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23rd March 2020: A date few payrollers will ever forget. At the same time as payroll week began and the 2019-2020 tax year ended (the busiest period for payroll professionals of the entire year) the Government-enforced lockdown became official. The timing of course, could not have been any worse.

The challenges for payroll

For those not directly involved in payroll, it can be hard to imagine the complexities of maintaining an uninterrupted client or employee payroll service while facing the operational challenges of setting up a home office. Yet that’s what happened, and any payroller will tell you that they’d be hard-pressed to remember a busier or more stressful time in their entire professional career. Besides navigating the challenges of the role while working from home, payrollers have had to remain abreast of daily – or even hourly - legislative changes that have either directly impacted them or their clients.

Key workers

If any positives can be gleaned from the Covid crisis, it’s that payroll has how been recognised as a vital cog in the operational wheel rather than the grunt workers situated beneath Finance or Human Resources. Seen as key workers, payrollers have now officially staked their claim as a standalone, strategic arm of the business – a well-deserved status that will forever remain once Covid has passed.

Bringing payrollers together

Realising the enormous strain payrollers were under and wanting to provide a platform for peer support and advice, PayDashboard rolled out three COVID-19 & payroll webinars over the course of April. An incredible 784 registrations were received in total, revealing just how necessary such a resource was during this unprecedented time.

What we learned from the webinars

Over the course of the webinars, ten payroll professionals from a multitude of organisations such as SUEZ UK, CIPP, EY, Anderson Anderson & Brown and Pay Check Limited offered advice and answered a range of questions from attendees around the globe.

The speakers had some great experiences to share, and there were many takeaways from the webinars which we have collated and provided in a summary of key findings which you can access here..

The feedback we received from attendees was extremely positive, and included comments such as:

“Good knowledgeable speakers who obviously know the payroll industry very well ...thank you”

“Really reassuring to know people are in the same boat, and a couple of tips picked up which has been most helpful. Thank you.”

“I am feeling reassured that we CAN get through this and will be better prepared for anything the world throws at us. THANK YOU and keep up with the webinars I’m feeling Inspired to STAY CALM and PAYROLL ON!!"

In summary

March and April 2020 were the busiest payroll periods in living memory. The sheer enormity of what payrollers overcame forever elevated their profession in terms of the value they bring to both employers and outsourced payroll providers alike.

The face of payroll has forever changed and will continue to evolve as we ride out the Coronavirus lockdown and emerge on the other side.

If you would like to watch the webinar recordings, you can do so here.

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