A lot of people in employment just did not recognise their pay slip at the end of January 2017. No more long lists of complex or esoteric terms spread over several pages. Indeed, from 1 January, companies employing more than 300 staff are required to supply each staff member with a simplified pay slip. Here’s how.

A more readable pay slip

The main change: traditional but obscure contribution items have been amalgamated and grouped under headings such as “health insurance, unemployment insurance, family allowances and pension”. Items such “FNAL”, “AGFF” or “pension contributions on total salary” or “arrco pension, class 1” have been done away with in favour of items that express more clearly the purpose of employee and employer deductions. A final wrap-up item entitled “other contributions due by the employer” bring together all the other contributions payable only by the employer such as “apprenticeship tax” and “vocational training tax”. In all this, half of the items on the old pay slip have now vanished into thin air.

How simple has it got?

The effort put into improving the “employee experience” is certainly very welcome. His/her pay slip has become more readable, though not more clear-cut. We are still a long way from the ambition of yesteryear, to harmonise the system of social insurance contributions. If we scratch beneath the surface of this “facelift” we can see that things are still complicated. The number of collection agencies has not diminished and the basis for contributions and the declaration procedures have become even more diverse. Take for example the double contribution rate for family allowances. One for salaries over 1.3 times the minimum wage and one for under! Those behind the reform were looking to reduce the cost of pay slips for the employer. That just did not happen. On the contrary, companies had to adapt and re-configure their payroll software yet again.

To some extent this cosmetic pay slip reform only has the appearance of simplification. Quite the opposite has occurred with the DSN – paperless social insurance declarations for employers. This reform has largely gone unnoticed yet is a significant breakthrough, providing a simple and secure method of declaring social insurance data.

Damien Vieillard-Baron