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Deadline Day

This is a time of year when football fans debate the success or failure of their team’s dealings in the close-season transfer window. With a week to go Premier League clubs had spent a record £1.17bn on players, according to business analysts Deloitte. The final week of last year’s window saw £300 million change hands, so when the dust settles on Friday morning we could be looking at an overall Premier League summer shopping spree approaching £1.5 billion.

At midnight tomorrow the window closes. Does a looming deadline instill focus and controlled urgency, or just overwhelm us with blind panic?

So are you a panic buyer or are you an investor?

Your business is growing. What started out as a handful of people is now a major employer with staff paid weekly and monthly depending on you to get things right.

Nothing is worth the professional embarrassment of cutting corners with a HR and payroll system only for your employees to be affected by mistake after mistake. Premier League footballers may have enough in the bank to cover a payroll error, but most of us don’t have that luxury. Most of us need our salary and pension figures calculated accurately and our mortgages paid. What are your options?

How about a cost-effective payroll software service that’s fully HMRC accredited, continuously adds new features tailored to your needs and delivers personalised training and ongoing support?

How about a payroll system that’s scalable to accommodate one employee or tens of thousands, and agile enough to give you swift validation of bank account numbers and sort codes so no one gets missed out on payday.

How about pension management you can count on, with expert handling of any number of pension scheme definitions? […]

Britain’s Got Talent

How can we compete as an economy?

How can you compete as an employer?

These questions are of course closely intertwined. And while the answers may not always be simple, one fact holds true. For all the external factors that influence our fate, in the end we need to make the best use of the talent available to us. Recent surveys indicate pessimism in the business community. Not because we lack innovation or entrepreneurial spark, but because we may lack enough suitably skilled and qualified people to convert that spark into profit.

This week saw the publication of a revealing CBI report. Three quarters of employers expect their need for high level skills to increase notably in the coming years, but a majority doubt that job applicants will meet that need. In addition, 42% were dissatisfied with the business acumen of their graduate recruits, while 33% were unhappy with the attitudes, behaviours and character displayed in the workplace.

The rise of artificial intelligence is forecast to make a wide variety of roles obsolete, but the need for game-changing human talent will only intensify.

No service partner can wave a magic wand and change the nature of the job market, but the best service partners can give you a serious competitive edge. When there’s a shortage of talent, your recruitment and onboarding procedures need to be pin-sharp. That’s where Jane Systems comes in.

Jane recruitment software delivers your best chance of securing the best available talent. It enables the widest possible sourcing of applicant details, the most precise skill-matching and a tailored suitability analysis of internal and external candidates.

With legal compliance an ongoing priority, Jane recruitment software sets your mind at rest with equal opportunity reporting built in as […]

The Clock Is Ticking

There are some things the great British public has come to rely on.

– Our football teams will lose penalty shoot-outs
– Our favourite TV soap characters will end up being played by at least two different actors
– Every fifteen minutes, the chimes of Big Ben will remind us of the time

Not any more.

Next Monday, August 21st, Big Ben will fall silent. London’s most famous monument is in need of renovation. It’s a big job, and Monday’s noon chimes will be the last we hear until 2021. It’ll be by far the longest silence since its opening 158 summers ago, and it’s a reminder of how much our lives have changed during that time. On July 11th 1859 Big Ben’s first chimes rang out to a world that had just seen Oregon admitted as the 33rd US State, and Charles Darwin was still four months away from publishing his Origin of Species. So when Big Ben first sounded, we knew nothing of the theory of evolution. Today we see examples of evolution in all areas of our lives.

The rights of individuals have certainly evolved over the past century and a half, and advances in technology raise issues that would have been unimaginable until recently.

GDPR requires companies to gain specific, informed consent for use of employee data, and it gives individuals the right to withdraw that consent at any time. Jane software gives your people responsibility for maintaining their own employee records and keeps you 100% informed of any changes they make. What does that add up to?

Evolution can be a bumpy ride, and companies that don’t adapt to this new law will fall by the wayside. At Jane Systems we believe in being […]

Nobody’s Fault, Somebody’s Responsibility

Sometimes the quirks of a different language can give us a fresh take on our problems.

In Portugal, the phrase “to feed the donkey sponge cake” (alimentar um burro a pão-de-ló) refers to an elaborate treatment being given to a person who doesn’t need it.

In Finland, “to let a frog out of your mouth” (päästää sammakko suusta) is to say something inappropriate, a pitfall that we’re all familiar with.

In Poland, “not my circus, not my monkeys” (nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy) is an inventive way of telling someone “this is your problem, not mine.”

And that brings us to an important point about service providers; their definition of service.

At Jane Systems we understand the challenges faced by the education sector, and we don’t like to see the hard work of students and teachers go unrewarded. This week’s news that IT systems problems have delayed the degree results of students at Blackburn College’s University Centre is painful. At a time when they should be striding forward into the job market, 800 young people are standing still. We haven’t worked with Blackburn College but we do know they have a hard-earned reputation for professionalism and commitment to their students. We also know that systems problems are sometimes nobody’s fault. But that doesn’t make their impact any less challenging.

The Jane Self-Service Portal has transformed the working lives of education sector clients by giving each individual responsibility for maintaining their own HR record, while management retain oversight and control. It’s efficient and inclusive, and by sharing responsibility it gives people ownership of their career development. You’ll notice that the word “responsibility” keeps coming up here. We like that word. We believe taking responsibility makes all of us better […]

By |August 8th, 2017|Education, Partnership|Comments Off on Nobody’s Fault, Somebody’s Responsibility|


How do you keep an idea fresh for 50 years? This week we had a useful reminder.
Regularly breathing new life into a character has helped to make Dr Who one of the most popular British exports of the 21st century. The show’s 50th anniversary special was broadcast in 94 countries, reaching a huge global audience. The central character has now been played by sixteen different actors and 2017 sees the beginning of Jodie Whittaker’s tenure. When things look like getting stale a new face appears, communicating with the audience in a fresh, relevant way.
What can the rest of us learn from this? How can you regenerate and future-proof your business?

The reaction to the first female Dr Who reminded us that, while we’ve taken major strides towards equality and diversity in the workplace, the fight is far from over. At Jane Systems we applaud equality of opportunity in all its forms, and it’s not just hollow clapping. We’ve developed an integrated HR and Payroll system that delivers a platform for efficiency and inclusiveness. The Jane self-service portal gives employees access to their HR, payroll and training records, reassuring them of their value, encouraging them to learn and move forward. This saves management time while preserving management awareness and oversight. Regenerate your business with a Jane System and you’ll be rewarded with more training activity, less admin downtime and a renewed belief in engagement, fairness and opportunity.

With employment legislation subject to change, refreshing your systems is key to ensuring compliance. GDPR legislation will change the way professional people communicate. Using employee data without their specific consent could cost you a fine of up to 20 million Euros. That’s a high price to pay for […]

By |August 8th, 2017|Innovation, News|Comments Off on Regenerate|

Better Jobs, Better Pay, Better Systems

Yesterday the Taylor Review, a government report on British working practices, made its recommendations. It didn’t please everyone, but the findings gave us a useful snapshot of working life in modern Britain

Low paid workers may be in danger of getting stuck at minimum wage level and facing insecurity over their future

People who don’t fit into traditional pigeonholes of employment or self-employment made need to be recategorized as “dependent contractors” and given suitable employment protection.

Many people believe Britain has a good record for job creation, but a less impressive record when it comes to safeguarding the quality of those jobs.

We all want fair wages and fair career opportunities. Those things need more than good intentions and good law behind them. They also need the protection of robust, high-quality management. When employers assess the Taylor Review and look at their own day to day practices, there are key questions worth asking:

Does your HR system encourage your staff to take responsibility for their future, take pride in their performance and have confidence in their career development?

Does your software provider meet every current legislative standard and offer you expertise in coping with upcoming changes to employment law?

Does your payroll system automate complex processes, allowing you to run monthly, fortnightly and weekly payrolls, saving time and giving your managers the freedom to manage?

Does your software help you make the employment process efficient and motivational at every stage from recruitment to retirement?

If you are, congratulations on being a Jane Systems customer and thank you for your support.
If not, maybe it’s time you gave us a call?
We all want fair wages and fair career opportunities. Wherever you stand on UK employment law, Jane Systems will help you abide by it […]

By |August 8th, 2017|News|Comments Off on Better Jobs, Better Pay, Better Systems|

The Dog Day Aren’t Over

It’s been an up-and-down decade for Britain’s favourite pet.
In 2012 Pudsey, a border collie, won the sixth series of Britain’s Got Talent by dancing to the theme from “Mission Impossible”.

In 2013 canine talents were put to more dubious use when a government language service contractor tried to falsify their staff figures by registering pet dogs as courtroom interpreters.

In 2014 the good times were back as “Pudsey, the Movie”., produced by Simon Cowell, hit British cinemas. Admittedly, with a thud.

And now?

Amazon and Google are famously pet-friendly, and this week Nestlé announced that its Gatwick office would be the first of its global HQs to officially welcome pets.
As part of its Pets at Work (PAW) programme, Nestlé has adapted its Gatwick office, creating an open-plan workplace where staff and their dogs can work together comfortably and happily.

The programme is a key component of Nestlé’s wider Health and Wellbeing agenda, and their own internal surveys have revealed that employees are happier, healthier and more productive when their pets are welcome in the workplace. Among the younger generation it’s seen as a notable positive, with 47% of 18-24 year-olds saying that in their eyes, bringing a pet to work is a valuable employment perk.

A series of studies have indicated that pet-friendly workplaces can reduce stress, improve performance and generally promote a “family” atmosphere of engagement and well-being. This strikes a chord with us at Jane Systems. Working in partnership with HR professionals, we admire their continuous efforts to make people feel comfortable and valued.

The Jane self-service portal gives employees access to their HR, payroll and training data, encouraging them to buy into their own career development. HR Managers have their workload reduced while retaining oversight and […]

By |August 8th, 2017|Employee Engagement, Employee Wellness|Comments Off on The Dog Day Aren’t Over|

A Work In Progress

Those of us who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s will be acutely aware of just how much progress has been made towards equality of opportunity. Employers are more supportive, more committed to diversity and more focused on wellness and engagement.

But this is no time to rest on our laurels. This week we’ve seen a reminder that we need to keep moving forward.

In addition one in five are concerned enough about perceived bias to have taken action to hide their age, disability, social background or sexuality.

While many of us are happy with our employer’s commitment to equality and diversity, others are unconvinced. Nicola Linkleter, President of Professional Staffing, is among the prominent voices making the point that a positive workplace culture must come from root-and-branch commitment that’s clear in every strategic decision.

Here at Jane Systems, we’re in full agreement. We believe a company’s culture manifests itself in every recruitment interview, every training session and every client interaction. And we don’t believe in “bolt-ons”. You can’t just tack on a message of inclusiveness as an afterthought.

Each service module – HR, Payroll, Occupational Sickness, Recruitment and Staff Development – works effectively in its own right, and when you put them all together you have a system that supports diversity, cooperation and achievement. The Jane Self-Service Portal has been praised by employers as a motivating tool that actively increases employee engagement and training take-up. The recruitment module has been applauded as an equality aid that focuses entirely on applicant suitability and creates a compliant and ready-made employee record for new starters.

This morning I found a dollar bill in my wallet, left over from a recent trip to the United States. On the reverse side of the […]

Human Resourcefulness

HR Tech Europe 2017, which concluded yesterday, brought together many of the most talented and innovative voices in human resources. And over the course of the two-day event they had plenty to say.

How is digitalisation reshaping traditional business models? And what role can HR professionals play in this reshaping process?

The message that came across loud and clear was that HR leaders are using their skill and experience to find a balance between technological advancement and human ingenuity.

That certainly resonates with us at Jane Systems. We’ve worked with start-ups that put themselves on the map with innovative use of cloud-based systems, mobile apps and advanced analytics. And at the other end of the scale we’ve partnered with public and private sector giants looking for ways to increase agility and stay ahead. What unites successful operations of all sizes is the understanding that automation is not the enemy of an existing workforce. With the right management, and the right systems management, it’s a very good friend.

A number of speakers at HR Tech discussed ways of automating recruitment and performance management without losing the “people” factor. Jane Systems are happy to contribute to that discussion.

The Jane HR Portal empowers you to streamline the recruitment process from start to finish. The system gives clients oversight of vacancy posting and shortlisting while taking away time-consuming admin duties. It also delivers a time and cost analysis of each individual hire, and by automating the job offer process and using recruitment data to create an immediate HR record for each new starter, Jane saves you time and cuts out needless duplication.

The role of human resources leaders in “future proofing” a business can’t be underestimated. The HR professionals we work with have […]

By |August 8th, 2017|Innovation, Technology|Comments Off on Human Resourcefulness|

Age Of Consent

Human resources professionals across all sectors are preparing for a new set of rules in respect of data storage, communication and consent. At a time when Britain’s role in Europe is far from certain, GDPR is a unifying data protection law.
It promises to:
– Increase privacy rights for individuals
– Strengthen the obligations of companies
– Increase the penalties for non-compliance.

The third point is attracting particular attention. DP regulators will have the powers to impose fines of up to €20,000,000 or 4% of total worldwide annual turnover. They will also be able to impose a ban on processing data transfers and, where they see fit, impose criminal sanctions.

Individual countries will be permitted to implement more specific regulations on processing of HR-related personal data, so rules may be amended from country to country and Britain’s HR professionals will no doubt be following national legal developments. But certain key provisions are already clear.

GDPR requires employees to give unambiguous consent for data collection and use. And that consent must be given specifically, and on an informed basis.

Employers will have to provide a detailed account of how and why they process HR-related personal data. Their staff will have a right of access to that data and a right to have inaccuracies corrected. It’s worth noting that these rights already exist and have been strengthened by GDPR. And it’s also worth noting that Britain’s HR professionals are already admirably focused on protecting the best interests of their colleagues.

We see our HR partners working hard to enhance employee training, development, job satisfaction and wellness, and we’re proud to help them do it with tailored software that makes their lives easier and more productive.

We’ve succeeded by listening to our clients and consistently finding better […]

By |August 8th, 2017|Compliance, Employment Law|Comments Off on Age Of Consent|