Understanding your payslip

Updated on 5 May 2021


Not sure what your payslip should look like and what information it should hold? We provide you with an example and breakdown of a typical payslip.

Illustration of a payslip

You can find some basic information about payslips on GOV.UK.

️ Note: Not all payslips look the same; however, they should all contain similar types of informatio

Example payslip

Understanding your payslip 2273 by LITRG


Personal information, including name, National Insurance number (NINO) and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Code


Payments including salary, wages, bonuses and overtime for the pay period


Deductions including income tax, National Insurance contributions (NIC) and personal pension contributions (if any) for the pay period


Amounts earned and deductions taken off for the tax year to date, including the current pay period


Net pay for the pay period: this is the amount you should actually receive. This is your earnings for the pay period less the deductions for the same period


Tax Reference: this is the employer's PAYE reference, which should be present


Hours worked: from April 2019, payslips are required to state number of hours being paid where wages vary according to time worked; either as an aggregate number of hours or as separate figures for different types of work (or rates of pay)

Sometimes payslips will show the amounts that your employer has paid in employer NIC for your information on your payslip – but it is not being deducted from your pay.

For help with demystifying the sometimes confusing payslip entries if you work through an umbrella company, see our working through an umbrella company factsheet.

What things should I be checking?

  • Are your name and National Insurance number correct?
  • Was the sum actually paid to you? You may need to check your bank statement
  • Was the gross pay calculated correctly? You may need to check hours worked and the rate of pay.
  • What tax code is being applied to your earnings?
  • What deductions have been made other than tax and NIC? You should check that any other deductions have been properly authorised by you (If you are concerned that an unauthorised deduction has been made from your wages, you should look at GOV.UK.)

Keeping your payslips

Even after you have checked the net amount of pay against your bank statement or pay packet, you should keep your payslips to ensure the totals shown on form P60 at the end of the tax year agree with the sums actually paid. After that, there is no need to keep your payslips for tax purposes, but bear in mind that you may need to produce payslips if you apply for a loan, for example.

What if I didn’t receive a payslip?

You have a legal right to an itemised payslip every pay day (this right exists for both employees and 'workers').

⚠️ Please note: This right exists even if you don’t earn enough money for there to be any deductions made.

You can find out more on GOV.UK.

Tax guides

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