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Avoiding a HR Compliance Crisis Mid-Merger

7 July 2020 3 min read

merger data compliance

Any business that has undergone a merger or acquisition will know that the challenges associated with it are incredibly complex and have the potential to impact every part of the organisation. Employee wellbeing and the feeling of your investors often become obvious obstacles to manage and plan accordingly for. However, where the real headache begins is with the integration of processes. Ultimately what needs to be understood, are the potential HR compliance issues caused by the change to the business, and how to maintain company culture.

HR Concerns

It’s not difficult to see why problems may arise during a merger or acquisition. Trying to integrate two businesses, with separate workforces, differing contracts, and different benefits, is by no means a small feat. Take employee leave as an example, where you may be attempting to incorporate holiday entitlements from teams that have been working to different holiday calendar years. The amount of time taken is likely to vary across the two, not to mention accruals and holiday carried over into the next financial year. This is not only an admin nightmare for HR but a wellbeing issue, as annual leave can be an incredibly sensitive topic for employees. Handling this gently should go without saying, and teams need to be prepared that the problem is not a simple one to fix.

It’s crucial that a robust management system is in place. Software that will be able to help you manage changes to the organisational structure and allows you to stay compliant during times of change.

Culture under compliance

One of the great benefits of a merger or acquisition and what makes the hassle so worth it, is the joining of two workforces with a far more diverse range of skills and experience. This brings the opportunity to improve your product and create a more stable and prosperous business. Company culture is crucial to maintain especially during a merger or acquisition, and a robust HR system can significantly promote this. It has become more and more frequent for employees to base their decision to stay or leave a business based on company culture. Feeling valued and looked after are key to this, and often has nothing to do with the material benefits some companies choose to throw at employees. One of the biggest benefits at work is the ability to take holiday, and if this can be made easy and simple with very little input from management, then it makes the process a lot less stressful (booking off holiday shouldn’t be a chore after all!).

Having a system that is in place even during a merger, where holiday can be requested and accepted as easily as before helps create normality during uncertain times. It’s worth mentioning that the impact on individuals could be heavy and knowing they can still request a holiday to help manage the situation on a personal level will be of great relief.

While mergers and acquisitions will never be straightforward, proper technology underpinning the entire process will ensure that mistakes don’t happen. HR management systems will help create calm in some parts of the business, especially those that directly impact your workforce. Considering their affordability and ease to set up it would be a smart choice to think about implementing a system if you do not already have one in place.

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Katrina Bennett People Director at edays
July 7, 2020

Katrina is edays' own People Director with significant UK and international experience in delivering people strategy and value-adding HR solutions across a range of organisations and sectors (including Arriva, Boots, Rolls Royce, the utility and charity sectors). Katrina has over 20 years of experience in Human Resources and is CIPD qualified.