Canadians pay more attention to weather than their paycheques

Employers asked to explain further the contents of pay statements

Canadians pay more attention to weather than their paycheques

Nearly half of Canadian workers (46%) have admitted to paying more attention to the weather than they do with their own paycheques, according to a new report, leaving them vulnerable for potential pay discrepancies.

The latest report from Payments Canada also revealed that 47% of Canadians pay more attention to their social media channels than they do their pay statement details.

In fact, 57% of the respondents admitted that they don't pay a lot of attention to the income and deduction amounts on each pay statement, while 50% said they only check the amount that hits their bank accounts, but not the pay statement details on their income and deductions.

It comes as employers have transitioned to electronic payment channels that make it easier for employees to receive their wages and paycheques.

"Paper cheques are becoming more obsolete, with most Canadians now being paid electronically via direct deposit," said Kristina Logue, chief financial officer of Payments Canada, in a statement.

"But while employers are leveraging payment channels that offer more convenience and ease in how employees receive their paycheques, many Canadians are silently struggling to decipher their pay details and are taking a 'hope for the best' approach to accuracy."

According to the report, 35% of Canadians said they don't fully understand the details on their pay statement, while 38% said they are unlikely to notice if there are any issues or errors.

Despite these concerns, however, 35% of the respondents said they are hesitant to seek clarification or support on their paycheques, with 23% admitting that that would feel uncomfortable or embarrassed asking their employer to explain the details on their pay statement.

Read more: Are your workers living paycheck to paycheck?

What can employers do?

Logue said the situation opens a "huge opportunity" for employers so they can help their staff understand the contents of the paycheque.

In fact, 19% of Canadians said in the report that they want their employers to be more proactive in helping them understand the specific details on their paycheques, including how income and various deductions are done.

Another 15% said they want a centralised and secure hub containing all their financial information for easy access, while 11% said they want to receive pay on a more frequent basis.

"Understanding payroll details is complex. It's not something most of us learn at school," said Logue. "But now — more than ever — we have access to technology innovations that offer ease of access to pay-related financial information. There is no doubt that we will continue to see new innovations evolve in this space, but it's important that Canadians feel empowered in understanding how their income and deductions work on their paycheque - regardless of how they receive it."

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