In my previous blog I gave a short introduction on the simplicity of the payroll process. I also looked at the simplicities themselves – the processes that are involved in completing a payroll calculation. I also pointed out that most people do not read their payroll specification and only check their bank statement. As an employee, you just want your money. That’s a pity because the document is the key to checking you were paid the right amount – to seeing that no mistakes were made with your expenses or travel allowance.
To try and give you a bit more insight into exactly what you can learn from the specification, let’s zoom into it and see what we find there.
The piece of paper the employee receives from their employer supplies information on your salary, contributions and taxes that are withheld and, finally, what should be paid into your bank account. As the document carries an official status in The Netherlands, it can also be used to apply for a loan or for a governmental allowance.
The payroll specification is divided up into several areas. Please refer to the example payroll specification attached.
- Personal information
You’ll first notice some personal information at the top of your document – your name, social security number, date of birth and your address. This is also related to some tax related data.
- Contract information
You’ll also notice some information regarding the employment contract you have with your employer. This includes start date and end date of the employment, how many hours you work in a week and the base salary. The employer is also obligated to print the minimum wage that applies, enabling you to check that your employer pays you the correct amount.
- Period information
This section shows all information related to the period and the wage that is paid for that period.
- The involved period
- This information reveals how the gross wage is composed – your base salary including allowance for overtime, personal target
- The amounts that are withheld on your salary like contributions for health care, pension and, of course, payroll tax.
- The net amount that is paid to the nominated bank account – for most people the most important bit!
This section displays all totals up to the current period. Besides base values for contributions and payroll tax you’ll also find information of your holiday allowance balance. Sometimes the balance for vacation days is also shown here.
The example we see here shows the layout that we use in Exact Online Payroll. We are always curious to hear what you think about it – especially if you’re an employee who receives it. If you have any thoughts, please do share them with us. It could become part of an important improvement and help more people gain important insight from their payroll specifications.