2018 saw big changes across the digital landscape, particularly surrounding data privacy. One of the biggest scandals to hit in 2018 was the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal, which broke in March 2018 shocked the world.
Around the same time, the European Union launched the General Data Protection Regulation, which has been viewed as one of the biggest changes to data protection rules in the last two decades.
GDPR is a regulation that requires businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of EU citizens for transactions that occur within EU member states. Read more on GDPR here.
The new changes had a ripple effect across the globe and significantly altered how HR and Payroll handle employee information.
Is GDPR relevant to your business?
Australian businesses fall under GDPR if they ‘control’ or ‘process’ personal data of EU individuals, such as employees. This also includes;
- Australian entities that operate businesses that are established in a member state of the EU
- Australian-based entities that offer goods or services to individuals in the EU, irrespective of whether a payment is required
- Australian-based entities that monitor the behaviour of individuals in the EU, where that behaviour takes place within the EU.
2018 also saw the rollout of Single Touch Payroll and a big push towards digitalised, paperless payroll processes across the globe.
And lastly, the gig economy boomed in 2018, with the rise of on-demand work and flexible work and pay agreements. Of course, there were sham contracting scandals that preyed on the gig economy, and many well-known companies have been in the press for the wrong reasons. The gig-economy is only set to go one way, and in 2019 and beyond it’s sure to become more normalised.
So what will 2019 and beyond look like;
As more and more technology becomes commonplace in our day to day lives, the opportunities to streamline and optimise payroll functions get bigger. It’s now more important than ever for payroll professionals to keep their finger on the pulse with tech trends.
Traditional pay cycles are changing
As the gig economy grows in stature, on-demand work will become the norm, and as such workers will start to expect pay cycles to follow similar trends. Traditional pay cycles are becoming restrictive for a transient workforce who are calling for ‘same-day pay’ – where they are paid immediately upon the execution of their output or hours worked.
2019 will introduce improvements in processing speeds and data collection from employers (such as smart devices to determine when workers are on site).
Chatbots and A.I.
We’re all by now familiar chat bots while shopping online or needing post-purchase support, and 2019 is set to see an increase in Chatbots to process simple queries in a time efficient manner. Companies treating their employees as customers and offering the same high-quality customer service is an important philosophy to implement, and by decreasing response time and human-time spent answering run of the mill queries, this is a win-win for both employees & employers. Remember, employees are a company’s biggest asset.
Looking beyond 2019, AI could well learn and perform complex functions, however, in, 2019, AI is likely to be restricted to chatbot functionality.
Open banking set to bring new efficiencies to payroll
Open banking is set to shake up the way we bank and opens up new opportunities for businesses. It is based on an open API ecosystem that will help create next-generation value propositions. This concept has already taken hold in the U.K., and Asia are starting to adopt the scheme as well.
What open banking will enable is payments to be made outside of the traditional banking platforms, such as making payments through your payroll software provider. This means eliminating the need to take payment information from one place and moving it into banking systems, streamlining the entire payment process.
It also brings a whole host of other benefits, such as reduced international payment rates, improved control over payroll workflows and holding balances in multiple currencies.
In 2019, expect open banking to not only become prevalent in the consumer space but to also be gradually adopted by businesses.
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