The last 7 months in the eye of the Coronavirus storm has exposed many things to us; some we didn’t want to know (how quickly the human hair can grow without a cut) and some we did (how relatively easy it is to run a business remotely). One of the areas that has had little focus, but has had an incredible journey, is Payroll. Making sure people are paid correctly and on time is the highest priority for both employers and employees. Just consider then how an already complex data analysis and process-driven service has had to absorb the excessive demand of a brand new claims and benefits system alongside constantly changing hours and employees numbers as businesses do everything they can to stay afloat. Below is an honest account from the Payroll Manager at Peopletime which possibly says it all.
“Furlough, flexi furlough, job retention bonus scheme, job support scheme..….all terms we had not come across before in our payroll world. As the furlough scheme comes to an end, ready to be replaced by the next offer of support from the government, it has given me a chance to reflect on the last 7 months. On a daily basis we waited for guidance updates, spending our evenings pouring over them ready to put these in to action, to prepare factsheets and reassure clients early the next morning. There have been long days, late nights, frustration and uncertainty on what was happening around us while we had our heads buried in formulas and spreadsheets. We also had to learn to work as a team away from the little office routine we had built up over the years. I had cakes and dinners dropped off by friends, and I would often doze my way through the evening family zoom quiz. I remember halfway through lockdown someone saying to me “I don’t know how you are all doing this in payroll” and my response was “we are getting through it because we care”. Not just about the job at hand, but we care about our clients and what they are going through, and what their employees are going through. It was that one task we could take off their shoulders, because I am sure they had a million and one other things to deal with.
I love a learning curve, but this was a tough one! The word “unprecedented” was used many times. It hasn’t been easy, of course it hasn’t; it has been hard for everyone. But I am incredibly proud of the payroll team we have! They stepped up and showed up every day, regardless of what was going on for them personally, and we got the job done (and sometimes we were still smiling at the end of the day).
But also (sorry not quite done) …..I am proud of the company I work for. Our HR team, the IT team, marketing, the “bosses”! Everyone stepped up and showed up to support us, all hands-on deck, no task too little. Not just for our payroll team, but for our clients because they care.”
Payroll Manager, Peopletime – Amy Dennis
Peopletime offer a wide range of HR, Payroll and Health & Safety services to help SMEs in both the UK and Republic of Ireland run their business legally and efficiently. To find out more visit their websites at www.peopletime.co.uk or www.peopletime.ie or follow them on social media.