“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 27 January 2014].
This Data Management report will outline two reasons why organisations need to collect HR data, I will be identifying two types of data and will explain how each support HR. I will also describe two methods of storing records and the benefits of each and will also give an explanation of two essential items of UK legislation relating to the recording, storing and accessibility of HR.
Why organisations need to collect HR data
There are a number of reasons why organisations collect various types of HR data such as:
•Sickness/ absence management
•To meet legal requirements
•To keep record of contractual arrangements
•To keep employees personal data
•Performance management, appraisals, Learning & Development
Below are two particular reasons why organisations collect HR data; 1)Sick/absence management – “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, D (2006). Keeping individual records of absence whether it is sickness or lateness enables organisations to monitor individual performance and help identify problem areas and take necessary action to resolve the matter.
2)To meet legal requirements – By law all organisations however large or small must keep records of certain information, for example recording hours worked by employees to meet the requirements of the Working Time Regulations 1998, pay rates to ensure the requirements of the Minimum Wage Act 1998 are being met, tax and national insurance details. Recording certain personal Data enables employers to monitor legislation compliance.
Below I have given an example of two types of data collected by organisations and how they support HR;
1)Details of any disciplinary action – Keeping record of this type data supports HR in making decisions based on true facts rather than guess work and can enable management to take all previous records into account when deciding what action to take when an employee has been in breach of their contract or the organisations rules and can assist when applying disciplinary rules fairly.
2)Contractual Agreements – Keeping record of hours of work, contractual changes, pay rates etc can support HR when employee information is requested from the Inland Revenue to ensure organisations are complying with Working Time Regulations and National Minimum Wage. Information held by HR can also protect organisations against claims made against them.
Below is an example of two methods of storing Data;
1)Manually – The traditional method of storing data is to manually record and to keep a paper file for each employee. The benefit of using this method is that you won’t experience any technical issues i.e system crashing and manual records can sometimes be more accurate than automated systems. 2)Electronically – The more modern method of storing data is electronically which has far more benefits than storing data manually such as; increases flexibility of the information available, requires less storage space, increases efficiency, quicker to update and can be accessed at a click of a button.
“Computerised record keeping has now become the norm in many organisations, and there is a range of commercial personnel systems available. However smaller organisations may only need to keep a card index system, perhaps with simple forms to keep absence or sickness details. Such forms can be kept in envelopes filed to match the card index” [ACAS: 27 January 2014].
Below I have explained two essential items of UK legislation relating to the recording, storing and accessibility of HR; 1)Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) – The FOIA gives you the right to request any information recorded on any subject by any public sector organisation. The request can be made by anyone and is handled under different regulations depending on the information you have requested.
2)Data Protection Act – The Data Protection Act controls how personal information is used by organisations and the government. Anyone who is responsible for using the data must adhere to strict rules related to the Data Protections Act i.e keeping the data safe and secure, keeping for no longer than necessary, used for limited and specifically stated purposes, and used fairly and lawfully.
The area of HR Data which I have chosen to investigate is the number of Contractors hired over a 12 month period by the organisation I work for. I will be looking at the statistics from January to December 2013 to identify any trends, patterns and causes. According to my findings we hired a total of 1255 new contractors between January and December 2013. From the attached graph it is clear that there was a peak in August 2013 where the most number of contractors were hired, this was due to the organisation winning bids and taking on a high volume of new projects. This increased the organisations demand for hiring new contractors to carry out the project work. August is also a very popular time for permanent employees to take annual leave as it is the school summer holiday period hence why a number of contractors were hired to ensure that there were no disruptions in the services provided by the organisation.
My findings also enabled me to identify that at the beginning of 2013 especially February, the organisation hired the lowest number of contractors. This was due to financial budget constraints, there was a temporary band in place and management were instructed to not approve requests for new contractors to be hired. From the attached graph I can see that the number of contractors hired over the remaining months in 2013 seems quite consistent as there are always new projects being taken on across the different service lines and this report helped identify the causes for the peaks and troughs.