What makes you more wealthy; gross or net payment?

HomeBlogWhat makes you more wealthy; gross or net payment?

After being emailed your payslip, you often see the two different terms “gross payment” and “net payment” alongside it. People may at times confuse the two, and not understand exactly how the pay structure works. It is important that you understand what these words mean, to gain knowledge on how much you take home from what you earn. 

What is gross payment?

Gross payment is the total amount of money that an employer receives, before any form of taxes or deductions are taken out. This includes your base salary or hourly wage, as well as any benefits or allowances that you receive. At times, this could also include any form of special allowances, travel allowance, housing allowances, or even medical insurance. Your gross payment can also be called your “base pay”, as this is the salary offered when a job is advertised, excluding any short or long-term incentives or benefits. 

On your payslip, this is usually the higher figure listed at the top. Travelling downwards, your payslip includes all sorts of various deductions such as taxes, retirement contributions, incentives, insurance, and other several employee-specific deductions. Your net payment is then listed below, which can be considered your “take-home pay” after necessary deductions. 

What are deductions from gross payment?  

Deductions from your gross pay can vary based on two factors which include: your country of origin and the company you work for. The most common form of deductions that you might come across on your payslip include: 

  1. Taxes 
  • Taxes are considered mandatory deductions by the government, and based on the taxation system. In Australia, the government has a progressive taxation system, which means if your salary falls inside a higher bracket, you will be required to pay more tax. However, the tax threshold normally sits at $18,200, so if you earn below this amount in a financial year then you are not required to pay tax on your earnings.  
  1. Retirement Contributions 
  • These are retirement contributions made to a retirement plan, which is usually a percentage of your gross salary. Contributions can be made on a pre-tax or after-tax basis, depending on how the taxpayer or employers sets it up. 
  1. Insurance 
  • As a part of your benefits package, health insurance is usually deducted from your salary. The amount depends on where you work, and the insurance scheme that takes place is that location. 
  1. Employee-specific deductions 
  • These deductions could be anything employee related towards the business, and removed from your gross salary at the end of pay period. Common examples may include uniforms, plane tickets, and other necessary business related expenses. 


What is gross salary, and how does it compare to gross payment? 

Gross salary is listed when a job offer is received, or could be identified as an annual salary based on different sources such as wages, commissions, tips, bonuses, or any other form of compensation. It does not take into account any form of monthly deduction when listed, as it can be identified as a pre-negotiated amount of money on the contract of an employee. This, differentiates from gross payment, as an employee’s gross payment could be in any form, such as tips, hourly wages, overtime, vacation pay, piece-rate pay, commissions, bonuses, sick pay, and even holiday pay. 

What is net payment? 

Net payment (also known as take-home pay), is an employee’s earnings after all deductions have been done from the gross payment. The deductions listed above are the figures that fall below your gross pay figure on the top of your payslip, and above the net pay figure at the very bottom. The net payment outlines the final amount that you will take home. 

There are also various reasons regarding why employers need to know their employees’ net payment, for reasons such as employee relations, accounting practices, payroll taxes, and legal defence. 

To put into example, if an employee has a $1900 gross pay per fortnight, and has to pay $380 in taxes, the net payment or “take home” pay of that employee comes down to $1520. 

As an employee, knowing what your gross payment is just as important as knowing what your net pay is, in order to be clear and concise on how much you actually earn. Your net payment is usually what you end up taking home, and is usually listed down at the bottom most area of our pay slip, or the final figure after all deductions have been made by your employer. Your gross pay, on the other hand, should be located at the top of your payslip, or the first figure you come across. Knowing the difference between is essential, in order to ensure you don’t get deducted from your salary unreasonably. 

Legal Advice

If you require any assistance with your payslip including discrepancies between your gross and net payments, our business specialists can help! You can book a free 30 minute consultation here, or you can contact our sister company Legal Kitz who specialise in employment related matters.