Your accountancy team: handling HR compliance in the age of COVID

By James Nadal | 26th August 2020 | 8 min read

Managing staff has become even trickier than ever during the pandemic, with the need for remote working scattering teams across multiple locations.

There may have been further complications with some staff becoming ill with coronavirus or having to self-isolate due to contact with a friend or relative who was infected.

Not to mention the impact on employees’ mental health from being stuck at home and trying to turn their homes into offices.

The complications of COVID for the workforce

Even though the national lockdown has passed, as winter approaches and warnings of a potential second wave continue to come daily, these challenges have not gone away. In fact, they could be here for a long time yet.

Indeed, Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England, has suggested he doesn’t expect a vaccine to be ready before Winter 2021.

The ‘old normal’ has been swept aside. The next normal of continually changing restrictions to our lives and businesses – not least local lockdowns – is here.

And with that comes a myriad of complications for taking care of and managing your staff.

So, what can be done to help your business when it comes to managing your most valuable resource – your people?

Below we look at four key areas and the crucial questions your accountancy practice needs to consider:

1. Keeping track of staff hours and locations

Whether it’s all the time or just some of the time, all your staff, or just a portion, you will probably still have to manage employees across multiple locations still, with the need for social distancing and remote working continuing.

Can you create rotas and schedules easily? Can you create automated reports to see which staff are going to be working from home and in the office at any given time or day? And what about their contact details? Or is it all manual?

2. Keeping tabs on absence

Sickness absence or staff having to self-isolate seems likely to continue to be a major issue. Are you set up to easily manage and track their absence with automated reports? Do you have return to work processes to make sure employees who have been absent are supported?

Do you have self-service functionality enabling your employees to update their details themselves, including their own absence records and contact details? If staff are having to work different hours due to juggling commitments such as childcare, is this information clearly visible for everyone

3. Accessing information anywhere, anytime

Bearing in mind the clear need to be adaptable and enabling some of your team at least to work remotely (look at the local lockdowns that have already happened), can you and your staff access your HR system and vital personal details such as payslips and personal contact information, both in and out of the office? Do you have smartphone apps to make this easier?

4. Fully secure people data

With staff working in different locations, you need to be able to access all company documents in one place. Crucially, it needs to be safe and secure from cybercriminals. Can you do that? And do you have a system with the highest standard of data security management, giving you peace of mind that your employee data is safe? Do you have measures in place to ensure you are compliant with data protection laws such as GDPR?

Can IRIS help with these challenges?

Yes. IRIS offers support for accountancy practices to manage your employees and deal with the complications in the age of COVID.

Click here to request more information. Alternatively Call us on 0344 815 5500 or email