Kathryn Kendall

Kathryn Kendall

Chief People Officer

Last month the European Court of Justice ruled that individuals who are classed as ‘workers’ are entitled to paid leave from their employer, and must be permitted to carry over any untaken and accumulated annual leave, ultimately being paid for it if they are not in a position to be able to take it. Such leave, if not accounted for, may be backdated throughout their entire tenure of employment with that organisation.

The complications of annual leave

Calculating holiday for full-time employees is a relatively simple matter, but what happens when it comes to those employees and workers who work part time, shift patterns, term time only, or an entirely variable working pattern? It is perhaps understandable that some organisations have fallen foul of legislation, with the increasing complexities around the calculation and carry over of leave.

Making the most of technology

It is here where, as HR professionals, we need to take advantage of the technology which is available to us in order to help us mange a variety of working patterns without damaging the employee experience. If we think about the psychological contract between employer and employee, it centres around a belief on the part of the employee that their employer will do the right thing by them. Holiday calculations are a perfect example of where a small, and often genuine error, can irreparably damage the employer/employee relationship.

To get that employee experience right, therefore, we need to ensure that all of the hygiene factors in the employment relationship are in place and covered off before we can start to focus on the value-added activities. And that’s where technology comes in.

Using tech; remaining human

There is a lot of hyperbole in the media at the moment about how robots and AI will be taking over all of our jobs. Personally, I believe that while there are undoubtedly many instances where a more automated approach can lead to improved efficiencies, there is also wholeheartedly the need for an authentic human touch. The skill for HR teams, both now and in the future, will therefore be about making a judgement call on where technology can assist, and where there is no substitute for a very personalised interaction when it comes to the employee experience.

Enhancing productivity in HR

What technology can do is to enable us to get the hygiene factors right. In this day and age, there should be no excuse for holiday entitlement being allocated incorrectly, or expenses not being processed on time. There’s a wealth of tools out there which can provide HR departments with valuable support to ensure their time is focused on the right areas, not on getting caught up in red tape and manual calculations.

Technology isn’t the cure-all – but it can be a hugely valuable weapon in our armoury when it comes to delivering a stand-out and personalised employee experience. When we get the basics right, then everything else will start to follow.

What’s out there? e-days holiday and absence…

Tools like the e-days holiday and absence module are essential for enhancing HR’s productivity. Automated leave entitlement calculations, sickness management, and return-to-work processing (among other things) are taken care of automatically. So, all of the administrative burden of holiday management is taken away from HR, and the relevant data can be processed quickly and easily, in real-time, when it’s needed, making sure the valuable time and energy of your team can be put to better use. If you would like to find out more about enhancing productivity with technology, you can listen to our webinar with e-days.

To start taking practical steps in getting these basics right, find out more about our award-winning OneHub technology; where employee experience lives, every day.

Kathryn Kendall

Kathryn Kendall

Chief People Officer

Kathryn joined Benefex in October 2014 and has overall responsibility for managing the HR function within Benefex. She has over ten years’ experience of HR management across a variety of sectors. During this time, she has not only managed HR teams but has also had responsibility for operational departments, meaning she has a great understanding of what it actually takes to get a business delivering.

Kathryn’s remit at Benefex covers a wide spectrum, from developing a recruitment strategy to bring in the very best people to deliver to our clients, to designing and delivering in house training solutions, to ensuring our company values are at the heart of everything we do. She is passionate about ensuring work becomes a great place to be for absolutely everyone, and believes that life is far too short for us to spend it dreading Monday mornings. As she’s super multi-talented, she also runs her own HR blog, Up Close and Personnel.

Kathryn’s claim to fame is that she is so bad at parking, she once drove her car into the side of her old office. We’re hoping she doesn’t go for a repeat performance here!