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Recording, analysing and using HR information

Usman Mohammed

Activity 1
Two reason why the organisation needs to collect HR data

1 – Monitoring equal opportunity
This is a very important reason for collecting data. A lot of data which is collected by companies includes information such as gender, age and ethnicity. And it is widely known that companies need to hire individuals from all backgrounds to show that they are following the Equal Opportunities Act (E0A). So if they are ever questioned about not following the EOA, then the HR data which has been collected, would prove to be solid evidence to refute any accusations.
Also, companies can make changes to their day to day running of the business from data supplied by the HR department. So if data collected by the HR department shows that the company has been hiring more Muslim employees over the past 5 years, then some changes could take place in order to avoid awkward situations and to improve the working experience for their employees. One of the changes could be, that the staff canteen could introduce a halal option for Muslim employees. This could motivate all the staff at the company as it shows that HR data is being used in an effective manner and for the benefit of the employees.

2 - Following legislations
Companies need to collect data to make sure that they are following regulations and laws set up by governing bodies. If the specific laws and regulations are not complied with then it the companies in question can expect fines, ineffective HR management and negative exposure. The data that is gathered is needed to preserve good standards, help track employee performance, and also monitor other actions such as training, and learning and development.

Two types of data that is collected within the organisation and how each support HR practices

1) Statutory data
Information such as tax, national insurance and pension contributions are kept by the HR department. Other information includes hours that have been worked, holidays and sick days taken. The company also needs to keep hold of statutory information such as accidents that have occurred within the company, therefore an accident book needs to be kept and stored on file, manually and electronically. This helps HR practices because these records types of records ensure that the HR section is compliant to all of the requirements set up by the governing bodies.

Sickness and absence 2) Collecting data relating to sickness and absence is very useful for companies because it helps the HR department to understand trends and patterns. For example, a company like BMW may find that they have a high number of sick leave, because a lot of their production line workers are having musculoskeletal injuries due to the nature of the job. This would be an opportunity for BMW because, they have identified that there is a problem thanks to the data collected by HR, and now they can come up with solutions to try and solve the problem.

Also, by using the HR data the employers can identify patterns of employees who are taking sick days on specific days. So if a certain employee is calling in sick on Fridays, then it may raise alarm bells for employers because it looks like this employee is trying to have a 3 day weekend. Especially if it’s happening once every month. If this trend is identified from the HR data supplied then it can be bought to the employee’s attention and the necessary action can be taken from then on, including warnings and disciplinary.

Two methods of storing data and the benefits of each

This is now the most common method of storing records for a company compared to years before. Companies hold vast amounts of data pertaining to their employees which includes details such as, address, bank details, employment history, and medical details and so on. It is the responsibility for the company to protect and store all the information that is gathered by its HR department. The information is initially gathered by CV’s, application forms and only applications, so it needs to be gathered somewhere. Saving data electronically is the probably the safest way to store records because it is:

* Password protected – Only people with password access can look at the employee information and restricted from anyone else. * Time saving – it is easy to find certain information from millions of pieces of data. Managers can simply search for an employee’s name and all relevant information will come up, rather than sifting through each employee. * Easy access – If employee information is saved on a HR software’s, then it can be accessed from different locations. So if a company in New York has a branch in London, they can access each other’s employee data through the software. * Easily transportable – HR employees can use USB devices to transfer information from one computer to another. And to make sure its secure they can use password protected USB devices so its cant be accessed by others in case in gets misplaced. * Saving on paper

Paper storage
Use to be the most common method of storing records before the takeover of electronic systems. Employee information can be stored on file in filing cabinets in HR offices. There is ofcourse the danger of information getting lost or falling in the wrong hands because it is not secure enough, but it is still used by a lot of companies, especially small ones.
The benefits of using paper storage is as follows:

* Less expensive to set up – Don’t have to buy and install expensive software on your computer, and therefore have to pay no maintenance cost either. * Less risk of corrupted data – With electronic data there is always a chance that the software can be corrupted by viruses or malware. This is not a problem with paper storage. * Data loss - Loss of data is less of a risk, especially if records are kept in a fire-proof location. * Original copies – Companies will have access to the original copy of paperwork which is sometimes preferred for legal purposes.

A statement of at least two essential items of UK legislation relating to the recording, storage, and accessibility of HR data.

CRB check (Criminal Record Bureau) – This is also known as a DBS check. This legislation basically allows a company to get potential employees and applicants to apply a check before possible employment. It is a check to see if any applicants have any criminal convictions before a role can be offered. The most common people who go through these checks are applicants who apply for jobs that involves children. So teachers would have to go through CRB checks if they were to apply for a teaching positions at schools. An applicant cannot just look to apply for a CRB check for themselves, they have to be given an application form or online link which will send the results back to the employer.

Freedom of Information Act 2000 -

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides an outline of rights of access to information held by public and some private companies. The request goes through to the Information Commissioner who is responsible for providing the requested information and promoting good practice.

Freedom of Information Act 2000 applies to HR; this legislation does not mean that the public can request to gain information about things like employee personal and financial information, but people can request to know a lot of things which can be found in a company’s annual report. People can request to know the company’s last quarter profits, staff turnover for the year and absence rates.

Activity 2

Introduction to the HR area being investigated

As I am an employee of Oxford University Hospitals I will be trying to research the Absence rate at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre from 2006 -2012 for Band 5 physio’s. I will also be analysing the Return to Work Compliance Rate, again for Band 5 physio’s. The data will be shown in the form of bar charts and analysed.
Attendance is critical at an orthopaedic centre, because it all comes down to patient care. On a tight budget any form of absence from any level physio’s can put stress on colleagues as they may have to pick up the slack and see extra patients. This can lead to longer working hours, increase in patient complaints, and also increase in physio complaints because they have to cover for their absent colleagues.

The following data is provided by FirstCare who handle all sickness and absence information for OUH. If an employee needs to report an absence or sickness, they will have to call the 24 hour call centre of FirstCare, and they record the absence information and pass it on to the line manager first thing next day. This is an effective way to report absence since its impractical to call your manager at 2am to let them know that you are not coming in the next day for whatever reason.

Absence Rate (%) (Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre)
Source -

Return to work compliance rate (%) (Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre)

Analysing and interpreting the data
As we can see from the above bar chart, the absence rate from 2006 to 2012 dropped from over 4% to just over 3%. It may not seem much over the 6 year term, but in terms of how busy the NOC has become over the years it is quite an improvement. The results are shown in bar graph because I believe it is the simplest method to present and it also clearly shows the difference of percentage from one year to the other.
I would put down the decrease in absence down to better absence management from the seniors at the NOC. Compared to a hospital like the John Radcliffe, the NOC is not as busy, but over the years it has steadily seen a surge in patients who were previously unaware of the service that is offered there. The MSK service has received an increased amount of patient referrals from the GP’s, which means that there is an increased amount of responsibility on the physio’s. This in turn puts more pressure on the physio’s not to call in sick for every little illness that comes up, because they know that they will have to catch up with a lot of work, and deal with more aggro on their return to work. From these results it is clear that improvement in absence management and increase in patients has improved the absence and return to work statistics. It is clear that the introduction of the FirstCare system has had a lot to do with it as it has been an effective way of collecting and presenting HR data.

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