By Claire West

In an event of a delayed pay cheque, nearly half (49%) of employees would find it difficult to meet their current financial commitments, according to new research from the Institute of Payroll Professionals (IPP), the only membership organisation for payroll professionals in the UK.

With some living pay cheque to pay cheque in this tough economic climate, it is not surprising that so many workers would be severely affected if their salary were delayed for a week.

Elaine Gibson, Senior Policy Officer for the IPP, said: "In some circumstances, economic resources are so tight that a delayed pay cheque could have detrimental effects. Just a few days, let alone one week, may prevent employees in fulfilling their financial obligations, including paying for basic necessities such as mortgage or rent payments, as well as food and utility bills.

"In the rare event that a pay cheque is delayed, it is important for workers to inform their payroll department as soon as they realise that their salary has not been paid into the bank on time.

"In such a situation employees are likely to incur bank charges, due to being thrust into an overdraft situation. The employer may be able to assist with the aftermath by providing reimbursement for the cost of the charges. Most employers should have a contingency in place in order that they can make immediate payment to employees."