Getting a steady flow of hours as a temporary worker can be only half the battle. Because for some seasonal and short-term staff then have an uphill struggle to get paid on time. For others, even getting the right amount of pay can be a nightmare.

That’s not to say all organisations who use temporary staff are in the same boat. Many are fair and efficient in their payment systems. These are often the ones who use 100% reliable payroll subcontractors.

The problems start when employers rely on bogus companies to operate their payroll systems. Sadly, there are far too many of those around to dupe unwitting employers and leave temporary workers in particular out of pocket!

As a seasonal or temporary worker, how would you know if your money was being paid via a bogus payroll company?

Watch every penny

The first rule of thumb is to keep careful track of the hours you work. And not on scraps of paper or different mobile phone entries. Create a timesheet for your own use – digitally or as a physical copy.

When you get paid compare the hours you did, against the hours you have been paid for. A bogus company may shave time off here and there to keep “under the radar”. However, all that adds up if you don’t detect it.

They could also take deductions from your payments that aren’t appropriate or pre-agreed. If you see less cash than you expect, be ready to ask for a detailed breakdown of how the final sum was calculated.

Are there certain tasks or hours of work you did for additional fees? Make sure these are accounted for properly and you get what is owed to you.

Automated payroll deadlines

Most seasonal or temporary staff are told the pattern of payment, such as weekly or monthly and on what date. Keep track and make sure deadlines aren’t missed.

That includes not being fobbed off by bogus payroll companies who don’t issue digital or paper pay slips. You really need to insist they issue proper documentation at the same time as putting cash in your account or wage packet.

Paying incorrect tax

Familiarise yourself with the relevant tax codes and payment obligations you have. This can seem daunting but it is a sensible policy for temporary workers. That way you can be sure that the payroll company is doing its job right in paying your income tax. The last thing you need is a massive tax bill or to be in trouble with HMRC.

Not happy? Speak up

One of the most basic things you are entitled to is having your personal information kept private and secure. If you’re concerned about the way the payroll company manages your “data” you should definitely raise this issue. Ask to see the information they hold on you and their data protection policies.

Also, at the end of your temporary contract, you are entitled to a swift final settlement of what you are owed. If the payroll company drags this out, be ready to flag it up with your hirer.

Even if you are on a zero hour contract – or your temporary placement is very short – you are entitled to be treated fairly and efficiently in the way you are paid.

If you feel things are not right, don’t hesitate to politely and respectfully draw it to the attention of your hirer. It could be that the bogus payroll company has fooled them into thinking their obligations are in safe hands!

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