Union claims tax office e-HR is denting employee morale

Problems with an online HR system at the Inland Revenue are hindering HR and damaging morale in the department, union chiefs have warned.

The Inland Revenue has limited access to its e-HR system and has told staff to keep paper-based records because the technology cannot cope with demand, an internal memo revealed.

Graham Steel, senior national officer at the Public and Commercial Services union, said: “The systems cannot cope with the normal degree of access. It is becoming very difficult for the HR teams to keep records up to date.”

The technological problems, allied with the ongoing uncertainty about the future of the HR function, are creating low morale in the department, Steel added.

The e-HR system was introduced in 2003 to allow employees to view payslips and update personal data online, as well as allowing managers to record sickness absence and book holidays.

However, an internal Inland Revenue memo, seen by Personnel Today’s sister publication Computer Weekly, said: “Some people may need to keep a temporary paper record of their absences, but these must be entered on e-HR as soon as possible.

“Until further notice, only managers should use e-HR on a Monday. This does not mean that managers should use the system only on a Monday, but freeing space on the system that day should give managers a better chance of completing actions to clear the backlog of approval requests and set up substitutes if they have not already done so.”

An Inland Revenue spokesman denied there was an ongoing problem with e-HR, which is supplied by software firm SAP.

“Our e-HR system is working as normal,” he said. “The system has been considerably upgraded re-cently, which has created much more demand on certain days.

“There have been occasions when the system has not been as fast as we would like, though this is down to increased use at particular times,” the spokesman added.

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