Do you struggle to understand your payslip?

Published on 3 July 2018

If so, you are not alone! Recent research has shown that almost half (45%) of UK adults have struggled with everyday tasks involving maths, including checking they have been taxed the right amount on a payslip. But the good news is that there is help out there!


The research carried out online by YouGov on behalf of the chartity National Numeracy, surveyed over 11,000 people and revealed that almost half (45%) of UK adults have struggled with everyday tasks involving numeracy, whilst 37% (about 1 in 3) have found these tasks to be stressful due to the maths involved. The tasks they struggled with most included checking that they have been taxed the right amount on a payslip (13% – or about 1 in 8).

But having good maths skills is about more than being able to understand your payslip. It can impact our daily lives in many ways – it can help you get on in work, get a better deal on your personal finances and set and keep budgets for example.

The charity, National Numeracy, is available to help anyone worried about their maths skills. They can help you towards understanding the Essentials of Numeracy.

National Numeracy say that there is no such thing as a gene for maths ability – nobody is naturally “bad” at maths and anyone can learn. Adults CAN improve their numeracy and doing so can have a positive impact on health and wellbeing and increase confidence and self-esteem.

So, want to improve your maths skills?

The National Numeracy Challenge is an online learning resource designed to assess your everyday maths skills and give you the tools to learn in manageable steps, building confidence along the way as you work towards the Essentials of Numeracy.

Around 177,000 people have registered for the Challenge so far. More than three out of four people who have taken the Challenge again have improved their numeracy.

These are the key steps to take as you work towards getting the Essentials of Numeracy:

  • Register on the website:
  • Take the Challenge Check-Up to find out whether you have the Essentials of Numeracy, or your current level if you have not got the Essentials – yet. You will also find out your strengths and weaknesses across the different areas of numeracy.
  • Access the National Numeracy learning resources. From the dashboard choose from a huge variety of online learning resources.
  • When you feel ready, take the Check-Up again and see if you have improved.
  • Return to the learning resources and continue practising and improving.

Important features to highlight are:

  • It's free and confidential – no one will find out your score.
  • You can work at your own pace, saving progress as you go.
  • It is not a formal education or classroom setting – it can be done in the comfort of your own home.
  • The site is mobile and tablet friendly so can be accessed anywhere with internet connection.
  • The Check-Up is adaptive – so if you are struggling it will present questions which are at your level.
  • You can choose how to learn – if you don’t like one resource, simply move onto another.
  • If you reach the Essentials of Numeracy, you can claim a certificate or digital badge.

We hope you find it useful – do let us know how you get on!


Contact: Meredith McCammond (please use our Contact Us form) or follow us on Twitter: @LITRGNews