I awoke this morning to a deluge of emails and texts from staff stating that they had not been paid. Turns out neither had I. With functional line management responsibility for c 150 staff, who earn on average between $30,000 and $40,000 per annum I was surprised that so many of them contacted me to say they would be unable to make it into work as they did not have the money for transport. Now I know January is a very long month. Certainly, in the UK businesses tend to pay the December Salary prior to Christmas, so it has been 7 weeks since people got paid. I know that when you are on a reasonably low salary it can be a month to month existence for some people, particularly in an area such as London where the cost of living is very high. But not to have money in the bank if you did not get paid in time? Actually not being able to put petrol in your car to get to work the same day? What about your bills? Your mortgage? Putting food on the table? Logs on the fire?
In this case it was payroll messing up and putting the wrong date for payment in the on line banking system. It would have meant getting paid tomorrow instead. Only 24 hours late. However we were able to make the changes necessary and everyone got paid by 10 a.m. But the level of panic that the salary was in the bank first thing and what this meant to a significant minority of staff is troublesome. They truly are living pay cheque to pay cheque and struggling to survive until pay day.
The question therefore is if you did not get paid today how long would you be able to survive?