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How to understand a payroll

How to understand your payroll: A simple guide to deciphering your remuneration in Spain step by step.

If you are receiving or issuing monthly payrolls, you know how complicated it can be to read and understand all the details and numbers that appear on this paper. However, you don’t have to worry. With this guide, you can have a clear idea of how your remuneration works.

Before we begin, it is important to define what a payroll is. In summary, it is a document that details the salary and other benefits that a company pays to its employees for the work done during a certain period.

And to make this process easier, request a demo of the labor module of Zeus Manager to launch your payrolls in an automatic and digital way.

Table of contents

The payroll header

A payroll is composed of several sections, which may vary depending on the company and the country.

The first section, the header, generally includes basic information about the employee, such as their name, identification number, job position, and department.

Personal information

Here you will find your name, identification number (DNI/NIE), Social Security number, and the date of the payroll.

Company information

Identify the company, its CIF, and address.

Salary concepts

The next section after the header usually details the gross salary of the employee, which is the salary before deductions are applied.

Base salary

The cornerstone of your remuneration. It is the money you would receive before taxes and deductions.

Salary supplements

Includes additional payments such as overtime, night work, or incentives.

Extra payments

Indicates if you are receiving a prorated part of the extra payments included in your annual salary.

Understand the deductions on your payroll

The payroll shows the income and deductions that an employee receives for their work. Therefore, it is important to know some basic concepts about payroll deductions.

First, it is important to know that there are mandatory and voluntary deductions. Mandatory deductions are those that the employer is legally required to withhold, such as income taxes, contributions to social security, and unemployment insurance. Voluntary deductions, on the other hand, are those that the employee chooses, such as contributions to the retirement plan or health insurance.

Mandatory deductions

Voluntary deductions

Plataforma de gestión integral

Non-salary benefits

If you receive non-monetary benefits such as restaurant tickets, daycare vouchers, etc., they will be reflected in this section.

Totals and net pay

Finally, the payroll includes a summary of the payments made to the employee during the payment period:

Total accrued

Your total income prior to deductions, including your base salary and supplements.


Total amount of deductions, including taxes.

Net pay

The money you will actually receive in your bank account after all deductions.

In general, it is important that the payroll is clear and detailed, so that your employees can easily understand the payments they are receiving and the deductions that are being applied to them. In addition, these documents must be filed by the company to comply with tax and labor obligations..


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