Navigo Blog

How Complex is Australian Payroll?

Written by Michael Specht

October 25, 2013

NorthgateArinso (internationally now known as NGA Human Resources) recently released their Payroll Complexity Index, outlining the 10 most complex countries from a Payroll perspective.

Australia was not one of them.

The countries with the most overall payroll complexity are:

  1. France
  2. Italy
  3. Germany
  4. The Netherlands
  5. Belgium
  6. India
  7. United States
  8. Luxembourg
  9. Spain
  10. New Zealand

How was the list determined?

723 submissions across 35 different countries from a variety of sources including – subject matter experts in payroll, local payroll consultants, outsourcing experts, and system engineers responsible for updating global payroll systems.

The report looks at five key areas:

  • Complexity of gross-to-net calculation
  • Union involvement and collective labor agreements
  • Taxes
  • Employee benefits
  • Local, industry-specific regulations

Personally I would have expected to see Australia listed, but then the only other countries I have experienced payroll systems are the USA, Canada, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

Australia only receives a single mention through the whole report – our tax filing requirements are yearly in the same light as USA and Singapore.

Some eye opening facts from the report:

  • Mexico has 25 legal updates a year.
  • Argentina has 25 different “employee populations” –  employee groups that can be identified within a country, who require a dedicated calculation method for payroll.
  • New Zealand has the highest union influence over payroll.
  • Italy has the highest number of reported fields reported to government.

The report is an interesting read. If you are involved in Payroll in any manner I would suggest you download a copy from the NGA Human Resource web site.

Do you agree with the findings? Or should Australia have been listed in the top 10?


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