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Only 5% of employees have anytime access to HR and payroll information

The research, which surveyed 1,000 employees in UK companies with more than 250 staff, focused on the levels of support that HR departments provide and looked in detail at how accessible and readily available HR information is to today’s modern workforce. As remote and home working becomes more commonplace, HR is under increasing pressure to ensure information is easily available to all staff no matter where they work, something which is clearly lacking.

A clear message from the research is that while organisations in theory offer employees access to HR information, in reality it can often be difficult to reach. It is encouraging that 88% use an online portal to access information, but 40% of staff that work on-site can only access information when they are at their place of work. 7% have no access to portals at all, whilst 15% find it very difficult to use their portals.

While many employees feel that they have an understanding of the information contained in their payslips and their employee benefits, the majority have to undertake background research in order to gain this knowledge and, even then, it is very basic. More than two out of every five (42%) employees are unclear or only understand the basics of the benefits to which they are entitled, having undertaken research themselves - the fact that employees feel that they have to undertake this research reinforces the lack of understanding regarding the role of HR in the organisation, with 41% expressing that they have little or no understanding of the department’s role.

The speed with which queries are responded to is also an issue, with 43% of employees waiting in excess of two working days for a response. This is a significant delay, especially when the query is payroll related, and is even worse if that employee is paid weekly.

Roger Moore, managing director, Bond HR and Payroll Software, comments,“The research which we commissioned has highlighted some surprising results into how employees interact not only with HR departments but also in accessing HR information. In particular, the lack of use of web technology, revealing that just 5% of employees have anytime access to HR and Payroll information – in a web-based society that is shocking, especially with the significant rise in flexible and remote working.”

Moore continues, “Another surprising result which arose from the research was the amount of time HR spends dealing with payslip queries, with 86% of these being due to the employee being paid the wrong amount or being HMRC or tax code related. With so many other issues on the HR agenda including wellbeing, learning & development and engagement and retention, should payslips really be the primary focus for HR departments?”

Moore concludes, “It is clear that while organisations are answering employee queries well when they are raised, too few organisations offer an automated central repository to make it easy to access this critical HR and payroll information, and homeworkers are suffering the most as a result. Organisations need to recognise the value of enabling employees to both access and submit important personal data to support both HR and Payroll activity. Those organisations that have such processes in place will not only minimise unnecessary delays and confusion but, as a result, gain engaged, knowledgeable and happy employees!”

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