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British Gas Business Essay

A review of the British Gas Businesses current approach to collating, storing and using HR data within the organisation.


Below you will find an overview of some of the data that the HR function within British Gas Business collects. Within this report I will identify two reasons why British Gas Business needs to collect HR data, and the current methods in which we store the data. I will also briefly touch upon some key legislation which if compliant, will reduce any financial or legal risks to the organisation.


Performance – appraisals, Learning and Development (L&D) activity Employee Engagement results
Equality/Diversity – To meet legal requirements
Recruitment – Contractual information
Employee Information

“Accurate personnel records will help the organisation in many ways – increasing the efficiency of recruitment, training and development, and promotion. They can also provide the raw data to monitor equal opportunities issues and the legal requirements placed on all organisations” [ACAS: Online 30th November 2014]. One of the areas where there is need for collation of data is we are able to track volumes of employees currently being performance managed within the organisation to then further identify whether this is a behavioral or skill issue where further training is required. This then helps us to define our learning programmes moving forward and tailor the content around any shortfalls which may have been identified through Training Needs Analysis (TNA) within performance management.

Another area that the HR function collates data for is for Absence. “This is one of the longest-running causes of serious concern to managers. Unapproved absence from work causes a multitude of problems to managers and involves the organisation in significant extra costs”. (Currie et al, 2010, p.293). All absence data within each business unit (and then business wide across British Gas) is centralised using the data base Absence Manager. This helps us to track against our performance and resourcing for people and establish whether recruitment or redundancy plans would benefit the long term strategy of the organisation.

The Human Resource function currently use an Information System (HRIS) which runs alongside our main billing system called SAP. Within SAP all Line managers have access to view employee information (direct reports only), process secondments or job role changes, and change manage details. The benefit of this is that the data is easily accessible and is consistent in line with any people movements within the business. Alongside this system there is also a requirement for some documentation to be stored manually. This is then kept for 6 years, regardless of whether that individual is still in employment with British Gas Business. This is beneficial for any documentation which requires employee signatures or verification. This could be disciplinary documentation to any learning that has taken place.

Using the internal HRIS British Gas Business complies with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003, which covers the security and confidentiality of the retention of data. We do this by ensuring that access to the HR online system is done only registered through authorised access and then a further password security check. British Gas Business also ensures that it keeps written documentation for no longer than 6 years in line with the Principles of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).

Once documentation reaches this age we contract to a disposal company to safely dispose of all confidential waste. The HR function also complies with all Subject Access Requests (SAR’s) which is governed by the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI Act). Customers are able to place requests in writing to access all information held about them or their business on the organisations systems. The customer pays a one of fee of ten pounds and they are then issued with the information within 40 days of their request.

Key Findings

British Gas Business is fully compliant with all key legislation in collecting and storing data within the organisation. I see no risk, financially or strategically from the methods we are currently using.


ACAS. (2014). Personnel Data. Available: http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=717. Last accessed 30th November 2014. Books
Currie, D (2010). Introduction to Human Resource Management. 2nd ed. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel Development. 293 Introduction –

Activity 2

Analysis of absence data for the Customer Care function of British Gas Business from high level reported case volumes, to understanding the gender split of the absence recorded.


By analysing the data collated from our absence records, we can establish trends to enable the organisation to look to implement preventative measures to reduce overall long term absence levels. key findings

Absence from the British Gas Business – Customer Care function is currently at its highest levels since 2010. The average number of days taken as absence within the short term sickness (STS) criteria (under 20 consecutive days), has increased from 4.6 to 5.5 days per employee per rolling 52 weeks. The increase in long term sickness (LTS) registered within the organisation has increased by 0.8% over the past 4 years.

LTS cases for 2014 are split into the following reasons for absence and then subsequently by gender for all Stress (Work related) / Mental Illness reported absences.

Of the 45 LTS stress (Work) related cases registered in 2014, 23 were for male employees. This shows us a change in trend from previous years.

For the first time in over 4 years we can see the greater proportion of stress (Work) /mental illness related absences is now reported by the male employee population.


In 2011 British Gas Business began its journey in implementing a new billing system. We can see a noticeable trend in the years following on from the start of this journey, with the volume of work induced stress related absences reported within the function. Throughout the function we have also seen a high natural attrition in the leadership team in 2014. This means that we now have less experienced leadership population who are progressing our people through their long term sickness absences.


Identify potential learning gaps through Training Needs Analysis (TNS) – “Test and Play” drop in sessions for all employees – Full review of the learning documentation and the online learning environment Wellbeing events throughout the system change timeline to be ran throughout the function i.e. exercise programmes, healthy eating, fitness checks, stop smoking programmes. Engagement temperature checks amongst the employee population Team leader workshops in identifying stress and supporting employees Review the benefits package for the leadership population to reduce churn Validation of the process within the leadership teams from day 1 of absence registered, through the fruition of policy outcomes Wellbeing days across function for all levels to understand support tools

references – Data

British Gas Business – Absence Manager Data sample from 2010 – 2014. Accessed on the 17th November 2014. British Gas Business – HR Function – Team Leader Exit data – 2014. Accessed on the 19th November 2014.

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