The Wallet Pandemic: How COVID-19 is Reshaping Payroll

Wednesday July 22nd, 2020

Payroll practices across organizations have continuously been urged over the years to adapt to societal and technological changes. Advancements within human resource management and technology have led organizations of all sizes to explore the most effective ways to sustain their payroll practices and consequently the livelihoods of their employees and their dependents.

Over the years, the sphere of human resource management and payroll, specifically within the African continent, has seen shifts from physical lines outside departments and banks to receive monthly checks to remunerating thousands of employees through a few clicks behind the screen. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, organizations have been forced to rethink how HRM and payroll software and services could be used to increase efficiency.


Challenges brought forth by COVID-19 

Social Distancing – Impact of Payroll Administration and HR Activities

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic spurring the need to avoid physical interactions and confining individuals in their respective homes, employers are presented with challenges in meeting the needs of their staff with as little physical interaction as possible. The need for social distancing consequently implies the minimization of interactions during the payroll process.

Activities conventionally done in person such as attendance registering and collection of paper payslips pose infection risks to staff. These processes, of which some involve the use of touch-based biometric devices and significant human interaction have stalled organizational payroll systems.

Companies, specifically SMEs, have been spurred into considering the fully digital route of bank transfers or mobile money payments to avoid physical contact. Some companies have their payroll system at the office, forcing the payroll officer to return to the office during confinement to run the payroll or to bring the sensitive system home.

Remunerating work from home

COVID-19 has blurred the lines between differentiating the work and home environment. With non-essential services staff in most countries working remotely from home, employers are faced with adapting pay, leave, overtime, and sick leave policies amongst others to accommodate employee needs and the changing world of work.

New elements need to be added to existing payroll systems to cater to the changing environment. Payroll areas such as paid and unpaid holidays, need to take into account the reduced mobility and flexibility of employees and consequently less leave of absence requests.

Homes will continue to act as the main office for a while, and thus employers have to adapt all their current practices to accommodate this change whilst fairly remunerating their employees.

Changing legal frameworks

Notably, various sectors and companies have had to reduce their labor costs through retrenchments and reduced working hours. South Africa has seen over 350 000+ job losses since their first confirmed cases. These high numbers are but a glimpse of increasing unemployment numbers across the continent.

In the context of the pandemic, Labour Law and Taxes are constantly on the move. Governments are taking measures to counter the three main interrelated economic threats:

• Recession;

• large-scale company bankruptcies; and

• the declining incomes of the poor and vulnerable.

Governmental response to reduced labor hours and wages through tax reliefs and emergency stipends requires companies to integrate these into their payroll system.

In this aspect, organizations must continuously alter their resources and pay structures to abide by the legislative changes of the country.


Adapting to the Changes

Adopting flexible and efficient solutions

The constantly changing work environment necessitates the need to rethink the operation process and staff remuneration packages to accommodate current needs and ways of working whilst fulfilling tax obligations. Businesses need to leverage existing human resources and payroll skills to ensure that systems are put in place that adheres to constantly evolving legislation.

Failure to mobilize resources to meet requirements could result in reduced employee productivity and legislative penalties .

More and more organizations are choosing to outsource to experts outside the organization who will do their best work, thus decreasing the in-house organizational responsibilities to enable  more focus on businesses’ main activities.

The increase in demand of outsourcing of the payroll administration or the human resources functions, such as recruitment and benefits administration, and the availability of outsourced HR and Payroll providers are confirmations of how organizations are adapting to more flexible solutions.

Digitizing payroll

The call for digitizing payroll and workflow processes has never been so strong. The leveraging of digital payroll platforms offers various short and long term advantages to organizations.

The introduction of cloud computing has played a crucial role in enabling businesses and governments to quickly apply solutions to respond to the crisis and maintain continuity. The technological shift to cloud computing is likely to be the key to business resilience in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Online payroll and HR services offer accessibility, automation, assist calculated decisions, and insights on staff cost with fewer health risks to parties involved.

The ability to automate payments enable companies to decentralize and dematerialize payroll flows whilst enabling employees to take charge of their experience. Employees can book leave, view payslips, and manage their records remotely. The maintenance of this data will in turn facilitate accurate decision making and based on up-to-date staff data although the staff isn’t physically present. Further, entities that employ the use of payroll software can maintain timely payments throughout the current working circumstances.

The reshaping to the workings of payroll by COVID-19 will have long-standing effects within industries. It is up to companies to adapt and re-imagine processes to keep their systems afloat.

By Mathabo Kepa`


HR & Payroll integration with Netsuite

Thursday June 6th, 2019 Hr & Payroll was recently implemented for new customers in Benin, Nigeria & Liberia. The ERP processes were covered by Oracle’s Netsuite.

The existing integration between and Netsuite was extended and became more flexible.

More employee fields, including Netsuite custom fields, are now part of the employee interface. And also the journal entry supports now more fields and mapping options between both systems.

One company in can map to one or more subsidiaries in Netsuite. And Netsuite’s location, department & class can be dynamically mapped to the HR setup in

The implementation of HR software is only the beginning of our collaboration

Wednesday June 6th, 2018

Werner Willems, Managing Director and co-founder of Popay Belgium, talks about Popay’s client-centric approach to implement successfully HR software. Popay’s focus shifted in the last years from implementing 3rd party partner HR software towards implementing our own suite of HR applications, The achieved ROI is higher because we assist customer not only during the project phase but also post go-life with a unique approach using Popay’s Shared Service Centre. The customer can pick or choose from our service catalog for which functional HR and/or Payroll processes they need extra support. In addition Popay’s extends to larger organizations with complex HRMS processes such as hospitals and functional domains such as Payroll and Talent Management. These elements contribute to 100% success for our customers.

Manage your payroll across Africa

Tuesday May 29th, 2018

Manage your payroll across Africa with our complete online HR solution.

CHRO Virtual Summit

Tuesday May 29th, 2018


We are glad to inform you that Popay became a proud sponsor at the CHRO Virtual Summit taking place on 29 May!

Join this FREE online event, meet Popay at the Virtual Show Room and join the sessions to learn more about the evolving role of the HR function in the digital business era.

With the attendance of 5000+ HR experts, this is an amazing virtual opportunity to join a range of informative sessions on varied topics, presented by leading speakers in the field. Simply register, and then join the sessions you really want to hear more about!


  • Dave Ulrich (Professor of Business, Ross School of Business) – HR Roles for Technology, Digital and Competitiveness
  • Francesca Gino (Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School) – The Rebel Talent
  • George Kohlrieser (Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior, IMD) - Leadership and Trust in the Digital Era
  • Liane Hornsey (CHRO, Uber) – The Most Important Uber Ride – The Culture Norm Journey
  • Richard Greene (CHRO, Heidrick & Struggles) – The Role Of CHRO As Ambassador
  • Siobhan McHale (EGM HR, Dulux Group) – Accelerating Change – HR Supporting Digital Business Transformation
  • Varun Bhatia (CHRO, AirAsia) – Building the Next Generation Organization – Culture that Drives Engagement and Performance
  • Valerie Robert (CHRO, Nestle Skincare) – Shaping the Cultural Agenda or How to Make the Invisible Visible in Everything We Do
  • Steve Correa (CHRO, Diageo India) – Towards Creating a High-Performance Culture
  • Bahar Rasouli (Director Global People Performance, Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness, VOLVO) - Evolution – Revolution in Talent Management
  • Marcelo Ballario Yoshida (VP HR LATAM, Bayer Corp Sciences) - The 3D HR Journey: From Transactional to Transformational
  • Anna Tavis (Clinical Associate Professor of Human Capital Management, New York University) - HR Goes Agile
  • Romina Morandini (VP HR EMEA, Bunge) - The Future of HR – Trends and Forces Re-shaping the Profession and the Role of the CHRO

Why is this a must-attend event for HR Professionals?


Never before have senior HR leaders had to manage so much change so fast. Rapid technological change, new management practices sweeping across the marketplace, and organizational models in need of an over-haul are just some of the challenges facing the CHRO today. To assist in navigating this new and exciting terrain, the CHRO Virtual Summit features a unique selection of senior HR speakers who will be presenting a range of sessions and case studies that explore best practices and the latest ideas right from the very peak of the profession!

Looking forward to having you with us in the virtual conference room! 

Certified: managing payroll operations across the globe

Saturday May 26th, 2018

The Global Payroll Management Institute, also known as the GPMI organized a training course lately in Dublin, in the offices of Immedis. Popay, represented by one of its directors, was surrounded by payroll managers of multi-country organisations. Popay was the only ICP (In Country Provider), while the other attendees were all at the other side of the table, being consumers of a payroll solution. It was good to share knowledge and insight, and to realize that what customers need is in line with what we are focusing on in our product. Interfacing, reporting, flexibility, compliance,… were repeated and explored all along during the sessions. And yes, we passed certification. gpmi_global_payroll_dublin_showing_off_certificates

Popay helps Belgian hospitals to comply with new IF-IC rules

Thursday April 19th, 2018

Since 2013, Popay provides functional and technical support for about 10 hospitals in Belgium. Our support includes, amongst other services, the follow-up of legal changes in the hospital sector and guidance of clients in regards of these changes. Previous years, this follow-up mostly concerned indexes and legal modifications at the beginning of a new calendar year. In 2017, the joint committee of the hospital sector (JC 330) determined several measures who have an important impact on the current procedures within HR and pay software.
After years of analysis and research of current functions, pay scales and additional fees within the hospital sector, the IF-IC (Institute for job classification) drew up a new function and wage model. This model has to be used as of the year 2018 to guarantee a generic assignment of functions. These functions are also linked to a pay scale, who are implemented in different phases. The taken measures also have an impact on the current configuration of pay software. In collaboration with our clients within the hospital sector, Popay made an analysis of all the modifications that have to be implemented to ensure the IF-IC model. After we drew up the analysis, we discussed it thoroughly with our provider so they could begin their development.
Furthermore, the new assigned IF-IC function has to be communicated to all employees who are already in service before the 1st of May 2018. For that reason, these employees will have the possibility to chose between their current salary and the IF-IC salary. To make this choice, the employer is obligated to provide a simulation of the current salary in comparison to the IF-IC salary. This simulation will permit the employees to determine if the IF-IC model will be beneficial for them or not. The IF-IC has created an excel tool to make these simulations. Via macros, the tool will create PDF files who contain simulations per individual. Popay has created a report that will permit employers to fill out the excel file to generate the PDF documents.
Finally, the new function and the according simulation have to be sent to the employees using our HR Fault Popay.eBulletin. Popay will provide this service by loading the documents in their electronic payslip distributor (Popay.eBulletin). This will facilitate clients in the distribution of documents and eliminate the cost of a distribution by paper letters. Popay will also include an acknowledgement of receipt.


NetSuite Payroll in Africa

Monday April 9th, 2018

Popay is now integrated with NetSuite, The #1 Cloud ERP !
Through our seamless integration, NetSuite customers can now complete their business software with our cloud HR & Payroll solution and process payroll for their staff in Africa. Popay payroll covers the legal payroll requirements for over 20 countries on the continent. The integration synchronises basic HR informations required in Netsuite and feeds the payroll journal into Netsuite accounts.
With more than 40,000 organizations, Netsuite is by far the largest Cloud Business Software. NetSuite provides comprehensive functionality with industry-specific support for a broad range of industries. NetSuite works the way your business works. Built from the ground up for the cloud, NetSuite lowers costs and reduces hassle for IT. One data model spanning back office financials to customer records to professional services provides complete visibility and simplified integration.

Popay in Senegal – HR in the age of digital solutions

Thursday March 15th, 2018

Popay is on RTS1 (Senegal) evening news!
At a time when the digitalisation of HR processes is becoming a must on the continent, RTS1’s evening news has chosen to highlight our activity as a start up specialised in the digitalisation of Human Resources.

Almost 12 years ago, we embarked on this adventure with the firm conviction of equipping and supporting the continent’s companies that are experiencing sustained growth and major changes in their management methods and processes. Payroll automation, competence management, evaluation and training modules, dashboards: our HRIS provides the tools to accompany HR departments in their transformation.


Personal income tax in Gabon

Monday March 5th, 2018

Read our analysis of the personal income tax in Gabon. See our complete review here.