Payslip Abbreviations in Payroll

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Payslips can be confusing for some employees, especially if they don’t understand how to read them, or if there are terms or abbreviations on them that are unfamiliar. These issues can also arise if business changes payroll software, or if they are new to payroll. In this article, we look at some common abbreviations and terms that can raise questions explained.

Common abbreviations in payroll​​

Gross Wages/Salary: The total amount earned in the pay period before any deductions, including PAYG.

Net Pay: The amount you receive after all deductions including PAYG,  or other deductions for salary sacrifice, child support or union fees for example

PAYG: Pay As You Go – This is the Australian income tax withheld from your pay by your employer and paid to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Super: Superannuation – Contributions made to your superannuation fund. The employer must contribute a percentage of your salary to your chosen superannuation fund, without deducting it for your gross wages. You may contribute additional super, which is deducted from your wages either before or after PAYG has been deducted. 

YTD: Year to Date – The totals of all amounts paid for the current financial year under a particular pay category. There may be YTD amounts on a payslip that relate to payments that were made in a previous pay period, even if they weren’t paid in this period.

HECS/HELP/STSL: Higher Education Contribution Scheme/Higher Education Loan/Study or Training Support Loans Program – Repayments towards your student loan deducted by and then paid to the ATO by your employer.

Leave: Different types of leave (e.g., annual leave, personal carer’s leave) you’ve taken during the pay period, along with your leave balances. 

Overtime: Extra hours worked beyond your regular working hours. These may also have a percentage component such as 150% or 200%, which is the rate of your normal pay rate that the overtime hours will be paid at.

Allowances: Additional payments for specific purposes like travel, tools, vehicle or meals.

Deductions: Deductions are different for each industry and business, but some examples are union memberships, salary sacrifice or novated leases.

Taxable Income: The amount on which you’re being taxed. As some payments such as allowances or reimbursements are not subject to tax, and some deductions are made before tax, they will be excluded from this amount, so it may be different to the gross earnings.

TFN: Tax File Number – The employee’s unique identifier for taxation purposes.

ABN: Australian Business Number – A unique identifier for businesses.

RDO: Rostered Day Off – A day off that’s part of your regular work schedule.

TIL/TOIL: Time in Lieu/Time off in Lieu – This is generally accrued as a leave type when an employee and employer agree for an employee to accrue leave instead of being paid for additional work hours (overtime).

Penalties: Additional payments for working on weekends, public holidays, etc.Like overtime, there may be a percentage component, or a different pay category name associated with this payment, such a 15% or Afternoon Shift.

Hours Worked: Breakdown of your regular hours, overtime, and other work-related hours, separated by pay category and with a total of all for the pay period.

Leave Balances: The amount of annual leave, sick leave, and other leave types you have available. There may not be some leave balances shown on the payslip, but this does not mean that the employee is not entitled to them (such as compassionate leave, bereavement leave)

Pay Period: The range of dates for which the payslip covers. For most businesses this is weekly, fortnightly or monthly on a regular schedule.

Employee Information: Your name, employee number, and contact details.

Employer Information: Company name, address, and ABN.


What to do if You Think There’s a Mistake​?

Check the Details: Ensure your personal, employment details, and leave balances are accurate.

Compare with Agreements: Cross-reference with your employment agreement and any awards or agreements relevant to your role.

Contact Payroll: Reach out to your employer’s payroll department to discuss the issue.

Provide Documentation: If you have records of your hours worked, leave taken, or other relevant information, share that with payroll.

Lodge a Complaint: If the issue isn’t resolved, you can contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for guidance and assistance.

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 advicelegal servicespayroll solutionsmigrationhuman 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.

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