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About Jane Systems

Your trusted HR and Payroll software partner, delivering efficiency, employee engagement and legal compliance.

Stay home. Lie down. Get better.

The CIPD are answering “yes” to both questions. Their survey of 1,000 UK organisations, published today, reveals that 86% of employers have seen staff come to work when clearly unwell, with high numbers also willing to work while on holiday. Not surprisingly a large majority of employers are happy to accept this behaviour, but should they be? Struggling in to work when ill is hardly a recipe for a swift return to full health, and while we may tell ourselves we’re performing at optimum level, general tiredness and discomfort are usually enough to knock people off their stride. Throw in specific symptoms – a cough, a sneeze and a splutter every five minutes, or a wince-inducing ache in muscles or joints – and you have a dedicated professional working at nowhere near full capacity, with the prospect of them being below par for an extended period. Those of us who end up catching the germs our gallant colleagues bring in won’t thank them either, and where workplaces host sickness “relays” with bugs being passed from one member of staff to another for weeks on end, overall performance can suffer disastrously.

Why do we insist on dragging ourselves to work when it’s in everyone’s best interests for us to take a sick day? And why do employers continue to let it happen?

Rather than simply applauding people for making it into work, why not have a HR system that allows you to track what they actually do while they’re there? Jane’s self-service and authorised user software enables managers to step back from day to day administration of a HR record and see what activities their people are starting and completing. The Jane personnel module delivers tailored management […]

Happy Tax Day

Plenty of Americans left things to the last minute; as of last Friday, the Internal Revenue Service was still waiting for approximately 40 million people to make their submissions. As well as being tax deadline day, April 17th was also the last opportunity to make a contribution to an individual retirement account for it to count against 2017 income. All in all, American taxpayers had plenty to think about yesterday.

British taxpayers have records to keep and deadlines to meet, of course, but for the majority of them the week to week and month to month responsibility of payroll administration lies in the hands of their employers. The task of accurately remunerating employees and correctly enrolling them in pension schemes may not be glamorous but it’s absolutely business-critical. Workplace Pension reform compels employers to enrol their people into a suitable scheme, and failure to comply can land you in hot water with HMRC, not to mention testing the patience and loyalty of the people working for you.

Over the past two decades we’ve worked hard to earn the trust of leading names in education, housing, charities, regulatory bodies and a range of commercial sectors. There’s no magic formula for what we do. It’s just a matter of listening to our customers and applying a combination of creativity and technical skill to deliver what you ask for.

One thing you frequently ask for is flexibility, and Jane Payroll software certainly ticks that box. It’s configurable to match your business needs, however frequently they may change, and as your organisation grows you can be sure that Jane will continue to give you the support you need, when you need it. Cumbersome and labour-intensive payroll processes can be seamlessly replaced […]

Mind the Gap

We’re still making progress, though, and the movement towards pay equality is gathering momentum.

Legislation introduced in 2017 compelled all companies, charities and public-sector bodies employing more than 250 staff to submit their gender pay figures by not later than April 4th.

The results are in, and they paint an unsatisfying picture;

Of the 10,014 employers who submitted data, eight out of ten pay men more than women.

There is no sector in the UK in which women have a pay advantage.

1,557 employers didn’t bother submitting any data at all.

The equalities watchdog will look into the employers who missed the April 4th deadline and hopefully secure their commitment to playing by the rules, not only in timely submission of data but in working to close the pay gap. We need these rules to be enforced. Across the private and public sectors the disparity is often striking. Trade Unions have traditionally supported those who seek fairer treatment in the workplace but Unite, the largest union in Britain, revealed a pay gap of 29.6% between the sexes, far above the national average of 18.4%. Even more notably, the teachers’ union NASUWT revealed that female educators are paid an average of 42.7% less than their male counterparts.

Jane’s Gender Pay Gap Analysis software delivers precision reporting on:

The average gender pay gap as a mean average

The average gender pay gap as a median average

The average bonus gender pay gap as a mean average

The average bonus gender pay gap as a median average

The proportion of males receiving a bonus payment and proportion of females receiving a bonus payment

The proportion of males and females when divided into four groups ordered from lowest to highest pay

It’s up to individual organisations how they face the challenge of […]

The Apprentice

Watching Alan Sugar point the finger of destiny at a young protégé has become a beloved annual ritual for British TV audiences, and it’s been argued that Donald Trump would never have had the platform to run for President without the exposure he gained on the US Apprentice.

So when we use the word “apprentice” many people picture a brash young man or woman who spends twelve weeks singing their own praises before landing a lucrative job with a celebrity millionaire.

Kay Harriman, Hilton’s HR Director, and Kathryn Porter, the Director of Youth Strategy, have outlined ambitious and admirable plans to engage one million young people by the end of 2019, offering them an introduction to the hospitality workplace geared towards them becoming employable – and employed – in a thriving global operation. Hospitality is Britain’s sixth largest industry, and the chance to build a career with a supportive employer that has almost 600 properties in 85 countries around the world is something to shout about.

The Hilton apprenticeship puts the emphasis on personal development, and it’s not unusual for young people to progress quickly into team management. Hard and soft skills, technical ability and good personal qualities, are identified and maximised. People learn, grow and thrive.

Staff development is optimised with Jane software, with training needs flagged up from information gathered in appraisals, business plans, departmental reviews or by assigning an employee to an activity with a specific skill requirement. Employees can also log their own training requirement as a self-service request using the HR Portal, and scheduled training courses are monitored and updated to form an audited record of their progress. Jane also offers you a costing breakdown that gives you a clear picture of training […]

Prevention or Cure?

Microsoft’s Chief People Officer Katherine Hogan has communicated this to all members of staff and made it clear that such conduct is unacceptable. The tech giant deserves credit for acting decisively and making no attempt to sweep the news under the carpet and in fairness 20 bad apples in a global workforce of 124,000 is a very small minority. As with all cases of workplace harassment, though, it’s deeply regrettable that innocent people had to come to work in the morning and find themselves objectified and intimidated. Criticism still hangs over Microsoft after it was revealed that 118 cases of gender discrimination were made between 2010 and 2016, and only one of them was taken under consideration. The possibility remains that a class action lawsuit will be brought against Microsoft by multiple employees essentially complaining about the same problem. None of this is good news for one of the world’s most recognisable brands, and as a HR service provider to household names in the public and private sectors Jane Systems appreciates the importance of maintaining a reputation.

We help our clients protect their good names by advocating prevention, not cure.

We advocate having a system in place that helps you capitalise on your good intentions and make it clear what your expectations of your people are.

We advocate disciplinary and grievance procedures recorded with follow up action monitored for enhanced problem-solving. So the first time you investigate an example of inappropriate behaviour, you can put measures in place that won’t just act on it but will monitor the effectiveness of that action. One instance of harassment is too many and some offences deserve dismissal, but when faced with someone who has inadvertently crossed a line, employers […]

GDPR – Who’s Who?

At Jane Systems we’ve made it our business to be an information source for the General Data Protection Regulations, and as implementation on May 25th draws near we’re seeing our customers approach data protection with the same diligence and professionalism that they show in every other aspect of their work.

Data subjects

The core principle of GDPR is the enhancement of the rights of the individual when it comes to storage and use of their data. These individuals – data subjects – have the right to know exactly what their personal information is being used for, and how long and how securely it will be stored. Data subjects are no longer under pressure to give blanket consent for multiple uses of their details. They can drill down into the fine print of what’s being asked of them, and make sure the people who hold their data have their facts right. From a HR perspective, employees and job applicants are data subjects you’ll come across every day. As individual data subjects we all stand to benefit from this.

Data controllers

The data controller is the person or body that determines the type of personal data that’s required, as well as the objective and method of processing that data. An employer who need to hold their people’s dates of birth and national insurance and remuneration details to process their payroll and satisfy HMRC regulations fulfil the function of data controller. That gives them key responsibilities and increasing levels of obligation. Whatever action they take in this arena, they need to justify it.

Data processors

Data processors are essentially “middlemen”, taking responsibility for processing personal information on behalf of the data controller and following their instructions. The data processor may collect, record, store […]

Just Be Yourself

The right HR software can add significant value to your recruitment procedures, and Jane Systems has spent the best part of two decades refining a module that guides you seamlessly from vacancy advertisement to interview to job offer to start and induction. People aren’t as predictable as software, though, and the path from application to employment can be a rocky one. Jane Systems offers you the tools to assess job applicants, but their interview performance is down to them. That performance can make or break their chances, and if we can do anything to help, we will.

Don’t try to style it out

Not knowing the answer to a question isn’t the end of the world. Pretending to know and trying to get away with a nonsense answer, on the other hand, is a major red flag. It’s hardly surprising. Who would you rather work with? The honest professional who admits what they don’t know and shows eagerness to learn, or the blustering chancer who’ll risk their reputation and yours?

Dignity, always dignity

We’ve all had bad managers and bad employers, but there’s a time to share the details and an interview isn’t it. Even if the person you’re talking to agrees that you have a cause for complaint, they might interpret your actions as disloyalty, excuse-making or just plain gossip. One of the key tasks of the interviewee is to present themselves as a trustworthy team player.

 

What was the company name again?

You don’t have to fawn all over the person who’s interviewing you, in fact you really shouldn’t, but it’s wise to do your homework on them, their position in the organisation and, most importantly, on the organisation itself. Employers like people who come to work in […]

Going Through the Motions

Obviously we’d all prefer to avoid both scenarios, but there are few things more frustrating than seeing a capable person twiddling their thumbs instead of making the contribution they ought to make.

At a time when surveys warn us of a slump in employee engagement, apathy issues are business-critical. How do we spot them, and how do we turn apathy into commitment?

Passing the Buck?

If an employee fails to deliver to an acceptable standard and within an acceptable timescale, there might be a reasonable explanation. If it becomes a pattern, though, you have to ask why. Where people are genuinely over-burdened, we can act to give them support and relief. Where they are simply not prepared to make the effort to get things done, though, we need to take a different view. One of the biggest giveaways is eagerness to point the finger at others. We all know how it feels to be up against a stiff and immovable deadline. If our colleagues face the same challenges and meet them, that gives us nowhere to hide. Simple pride in performance should spur us to fulfil our part of the bargain. In a team of equally capable, equally busy professionals, the one who passes the buck is the one whose commitment is flagging.

It’s Good to Talk

Let’s start with the assumption that we all see the value of knowledge-sharing and general communication in the workplace. Teams that win together tend to win far more often, and it’s always good to see people from one department taking pleasure in the success of their colleagues in another. Encouraging people to see where they fit in and how they contribute to the “big picture” is a crucial element of team-building, and […]

These Kids Today

Has it?

As we work our way up the ladder to a position of workplace seniority, there are landmark moments we can all recognise. The day we realise we’re not the new kid any more and we actually know what we’re doing. The day other people start asking our advice. The first time we get promoted. The first time we recruit for new staff.

That last one is big. Bringing new people in, perhaps to do a job we once did ourselves, is a serious responsibility. We may wish to be seen as a mentor, a wise elder by this newcomer. How should we react when they not only reject our wisdom but set out their stall for a better offer than we were planning to make, and a far better offer than we ever got?

Some people react less equitably than others.

Doing this at all is questionable; it may encourage realism in future applicants but it’s hardly likely to spark enthusiasm. The real issue, though, was how personally the hiring manager was taking it and how subjectively he was judging the application.

He requested to be paid $40 an hour to which I replied, ‘The most I pay anyone initially is $20 until I can trust them

When I was 24, I worked 20-40 hours a week as an intern with no pay.

The applicant chose not to pursue things any further, and the recruiter was wounded. Perhaps he wanted to take this talented young person under his wing, show him the value of trust and experience and finally give him the career path and the money he sought. But he wanted to give it as his gift and the applicant believed their talent merited it as a […]

Partners In Progress

Yesterday saw the 100th anniversary of partial voting rights being granted to British women. Fate decreed that it would also be a day to discuss the gender pay gap that still faces them. In 1997 the difference between male and female earnings in the UK was 27.5%. By 2017 the disparity was down to 18.4%. While this represents progress, it’s coming at a rate that suggests we may have to wait another 40 years for parity.

Tesco is widely regarded as a fair, supportive employer, so yesterday’s news that thousands of the retail giant’s female staff are mounting a legal challenge for back pay raised eyebrows. These women are claiming pay parity with men in similarly demanding roles, and Leigh Day, the law firm acting on their behalf, are making a persuasive case. It’s been revealed that the most common hourly rate for female employees is £8 while the equivalent for men is £11. Arguments that the physical demands of warehouse work justifies significantly better may not stand up; if we take that thought to its logical conclusion then pickers and packers in retailer warehouses might claim the right to higher wages than white collar workers who never break a sweat.

 

This hard-hitting review of Tesco policy was followed yesterday morning by a softer-hitting investigation on a BBC current affairs show revealing that female contestants on the latest series of “Love Island” were paid less for subsequent promotional work than their male co-stars. Some might argue that there are worthier standard bearers for equality of opportunity. Others might wonder why anyone would choose to employ a Love Island alumnus of either sex. But if we’re serious about pay parity then we can’t just stand up for […]