Posted 3 years ago - by

Payroll Lessons from COVID-19

Getting people paid on time, making sure that accurate taxes, and accruals are reflected on check stubs —these are not new challenges. But the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly magnified and added layers to them.

Now, two months into the new normal courtesy of COVID-19, we and other payroll service providers, our clients, and our other collaborators have certainly learned valuable lessons—lessons that will grow in number and worth over the coming days.

The value of staying current with new and modified legislation

The pandemic has prompted new emergency tax and employment legislations to mitigate the damage done by COVID-19 to businesses big and small, and payroll has had to scramble to keep up with the constant changes and integrate them into the payroll process, and to ensure that any changes or modifications (e.g., paid leave codes, reduced deductions, reduced contributions, new net pay figures) are reflected on check stubs.

Staying current with modifications to pertinent legislations enables payroll teams to avoid mistakes and ensure that validations reflect compliance. It also involves making sure that compliance with new legislation dovetails with related existing regulation (e.g., unchanged leave regulations together with reduced pay).

The value of clear and constant communication

Vital to staying updated is constant communication. And it is even more important for payroll teams to be updated—within the team and with clients, vendors, and other collaborators.

Constant communication between payroll teams and their partners to discuss mitigations in the event of a service provider or partner being unable to provide their particular product or service due to staff being out on medical or emergency leaves helps prevent needless frustration and misunderstanding that inevitably prompt rash or misguided decisions.

Constant communication also has to be effective, and for that to be the case, there has to be openness and transparency, to facilitate problem solving and ensure interconnected processes flow as easily as possible from one to another.

The value of virtual connections

With the new work-from-home setup that many have adopted, it is crucial that communication take on an additional layer of honesty—through conversations that include bits of the personal as everyone deals with their fears and concerns over the uncertain future.

Indeed, virtual conferences and meetings, where team members are all participating from their homes is providing a way to cultivate personal connections, and it humanizes business transactions and communication through glimpses into people’s personal lives.

Even the simplest greetings can make a difference, reassure a team member that they are still part of a team and not alone.

Virtual communication has also altered the way people listen, because now they have to listen when chatting with team members, and no doubt this type of “listening” will be enhanced over time.

The value of automation

While automation has been among the selling points of payroll service providers, primarily as a cost saver, it has now been established as a necessary measure to ensure that businesses continue to run smoothly in the event of disruptions or events that make staff unavailable to perform their payroll functions.

The value of business continuity planning

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown into stark relief the importance of for business continuity in the face of disruption that prevents in-person transactions and physical access to documents that would normally be required in their hard-copy forms, like printed-out check stubs. payslips. And it has also highlighted the role that virtual connections and automation play in the process.

Business continuity plans must also out a premium on a sturdy IT infrastructure to support virtual working conditions.

The value of resilience

Resilient teams emerge from crises not unscathed, but thriving. They emerge armed with enhanced knowledge, as well as an understanding of and appreciation for what they’ve had to do, to learn on the fly, the extra mile they’ve had to go to come out the other side better positioned to take on the next challenges and to leverage whatever opportunities that result because they kept going strong.

Resilience in payroll teams can show in many ways:

  • Anticipation of such scenarios as connectivity issues, medical and other forms of emergencies, and additional disruptions
  • Identification of risks and potential delays early on and having mitigating measures ready
  • Ability to find ways to optimize a new working arrangement (e.g., WFH), like carving out a comfortable part of their house/apartment to use for work
  • Willingness to do extra work if it means getting money to people when they really need it
  • Established contact options and alternative ways to communicate
  • Ability to scale with clients who want/need to introduce changes to their payroll
  • Clear headedness that allows for exploring options like mergers, additional vendors, or collaborators

And for sure, a lot more, because there are always many ways to succeed.

Payroll Systems is here to deliver HR management and payroll options with the same robust human-supported software that our clients have relied on. Reach out and talk to us about how we can provide solutions scaled to your specific business needs at this time.

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This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as legal or HR advice. Since employment laws may change over time and can vary by location and industry, please consult a lawyer or HR expert for advice specific to your business. You can also contact Payroll Systems to inquire about our HR support services.