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Workforce time and attendance management systems help retailer manage staffing effectively through busiest High Street trading period in the run up to the festive season

Uniqlo UK use of human resource (HR) and time and attendance (T&A) software really comes into its own during the busiest shopping season before Christmas.

Operating as a UK subsidiary of leading Japanese clothing retail chain since 2002, the UK chain has grown to 450 employees within 10 branches and a London-based head office.

As a result of the global HR and T&A workforce management (WFM) software implemented by Uniqlo global head office in Japan, a key requirement for Uniqlo UK was for the information from both the HR and T&A systems to populate the payroll system and prevent re-keying of information. 

Managing seasonal hiring

Michael Wallbridge, Uniqlo UK payroll manager, commented: “I process the payroll for all our UK stores so, particularly at Christmas, when we take on another 200 employees, I need the process to be as quick and seamless as possible.”

In 2007, payroll software solution EARNIE IQ from IRIS Software Group was deployed and configured so that the hours employees have worked are pulled through from the T&A system to populate the payroll, while employee data, such as ID number and name and address, are all transferred to EARNIE IQ from the HR system. 

Wallbridge added: “Being able to get data into EARNIE from both our HR and T&A systems is a huge time saver. When I do need help the support team are very good and I know they are always on hand to give friendly knowledgeable assistance.” 

He also regularly needs to provide information on things such as staff turnover and employee costs to area managers, finance, HR and the global head office in Japan and uses the quick report writer within EARNIE IQ on a daily basis to do this. 

Harnessing reporting power

“In my eighteen years in payroll I have never had a reporting tool that is as quick and easy to use as the one provided with the software – it couldn’t be simpler to use,” he said. “Not only that, reports can be printed, exported to Excel or turned into a PDF...what more could you ask for?” 

The company has been able to configure the systems to Uniqlo’s specific requirements. A flexible payment and deduction facility also allows special payments to be set up and Uniqlo has several bonus schemes, as well as Customer Service Awards for shop-based staff.

“Because of EARNIE IQ’s excellent flexibility, I am able to customise levels of analysis and personalise employee fields at a local level. It has allowed me to provide a greater level of support and data to my colleagues, which has been incredibly beneficial to our business,” Wallbridge continued. 

With the introduction of Real Time Information (RTI) also on the horizon, having payroll software that is compliant with this new legislation is vital. RTI is viewed as the biggest change to payroll since PAYE was introduced in 1944 and will affect over 1.4 million businesses from April 2013.

“Whether it be sales, technical support, training or installation, the team at IRIS Software Group have always delivered and their consistent track record gives me confidence in their ability to give me what I need to do my job and to be compliant with all legalities of the payroll system,” he concluded.

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