'Many Canadians are taking a 'hope for the best' approach to accuracy'
Many working Canadians do not feel well-equipped in understanding their pay statements.
About one-in-three (35 per cent) say they don't fully understand all the details on their pay statement but assume it is correct. And when it comes to spotting any type of discrepancy, 38 per cent say it is unlikely they would notice if there was any issue or error.
“We continue to see evolving technology innovations shaping how and when Canadians pay and get paid, fuelled by a demand for speed, efficiency, convenience, and security,” says Kristina Logue, CFO at Payments Canada, which released the survey.
“But… many Canadians are silently struggling to decipher their pay details and are taking a ‘hope for the best’ approach to accuracy. This points to a huge opportunity for employers to help employees navigate and better understand the anatomy of their paycheque.”
Nearly half (47 per cent) of Canadians say they pay more attention to their social media channels than they do their pay statement details, and 46 per cent say they pay more attention to checking the weather.
Lack of understanding
More than half (57 per cent) of Canadians also say they don't pay a lot of attention to the income and deduction amounts on each pay statement. Half (50 per cent) say that they check the amount that hits their bank account — but not the pay statement details around their income and deductions.
Over one-in-three (34 per cent) only focus on their income details when it comes time to file their taxes, finds the survey of 1,503 Canadians in June and July.
“Understanding payroll details is complex. It’s not something most of us learn at school,” says Logue. “But it’s important that Canadians feel empowered in understanding how their income and deductions work on their paycheque — regardless of how they receive it.”
Nearly eight in 10 (79 per cent) full-time employees and jobseekers want some form of pay transparency, and nearly a third (32 per cent) want total transparency, in which all employee salaries are publicized, according to a Visier study.
More than one in five (23 per cent) say they would feel uncomfortable or embarrassed asking their employer to explain the income and deduction details on their pay statement.
When asked about the opportunity to change any aspect around how they get paid by their employer, the number one consideration cited by working Canadians was for employers to do a better job of proactively helping them understand the specific details on their pay statements and how the income and various deductions work (19 per cent), finds Payments Canada.
Other changes include having all their financial information, including income and pay statement information, T4s, etc., in one centralized, secure hub for easy access (15 per cent); receiving pay on a more frequent basis (11 per cent).
However, about three-in-five (58 per cent) of working Canadians would not change anything and are generally satisfied with how and when they receive their paycheques.
Around two-thirds (67 per cent) of U.S. employees say that their organization should be more transparent with pay practices.