ICL is pressing ahead with the shake-up of its HR function despite the decision by its parent company to pull out of a flotation at the eleventh hour.
The “web enablement project” will drastically cut HR administration by transferring 80 to 90 per cent of HR transactions to staff and line managers to the company intranet. By June 2001, all HR business, except that of a sensitive nature – such as disciplinary procedures – will be on-line.
HR director Fiona Colquhoun started revamping HR two years ago to modernise and increase the efficiency of the function before the firm switched focus to e-business services in April and its planned flotation later this year.
This latest phase of development, aiming to cut costs further and increase efficiency by automating transactions, started in June.
Yvette Coulthard, head of resourcing and HR operations and leader of the worldwide project, said the reorganisation will go ahead despite parent company Fujitsu’s move last week to abandon the planned £5bn flotation.
The first phase, which ended last month, saw ICL’s 11,000 UK employees take responsibility for updating personal details and putting together their own flexible benefits packages on-line.
“We are trying to improve efficiency by cutting out the middle man,” said Coulthard.
Geoff Smith, consultant at William M Mercer, said ICL is one of a small but growing minority of employers hiving off administration through automating or outsourcing.
Coulthard said some of the 230 HR jobs could go but, equally, people could be redeployed in more useful roles.
By Dominique Hammond