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Global payroll Changes, challenges and considerations

Global payroll: Changes, challenges and considerations

With more and more employees relying on technology and flexible working than ever before, the world is becoming increasingly connected and globalised. However, with this new reliance on global working, what do HR and payroll teams need to consider when implementing payroll for multinational companies?

To explain, Jean-Luc Barbier, International MD at SD Worx, and Els Hanssens, International Sales Director at SD Worx, were joined by Jan De Winter, the Owner of DWT Consulting in the ‘Taking Control of your Global Payroll’ session at the SD Worx 2018 European Conference in London.

    When local means global

    To truly take control of global payroll, HR and payroll teams need to understand both local and global platforms. HR and payroll teams should use local payroll services—which are maintained by expert, local teams—across countries, in addition to an overarching global service. Alongside this, a global partnership between HR and payroll organisations is paramount for effective international payroll, so using global service delivery management and global relationship management is essential.

      Technology is key to global payroll

      To build and maintain a global payroll platform, technology is paramount. Not only does technology automate tasks—reducing the need for manual processes—it also empowers HR and payroll teams to use data and analytics to predict future patterns. For example, the international retailer Primark hired SD Worx to automate its HR system and payroll processes in France. Alongside connecting Primark’s local payroll systems with its existing systems, Primark also wanted to manage its HR and payroll processes via technology to predict trends and growth. By doing this, Primark could predict busy times of the year and could prepare accordingly.

        Global payroll challenges

        When it comes to making payroll changes, especially implementing global payroll, some organisations are cautious and fear change. To ensure a seamless transition, HR and payroll managers need to consider change management. By marrying changes and transitions in the market and needs of the company, both are likely to be more realistic and achievable.

        For example, HR and payroll departments need to know what HR and payroll systems and processes are already in place and whether a local or global level of payroll is needed. However, companies may then realise that they have different in-country requirements in each office, and will consequently need to provide individual local solutions, alongside the global platform.


        It’s paramount for HR and payroll professionals to take control of global payroll, and to bring together local and global solutions to streamline processes. There are various factors to consider when implementing global payroll, but with focused technology, an agile partnership, and strong relationships, organisations can have a payroll service that thinks local, but acts global.

        To read more about our services, click here. SD Worx aims to give guidance on international payroll .