The role of HR and Payroll while very distinct, are interconnected to ensure a cohesive employee experience. Your HR arm is typically responsible for your employee experience, looking after the key areas of the employee lifecycle including recruitment, talent management, training, and employee relations. Your payroll arm look after the processing of accurate and timely pay to your team members taking into consideration employee specific payroll requirements, compensation differences and legislative requirements.

But what happens when the left hand doesn’t speak to the right hand? Or better still, what superpower can you unleash when they work seamlessly together?

The impact of having a cohesive HR & Payroll team

Responsibility for compliance:

An often grey area is who is responsible between HR and Payroll when it comes to meeting minimum legislated requirements. In some instances, it may be easier to determine who your legislation centre of expertise should be. For example, when it comes to tax and super processing requirements this would often sit with payroll, and when it comes to compliantly moving through the redundancy process this would often sit with your HR team.

In many instances, an area of legislation may require both teams to be involved in order to comply. For example, clauses in the Modern Award may require your HR team to interpret, but your payroll team to build into your payroll system so that timesheets are processed compliantly. For this reason, it is incredibly important that both HR and Payroll are communicating when it comes to interpretation and changes in legislation to ensure everything is considered.
For this reason, HR and Payroll teams could be seen as having joint responsibility for ensuring compliance within a business.

Responsibility for a timely and accurate payroll:

In order to ensure the smooth and accurate running of a payroll, there are a number of pre-payroll inputs to consider. Your HR function is typically responsible for the onboarding process for any new employees, as well as administering any change in terms, promotions or pay increases throughout a pay period. All of this information needs to be up to date and complete to give your payroll team time to complete the payroll accurately. It’s also important that internal communication channels and processes are established to communicate such changes to ensure a smooth and accurate payroll. During payroll processing, the payroll team need to ensure they have ample time to make any adjustments they need and should have the appropriate checks in place to ensure accuracy.
To ensure a high quality payroll, both your HR and Payroll teams need to work closely to ensure complete information is given, through the correct channels with ample time processing time.

Responsibility for the employee experience:

While there are many components that make up the employee experience and satisfaction at work, none of them compare to the basic need to be paid correctly. No matter how incredible your HR initiatives are, they will always be overshadowed by a delayed or inaccurate payroll. We established that the processing of a compliant, timely and accurate payroll is the joint responsibility between HR and Payroll, and so can be deduced that they hold joint responsibility for the employee experience.

The distinct yet closely interconnected roles of both HR and Payroll can be seen as a blessing and a curse in many businesses. Businesses who encourage team cohesiveness, working together, having open communication, and the sharing of knowledge will often reap the benefits of greater compliance, greater payroll efficiency and a better employee experience.

About Employment Innovations

Employment Innovations is one of Australia’s leading providers of employment services designed to increase productivity and ensure compliance. Its services and solutions include all the tools that every Australian small to medium sized employer needs – including workplace advice, workplace safety, legal services, payroll solutions, migration, human resource management and HR software.



The information provided in these blog articles is general in nature and is not intended to substitute for professional advice. If you are unsure about how this information applies to your specific situation we recommend you contact Employment Innovations for advice.