Small UK businesses are wasting 120 working days A YEAR on admin… Is yours one of them?

These shock findings – reported by technology firm Sage – support what Spire HR have long suspected: time spent tackling the daily onslaught of admin can account for nearly half the working year, which has devastating consequences for productivity.

“In any business, but especially those without an in-house HR function, responsibility for simple tasks like managing annual leave requests often get delegated to the Finance Team or Office Administrators,” explained Ellen Parkin MCIPD, Managing Director of Spire HR.

“In some smaller organisations, we’ve even seen Finance or Operations Directors processing changes to employees’ personal details simply because there is no-one else to do it. It deflects time and attention away from their actual job of providing direction and strategy, as well as negotiating lucrative new deals – all of which impacts on growth and profitability.”

The same study found that staff at small UK-based businesses spend nearly six percent of their time doing back-office tasks simply because they don’t have systems in place to cope with them. Increasing productivity by the same amount would boost British GDP by an additional £33.9bn a year!

Ellen commented: “I completely agree with Sage’s Managing Director, Alan Lang, who said: ‘No-one started their business with a desire to spend hours carrying out admin’. That’s why at Spire HR, we offer a Cloud-based HR Toolkit that employees can access securely from anywhere using their username and password.

‘For example, instead of writing out a paper-based annual leave request to physically place on their manager’s desk, the whole process can be completed online in a matter of minutes. The attendance chart functionality even shows users who else has already booked leave – pre-empting conversations about availability in companies where only a set number of people can be off at any one time. In terms of time-saving functions, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using the HR Toolkit to manage day-to-day admin tasks that, let’s face it, most of us dread!”

Once a holiday is booked on the simple web-based system, it is automatically deducted from the employee’s total annual allowance… no more calculators needed! Employees can also update their own personal information such as a change of address and next of kin details without completing physical paperwork for their managers to then process.

From a HR point of view, Contracts, Handbooks and Policies can all be stored on the HR Toolkit – requiring employees to accept that they have seen and read the documents, which is great for record-keeping. Following the introduction of GDPR, it is also reassuring to note that access is controlled at three levels: employees, who can only get access to their own information; managers, who can also get access to people they manage; and controllers, who can get access to all information and set managers’ specific rights.

“Updating endless Excel spreadsheets has now become a thing of the past, as the HR Toolkit houses all your key HR-related admin in one secure place; promotes personal accountability among employees; and – crucially – frees up time,” concluded Ellen.

For up to 10 staff, the HR Toolkit costs £25 per month. To start your free trial today, telephone 01925 626253 or email