However, whilst COVID emptied the high street, shoppers shopped from home, rewarding those who had invested in online digital technology. Online sales spending grew 46% year on year, making up 30% of all retail spending in Britain, food sales rose +79%, and department stores +65.9% (Office National Statistic).
Though behind the scenes, internal business functions have experienced disruption and legislative changes. Specifically, the HR and Payroll back-office has seen an increased workload involving HR master data, including administering furlough to actioning redundancies. Additionally, homeworking has exposed digital infrastructure weaknesses and increased inaccuracies in data processing and payroll: further compounded by the demands of staff trying to both work from home and maintain a home life. This has all contributed to a 70% increase in HR stress-related leave (as reported by e-days).
As retail bounces back post-COVID, the industry will need to ensure they are refreshed and prepared for a smooth return of furloughed staff and onboarding for new talent at various rates. Changes in pay, rotas and personal circumstances need to be considered and managed to enable employees onto the shop floor.
For those who have already ‘future proofed’ their HR and payroll by outsourcing, this journey will be easier. Outsourcing partners take care of actions such as HR administration and transacting accurate payroll, run by professionals with local expertise so you can focus on your core business. The importance of tech investment, including cloud systems and flexibility, was key to many surviving retailers. The same is true for outsourcing which has helped the industry during this challenging time, reducing internal HR stress, maintaining GDPR compliance, providing valuable management reporting and smooth accurate payroll.
As cost savings realised by outsourcing are often in excess of 30% compared to in-house, for many, ‘future proofing’ payroll is just a matter of time.
Zalaris are a comprehensive multi-country HR & payroll technology and services company who, for more than 20 years, have provided a first-class, multi-country, single cloud-based HR & payroll solution. This service seamlessly connects all aspects of the customer’s HR and Payroll processes into one turnkey solution. Zalaris further accompany their leading technology platform with outsourced business services to manage all aspects of their customer’s HR & transactional payroll needs.
For more information about us, go to zalaris.com.