative’ impact. In addition, surveyed employees thought that the reason for their late payment was predominately down to poor management or financially unstable employers.

Jan Van Mol, Head of Global Alliance at SD Worx, commented: “The results of this survey are shocking in regards to the impact that payroll error has on employee engagement. 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 the workplace”.



Alongside whether employees were paid late, employees were also asked if they had been paid incorrectly. The survey found that of the 44 per cent that had been paid late, a total of 48 per cent had also been paid incorrectly. Among those respondents, the UK is most likely to be paid incorrectly at 61 per cent, with the Netherlands in second at 55 per cent. Of the respondents that were paid late, over 80 per cent of all employees, other than Austria, found the issue and notified their employer themselves.

The reasons for delayed payment varied for each country, with the main two reasons being “Late third-party payments impacting cash-flow” and “System error or outage”, combining for around three-in-five employees in all countries. In Austria, late third party payment was the cause of delayed payment for half of employees.

On average, employees experiencing a delay in payment were delayed between one-and-a-half and two weeks in all countries, except in Austria where the average delay was around three weeks. Payroll and HR is often overlooked as an essential aspect of an organisation, but the survey results emphasise the importance of ensuring that employers are paying their employees correctly.