Over half of workers aged 16 to 24 have been paid incorrectly or late in the past year
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Around a third of people aged 16 to 24 in Ireland and the UK have barely been able to afford food in the past year because of mistakes or late payment with their wages, according to a new survey.
This has forced almost half of them to take out a loan or credit card to cover costs.
Conducted by the Maynooth-based MHR International, the survey showed that the majority of young adults in employment (53%) have been paid incorrectly or late due to payroll errors.
General Manager at MHR Ireland Eamon Rheinisch said in a statement: “It is shocking that during an already difficult year, so many young adults have been short of basic necessities because of payroll mistakes.
“Younger workers are more likely to be on flexible terms of employment which make it difficult for some employers to get pay right, especially if they are using wage subsidy schemes and manual payroll processes.
"Undoubtedly payroll teams have faced significant challenges over the last year with uncertainty over the re-opening of the economy, however, it is simply unacceptable for young employees to be relying on credit and struggling to cover essential living costs because they haven’t been paid correctly.”
Nearly one in two 16 to 24-year-olds surveyed blamed the Covid-19 pandemic for leaving them out of pocket because of mistakes or late payment.
This figure rises to 75% for those working in the arts and culture sector.
Of the 16 to 24-year-olds experiencing pay problems, 11% were paid both late and the incorrect amount, 22% were paid incorrectly, and 20% were paid late.
Rheinisch added: “Employers should take all steps possible to avoid these mistakes.
"Employees regularly paid late or incorrectly are unlikely to be loyal, engaged and committed to the businesses they work for which ultimately will result in retention issues.”
In the same survey of over 250 HR and payroll managers in Ireland and the UK, MHR found that almost all (94%) of businesses have admitted their teams have run into problems processing payroll in the last 12 months, with 91% making errors every month.
More than 1,000 employees and 250 managers in HR and payroll across Ireland and the UK took part in the survey.