GDPR Compliant Way to Distribute Payslips – automatic digital solution

Payslip Purchase Order Form Concept

Business Problem

Employers must give all their employees and workers payslips if required by rules or by law.

Even in the XXI century, many companies are still facing problems with distributing payslips as paper documents. Human resources managers must regularly manually cut PDF files (payslips) and then send them one by one to the company’s employees. It’s time-consuming and redundant, but it’s mandatory. Usually, it takes about 5-10 minutes to prepare and distribute a payslip for an individual employee. It means that a company with 100 employees would waste around 2 days of someone’s work every month. Moreover, even if there is nothing in the GDPR legislation that states it is no longer permissible to use paper payslips, the companies will need to ensure that all appropriate security measures are in place to protect the sensitive documents. However, even if you use secure envelopes, mark all materials as ‘Private and Confidential’ and give the payslip directly to employee’s hands or use a registered post, you cannot be sure that these documents will not be shared illegally with other persons. Last but not least, printing payslips is not ecologically friendly, which is extremely important today’s time.


Previous way of paper doc



Our solution for the mentioned problem is fully automated and recommended by the GDPR legislation. For maximum security, a best practice recommendation for businesses to share with individuals payslips and other sensitive payroll documents is a secure self-service platform offering remote access to information held. Such a portal should allow to securely send and store any sensitive information.


The requirements for this project were very specific:

  1. The workflow could be only simplified, i.e. no new manual steps/responsibilities should be added to anyone.
  2. No new tools should be introduced, so we couldn’t propose any existing SaaS platform that offers such functionality.
  3. The budget and timeline were extremely tight in order to maximize the ROI.


Since the company already was using G Suite on a daily basis, we decided to base our solution on Google Drive capabilities.


We used the following tools to hammer out the final solution:


  • Bash – the GNU Project’s shell to execute the script.
  • PDFtk – a Handy Tool for Manipulating PDF Documents.
  • sed – stream editor for filtering and transforming text.
  • Pdfgrep – a command-line utility to search text in PDF files.
  • Google Drive – is a file storage and synchronization service developed by Google.
  • Google API Client – Library for Java language to communicate with Google services.
  • Java – is a general-purpose programming language.


All of the above was available free of charge, as Google Drive has been already included in the company G Suite subscription.


In the first step the Bash script with the help of PDFtk, sed, and pdfgrep split and prepare the payslips for every employee. Then, the Google API Client written in Java uploads the files to Google Drive, sets necessary permissions (for example forbids to copy/print/share the payslips), and shares the files with appropriate people. Voilà! Simple, efficient, and blazing-fast. The solution does not need any extra human resources managers’ time, does not need any printing anymore, so it is ecologically friendly. Moreover, the documents are shared only with appropriate recipients, who cannot share, print, or copy them. That is much more secure than traditional paper payslips, as someone who would like to show his payslip to others will have to explicitly do an extra effort to do that (for example by taking a photo of a screen). Traditional paper payslips can be lost or someone else can look at them by accident. Moreover, the access to payslips shared via Google Drive can be revoked at any time, which cannot be done with the paper documents.


GDPR- payslip automation collage1



Our automatic digital solution to distribute payslips in a secure and GDPR recommended way has been prepared in less than two days of work, so shorter than a company with 100 employees wasted every month for manually distributing payslips on paper. As a bonus, the process is now 100% eco-friendly, extremely scalable, fully GDPR compliant, and solid security. The ROI from this investment has been extraordinarily high taking into account immediate time and money savings and extra features (eco-friendliness, security, scalability).


Delivered with Passion by SolDevelo – a Solutions Development Company



SolDevelo is a dynamic software development and information technology outsourcing company focused on delivering high-quality software and innovative solutions. An experienced team of developers, customer-oriented service, and the passion for creating the highest quality products using the latest technology are the undeniable advantages of the company.


Using Atlassian products since 2009, SolDevelo always strives to exceed customers’ expectations. ISO 9001 confirms our dedication to the highest quality and ISO 27001 shows that we treat security extremely seriously. Over 70% of our team are certified Scrum Professionals, over 35% are Oracle Certified Professionals and 100% of our quality assurance team has ISTQB certificates.


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