Late payments putting UK employees in the red

Over a fifth of British workers claim bosses have failed to pay their wages on time, and have suffered financial losses as a result, according to new research.

A study of 2,000 UK employees, conducted by Leeds-based Cascade HR, found that 22 per cent have been paid late from their current employer at some point in their career. Of those affected, nearly half (49 per cent) said this had happened more than once.

When wages arrived late, the employees claimed they experienced various financial issues, with some even struggling to buy food and every day essentials. Just under two thirds (61 per cent) had been forced to borrow money from various sources, but 33 per cent were unable to pay bills and direct debits. Over a quarter (27 per cent) received late payment charges from their bank, and 21 per cent were unable to cover basic living costs such as food and travel expenses.

The research even found that late payments were having an effect on employee’s relationships outside of work, with 17 per cent stating that financial issues led to strains on relationships between partners and family members.

When asked how they felt when they received their wages late, the majority of workers said they were annoyed or extremely annoyed (86 per cent). 11 per cent said they were not annoyed about being paid late, and 3% didn’t feel affected either way by the issue.

Despite this, over half of staff who had been paid late (68 per cent) were happy overall with how their company had handled and rectified the situation afterwards.

The research was undertaken by leading provider of HR solutions, Cascade HR, to investigate the attitudes of employees towards pay structures and procedures in the UK.

Oliver Shaw, CEO of Cascade HR, said: “The issue of late payments can present some really serious difficulties for employees, who are often relying on the timely arrival of their wages so they can fund their living costs. It’s concerning to see that within some companies, late payments have happened on more than one occasion and workers are suffering as a result.

“As our research highlights, when wage payments are delayed by even just a few days, it can lead to further financial implications with some employees being forced to loan money from other sources. Late wages can also cause more widespread problems with regards to personal relationships and social circumstances.

“Business owners have a responsibility to ensure they’re paying their staff members on time, on or before the date mentioned in the employee contract, so that workers aren’t suffering the costs. It’s extremely important that employers have a contingency plan in place, so that if this situation was to arise, it can be rectified quickly and consequences for workers are kept to a minimum.”

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