The payslip explained

Nuts About Money squirrel
Updated on
January 17, 2021

National insurance numbers? Tax codes? Net pay versus gross pay? Payslips can be confusing... so we've made it simple for you.

The Payslip Explained

Personal information

Your name and home address will be shown here. Ensure that these details are correct, particularly if you’ve recently moved house.

Employee number

Some companies give all employees a unique number. This is used to identify individuals on payroll and doesn’t mean much outside of the business.

National Insurance (NI) number

To work in the UK you need to have an NI number, this lets your employer deduct your NI contributions. These NI contributions allow you to qualify for certain benefits such as state pensions.

Tax period

This indicates the month that the payslip is for. The UK tax year runs from the 6th April until the 5th April the following year. The month may be indicated by a number; 1 (April), 2 (May), 3 (June) etc.

Tax code

This code tells your employer how much tax-free pay you are allowed. The number in the code indicates how much tax-free income you get in that tax year and the letter refers to your specific situation.

Basic pay

This is the money that you have earned before any tax has been deducted. This section may include any figures that were used to calculate your total pay, such as the number of days worked that month.


These are any extras that you are due on top of your basic pay, such as bonuses, commission, overtime or back pay.

Gross pay

Gross pay is a total of everything you have earned over the month and is a combination of your basic pay and your additions.


Anything that needs to be subtracted from your gross pay will be captured here. Deductions will include income tax and National Insurance as well as any student loan repayments or pension contributions.

Workplace benefits

If you are signed up to any workplace benefits such as season ticket loans or cycle-to-work schemes they will appear here. The total of your workplace benefits is taken out AFTER all of your deductions.

Net pay

This is the money that will be paid into your account. Your net pay is your gross pay minus all deductions and workplace benefits. Remember to always check that your net pay is the same as the amount paid into your bank account.

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