The Evolution of Payslips in the Recent Past

The Evolution of Payslips in the Recent Past

By Kira Rubiano

The payslip, also known as pay advice or pay stub, is the confirmation of one’s employment. Every pay cycle, employees around the world review a document that outlines their wages, giving detail of money earned as well as tax and contributions paid. In many countries around the world, a payslip can be as simple as a few line items and in other countries they can tell an entire story of the employee’s compensation, wage tax identity, vacation use, leave accrual…etc.

Payslips Before Digital

Up until about 20 years ago, employees awaited the arrival of a paper document delivered to their home address or they received it from their employer on pay-date in the office. Many employees eventually lost their paper pay slips never to be seen again. Times have changed. Home delivered paper payslips are becoming a thing of the past with the exception of some countries like France where a posted pay slip is still the most popular method of delivery.

With the advent of personal and work email, payroll providers globally started offering email payslip delivery. In the early stages, these emailed PDF copies arrived as a non-protected email attachment. Relatively quickly, employers started realizing that emailed, non-protected pay slips increase their risk and exposure when it comes to employees getting their hands on payslips that are not theirs. Hence, payroll providers started offering password protected or encrypted attachments, minimizing the risk and exposure for employers.

The Payslip Portal and Employee Self Service

In the past 10 to 15 years we have seen a surge of payroll providers globally offering online payslip portal access offered via an Employee Self Service System. This means that employees receive a unique login ID and password to access their payslip via the web, through a secure portal. The great benefit of the online payslip portal is two-fold.

Firstly the benefit is for the employee. The employee now controls when and where they want access and their payslip information is at their fingertips. Additionally, they can access previous pay slips released and at many times Year End Statements/Documentation. All their pay history is now stored in one convenient place for them. Most online pay slips portals have the “forgot my password” function. Gaining access once an employee forgets their credentials should be relatively easy compared to email or paper delivery, which leads to the second benefit of the online payslip portal. The second benefit is for the employer. The employer now saves time, effort, and cost. No longer does the employer need to physically distribute payslips or spend on postage.

The Cutting Edge of Payslips

The evolution of the payslip continues beyond user-friendly online portals. Some countries around the world have gone even further in protecting the personal wage details of their citizens by creating something called the “Digital Mailbox.” In Denmark, all employees are provided with a Digital Mailbox issued by the Danish authorities. The Digital Mailbox is only accessible to each individual via their private digital signature. The digital mailbox is 100% secure and guaranteed by the Danish authorities. The primary goal of this system is not purely data protection but to make all the communication processes between public institutions, businesses, and Danish citizens faster and more efficient.

Denmark is not the only country at the forefront of revolutionizing payslip delivery. Finland also takes an evolutionary step. Most payroll providers in Finland are offering something called “E-salary.” E-salary is an electronic payslip sent securely to the employee’s bank and can be viewed online with their banking credentials. Supported banks are all the major banks in Finland (Aktia, Danske Bank, Handelsbank, Nordea, OP-Pohjola, POP-Pankit, S-Pankki, Säästöpankki and Ålandsbanken). Payslips are also archived for 18 months. E-salary works via an operator between the payroll software vendor and the banks. Based on which bank the employee has, the technology leverages its bank code to ensure the operator delivers the payslip to the right bank. This would be the equivalent of you logging in to check your bank statement online and seeing your payslip at the same time.

The payslip evolution is still underway and providers globally will continue to get more creative and sophisticated with payslip delivery. More and more countries are likely to implement a system such as the Digital Mailbox or E-Salary. That being said, paper payslips are still holding strong and continue to be a popular mode of delivery around the world.

Contact Celergo to learn more about your global payroll options and our compliance guarantee in every country we operate in. Thank you for reading!


**This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice.


France Payroll Employer Alert – Pay Slip Format Change
Georgia Payroll Considerations for Expanding Multinational Businesses