No HR department? Here’s how to easily manage your HR responsibilities

When many people think of the daily tasks of a HR (Human Resources) department, they may assume their main job is to manage the recruitment of new staff. And while this is a big part of it, HR personnel can also be responsible for a number of tasks including processing payroll, staff development, leave management and ensuring compliance with employment law.

Does my business need a HR department?

There is no legal requirement for a business to have a HR department. Many businesses only feel the need to hire a HR professional once their employee count reaches a certain level. For some businesses, not having a HR department is simply a cost saving measure. For others, they may prefer to delegate HR tasks amongst existing employees. Either way, all businesses, big or small will have HR tasks that will need to be taken care of and in the absence of a HR specialist, there are ways to make handling HR tasks easier for everyone.

How can I make sure HR is taken care of without hiring HR staff?
Many businesses who decide not to employ a HR specialist will have managers take care of tasks traditionally looked after by HR. However, this can be counterproductive if the employees end up spending too much of their time on these responsibilities. One way of cutting down on the amount of time managers or other staff spend on HR duties is by using people-management software. The right software can allow you to automate certain HR functions, keeping them consistent while also being more efficient.

How can my business use software to help take care of HR functions?
If you run your payroll in-house, you will already use a payroll software. BrightPay is a payroll software which has an optional cloud add-on, BrightPay Connect, that can help you take care of HR tasks.

1. Annual leave management

If annual leave requests are not managed properly, it can lead to tensions in the workplace. The most popular policy of granting annual leave is on a first come, first served basis. This policy is considered the fairest but depending on the system you use[AC1], it can still be difficult to keep track of which employee requested the leave first. When you use BrightPay Connect to manage employee’s annual leave you don’t have that problem as you will be able to see the order in which requests have come in.

When you use BrightPay Connect you can give employees access to their own employee portal through the employee app on their phone or from any internet browser. From the employee portal the employee has the ability to request leave including full days, half days, or they can request to cancel leave which has already been granted.

BrightPay Connect streamlines leave requests and leave approval, allowing managers to manage staff annual leave – headache free. You can also delegate the management of each employee’s leave requests to that individual’s manager or to another member of staff. Here is how it works:

  • The employee requests leave from the calendar in their BrightPay Connect mobile app or from an internet browser. This means employees can request leave anytime, anywhere.
  • The employer (or the person who has been assigned to oversee the management of that employee’s annual leave) is notified of the request on the dashboard of their own BrightPay Connect account.
  • The employer/manager can then either approve or deny the request at the click of a button.
  • The employee will receive a notification on their device informing them of whether their request has been approved or denied.
Cloud integration means any approved leave requests will flow directly back to BrightPay payroll software on your PC or Mac.

2. Employee absenteeism tracking

Tracking employees’ time off can be used as a way of identifying employees who may have a pattern of unexcused absenteeism and help you determine when the problem needs to be addressed. It can also be a way of deciding whether or not an employee’s leave request should be granted. In the BrightPay Connect employer dashboard, from the calendar tab, the employer can view a real time, company-wide calendar. At a glance, employers see which employees are on leave and the type of leave, be it excused or unexcused absenteeism. This is especially handy nowadays when staff may be working from home, and it is hard to keep track of who is off and who is not.

3. Keeping up to date with employment law

Employment law is constantly changing, and it can be difficult to keep up with all the changes if you don’t have a HR department. It is the responsibility of employers to make sure they comply with employment law and that they also clearly communicate policies to employees, ensuring they are aware of their employee rights and responsibilities. Information should be shared with employees through a contract of employment, a staff handbook and other policies which should be updated regularly.

BrightPay’s sister product Bright Contracts, syncs with BrightPay’s payroll software and allows you to easily create tailored employee contracts and staff handbooks which fully conform to the latest employment law guidelines. When there are any changes in employment law, Bright Contracts will automatically send you an update, making it easy for you to comply with employment law, even with no HR experience. These documents can then be uploaded via BrightPay Connect’s employer dashboard and shared instantly with employees through BrightPay Connect’s employee app. From the employer dashboard you will also be able to keep track of who has read the documents and who has not.

4. Taking care of employee requests for information

HR departments can sometimes deal with a lot of requests from employees who may want copies of certain employee documents or past payslips. Employees may also go to HR when they want to update the personal information on their file or to enquire about how many holiday days they have taken or have remaining. If you do not have a HR department, taking care of these requests can take up a lot of time for managers or other staff. Managers can better spend their time in other ways by giving employees the power to take care of these requests themselves. Employees can use the Connect employee app to:
  • Check how much annual leave they have taken, how much they have remaining, and view a calendar which shows them the days they have booked annual leave
  • View all past payslips and any employee documents which have been uploaded by the employer through the employer dashboard
  • Request to update any of the information their employer has on file for them
To find out more about how BrightPay Connect can help you keep up with your HR duties without having to employ a HR specialist, book a free online demo today.


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Karen Bennett
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