Prison officers work hard for their money, and with Britain’s jails reportedly becoming more overcrowded and dangerous few of us would begrudge a decent wage for the people who keep them operational.

It’s customary to expect them to actually work there, though. This week Nottingham Prison has come under fire for keeping a local man on the payroll for a year, despite him never having worked a single day there. In December 2016 a pub worker accepted a job at the Category B men’s prison but deferred his start date when his wife became ill. At the end of the month he received a payment equal to two weeks’ wages, and throughout 2017 he received monthly payments of between £1200 and £1600.

By the time his wife had recovered the man, whose identity is being kept secret, had changed his mind about the move. It’s difficult to blame him. As novel as it may be to receive thousands of pounds you haven’t earned, it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in an employer to see them making the same glaring mistake over and over again. And anyone sympathising with the Sherwood-based prison should know that the man they kept paying had no intention of robbing from the rich. He emailed the prison repeatedly, offering evidence that he didn’t work for them and asking them to cease the payments.

To quote an old payroll proverb:

Mis-pay me one month, shame on you.

Mis-pay me every month for a year, what on earth is wrong with you?

Payroll mistakes aren’t usually this howling but any instance of underpayment, overpayment or mis-payment is a cause for concern. Staff morale and collective confidence can be fragile and when employers lose the trust of their people, job performances can slip sharply downhill.

The answer? There’s no substitute for attention to detail. There’s no substitute for HMRC accreditation, scalability for any number of users, unlimited pension scheme definitions, payroll runs of any frequency and customisable reports for any requirement.

There’s no substitute for a Jane System.

After two decades at the cutting edge of payroll software services, Jane Systems remains committed to continuous improvement. If there’s a better way to deliver an accurate, timely payroll run for clients in the public, private and non-profit sectors, you can be sure we’re working towards it.

We keep aiming high in your service because, quite simply, we think it matters that loyal, hard-working staff can look forward to the end of each week and month safe in the knowledge that they’re going to be paid correctly for their efforts.

We think it matters that your people believe in you.


We think it matters to you. And if it matters to you, it matters to us.

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