The role of a payroll professional goes beyond merely ensuring that employees are paid accurately and on time. They also need to enforce payroll compliance with the respective employment laws and payroll legislations.
Given that it is extremely common for payroll legislations to change on a yearly basis, it is crucial for organisations to stay abreast with the ongoing changes so that they can remain legally compliant. After all, no one wants to handle disgruntled employees or pay hefty fines.
However, balancing compliance requirements with all the elements of running payroll is a challenge. What can do you then?
Here are four nifty tips for keeping abreast of payroll legislations so that you are well-informed and prepared when they are in force.
1. Attend seminars, trainings and webinars
Attending seminars and training sessions provide you with the opportunity to find out about the latest legislative changes and clarify any queries that you may have. For instance, the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) holds annual events on changes to the Employment Act so that HR professionals are aware of any changes to the statutory labour laws. Through attending these events, it allows you to gain deeper insights on the changes and ask questions.
Signing up for these events is also a great way for you to connect with other HR professionals and payroll specialists within the industry. It provides a platform for you to discuss ongoing HR trends and legislative changes with your peers and understand the approach that their organisation may adopt going forward.
There are plenty of HR-related events that are organised throughout the year by the various government agencies. In Singapore, you may search for HR or payroll-related events on the Singapore Business Federation or MySkillsFuture’s website. Similarly in Hong Kong, you may refer to the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management to find relevant payroll-related events.
2. Join a discussion group
Joining a discussion group is another great way to connect with peers across industries. Besides expanding your professional network, it provides the opportunity for you and your peers to exchange payroll-related ideas or advice. Professional social media sites such as LinkedIn typically have closed groups that only accept members who are within the same industry and are able to contribute to the group.
Similarly, following relevant profiles and thought leaders on LinkedIn or other professional social media sites allow you to receive up-to-the-minute news and views associated with payroll legislations. This also helps you to be prepared and know what to do when the changes are effected.
3. Subscribe to email alerts
By subscribing to payroll alerts, you get all the latest changes and news sent directly to your inbox! Most government agencies such as the Ministry of Manpower and Singapore National Employee Federation (SNEF) allow you to subscribe to their email alert system so that you can receive periodic email updates on any changes in legislation. These emails are typically sent before any changes are in force, allowing you ample time to make the necessary changes before the deadlines.
4. Keep payroll software updated
Once you are aware of the changes, it is imperative that your payroll software is updated to stay compliant. For older payroll software systems, you may have to update your software manually to reflect the changes. To avoid missing these deadlines, set up calendar alerts and build in time to update your software and review the changes made.
However, if you are utitlising a cloud-based payroll software, chances are that these changes will automatically be reflected in your payroll software. Unlike older, on-premise payroll systems, cloud-based payroll software is designed to update in line with the latest payroll legislation so that you will never have to make manual updates again. These solutions typically encompass the full suite of updates, including reviewing any changes to salary calculations or statutory tax contributions and deductions. That way, you are freed from implementing legislative changes within your payroll software altogether.
There are plenty of ways to stay abreast of changes in legislation, allowing sufficient time for you and your payroll team to stay on top of what needs to be implemented to ensure compliance. The best part is that it does not require much effort to stay in the know. Furthermore, by leveraging cloud-based payroll software, you will be more effective, less frazzled and have a greater piece of mind whenever there are any changes in payroll legislation.