COMPANIES are warming to the idea of having to issue itemised payslips, though smaller companies say they might require more time to adjust.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) intends to make itemised payslips compulsory within the next two years and issued guidelines last month to help businesses with the transition.

Mr Kurt Wee, president of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (Asme), said a two-year timeframe to introduce itemised payslips is reasonable.

He added that most small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) already have a policy of issuing payslips to employees, though not all of them are as detailed as those that MOM plans to make compulsory in the future.

MOM guidelines state that all employees have to be issued with a payslip at least once a month, and that these must detail salary, overtime pay, bonuses and deductions.

Employees welcome this and say it will give them more confidence in their employment situation.

"It is very helpful to get some 'black and white' for pay matters and payslips are something employers should provide," said Ms Heather Lim, who works in a fashion retailer and receives electronic payslips.

Similarly, bosses appear to see the move as having long-term benefits, such as improving accountability and transparency of their business operations.

EL Development managing director Lim Yew Soon said he provides itemised payslips to each of his 200 employees to prevent any administrative lapses.

"We don't want a case whereby workers are accidentally cheated of their pay," he said.

Ms Torrance Yeoh, general manager of Info-tech Systems Integrators, which sells human resource software, said itemised payslips help eliminate uncertainty over salary and provide employees with the documentary proof required to apply for certain services, such as bank loans.

However, concerns among small businesses still linger.

Small companies are likely to find it more difficult to adhere to the policy, said Mr Yeo Hiang Meng, president of the Federation of Merchants' Associations.

"The MOM guidelines look quite detailed," he said, adding that not all small companies have a human resource department or a time sheet policy.

But not all SMEs are as reluctant.

"It is a question of necessity," said Mr Tng Chua Hock, founder of distribution firm Tec-Hub.

He said payslips help ensure transparency in pay and fairness to staff.

The firm has 10 workers and all receive payslips, a practice that has been in place for 10 years.

He also said there is "no reason why employers should be reluctant to provide this service", as there is a wide range of software available to automate the process.

For example, there is the ePay- slip Generator developed by the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) and the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology.

Businesses can register for free workshops to learn how to use the ePayslip Generator and receive a free copy until April 30.

"We plan to conduct weekly sessions to increase awareness of the new regulations, so that even more SMEs can benefit from the software," said Mr Thomas Chua, president of the SCCCI.