Softworks Blog

Nadine Walsh

Recent Posts


Posted by Nadine Walsh on Wed, Apr 15, 2015


We have just been inspected by NERA and have survived to tell the tale. Really? Yes, they even check companies who provide time and attendance monitoring and employee law compliance software!
We weren't scared and you shouldn't be either. We have explained the process we went through & have some information on how you can be prepared for your inspection. 

What is NERA?

NERA is the National Employment Rights Authority body in Ireland. In short, it is their job to ensure all employees in your business are working with fair contracts, are paid regularly - in line with the minimum wage, and are not working too many hours.

How much notice do you get for a NERA inspection? 

We were given a month's notice but this can vary. Their guide says "advance notice" but you can reschedule if you have a genuine reason. 

Why are they coming to my business? 

According to, NERA "aims to secure compliance with employment rights legislation and to foster a culture of compliance in Ireland. Every employer is required by law to record their employee's working hours/time to ensure compliance. Failure to do so may result in legal action. The letter we got stated that these are the 5 items they need to check we are complying with legislation for:  

1. Minimum Wage - ensuring nobody that works for our business is paid less than €8.65 an hour.

2. Working Time Directive - ensuring our staff are working a legal amount of hours per week, that we get fair holiday allowances and that we have adequate rest periods and breaks.. You can find more about the WTD here

3. Younger Workers. They also check that any workers under 18 years of age are treated fairly.

4. Wages/Salary -Every worker had the right to receive a payslip which may be to each employee in paper or electronic format. NERA will also check that your organisation are deducting the correct taxes/USC charges from your salary. 

5.  Non - National Employees. NERA check that any non-national employees have the relevant work permits to work in your business

What do I need to provide? 

They need to check everything on the list below. This may look extensive but should be quick and simple to prepare. Most workforce management systems can export all of the below information on a simple report. NERA also provided a document with a template of all the requirements below which you can manually fill out. 

  • Employee Registration number
  • Name, address, nationality & PPS number
  • Start & End date of contract
  • Everyone's job title/classification
  • Terms of Employment
  • Timesheets showing the hours worked by each employee (including overtime) & also detailing what days of week the employee worked
  • Your company's holiday & public pay entitlement details as given to employees
  • Copies of payslips & payrolls
  • Register of employees under 18 

What happens on the day? 

Well in our case, a lovely man called Sean arrived at a specified time and met our HR team. We provided him with the documentation requested above. He spent some time going through this and then he selected some of our employees at random and conducted quick 5 minute interview. These are confidential & staff have the opportunity to voice any concerns they may have. And that is it - simple! In a few weeks, NERA will send us their evaluation. You can find NERA's guide to inspections here


Can your system provide you with the information you need for a NERA inspection quickly and easily? If not, arrange a demo with our experts today.

 Schedule a Live Demo

Topics: Working Time Directive, NERA

Why Choose Softworks

Posted by Nadine Walsh on Mon, Apr 13, 2015


We recently conducted a survey to ensure we are facilitating our clients to the best our our ability and thought we should share the results with you. As always, we endeavour to lead the way with our workforce management solutions and work closely with every industry and companies of every size to ensure we are accomodating every worker's needs. 

The Results:

Just click on the image to get started ! 



If you have any questions or would like to arrange a demo with our team of experts just click on the link below.  Thank you to all of our clients who took part. Your feedback is much appreciated. 

Schedule a Live Demo

Topics: Time & Attendance, Workforce Solutions, Absenteeism, Flexible Working

The Key to a Happy Workforce

Posted by Nadine Walsh on Mon, Feb 2, 2015


happy workforce


We all know that saying, find something you love to do and you will never work a day in your life. There's nothing I would like more than for everyone I know to be working in a job they love, in a field they are really interested in, surrounded by supportive, talented co-workers. I am generally a positive thinker but the harsh reality behind that statement is that we have bills to pay, the job we love isn't always that easy to find and we all know every office has a nuisance (or two). There are a number of simple steps that will help you on your way to a happier workforce. This one is for you managers, CEOs, presidents and everyone else in charge of someone else's working day. Implement the ideas below now and I promise you will see a difference.


1. Introduce Flexitime.

Its 2015. Our lives are crazier and busier then ever. As it is, most of us spend 25% of our week at work and 34% sleeping leaving just 41% of your week to do the things you like. Plus or minus a family, hobbies, exercise, eating we really are short on time. Just the other day I wanted to kill my Iphone. Just this one device allows me to communicate in over 10 different ways; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Whatsapp, Viber, Imessage, text message, email, call, Facetime... Yes I am ranting but my point is that there is more to life then work, however much we like our job. It will make such a difference to everyone if they can leave ten minutes earlier so that they can make that appointment or take an extra long lunch if its been a particularly stressful day. Remember that your workplace is made up of people, not machines. Being honest, we could all use a bit more flexibility in all areas of our lives so the workplace is a good place to start.

2. Celebrate Moments and People.

If somebody has been in the building for 20 years today, why not send a mass email to all staff and congratulate and thank them. They are choosing to be here and they wouldn't still be here if they weren't important to your company! Something I love about working at Softworks is that there are so many people working here that unless we were obesity advocates, we couldn't possibly have a cake for everyone's birthday. With that in mind our CEO introduced "cake day" where once a month we get in an array of buns and cakes and enjoy them together. Its definitely in the little things, and there is a great sense of fun round the office once everyone realises it's "cake day".

3. Schedule, Schedule, Schedule

There is nothing worse than your job taking over your life. I remember years of working in restaurants and the problems the messy schedule brought. I knew I had to get out of the shift work world when I had to miss an award ceremony where I was actually receiving a prize because my manager wouldn't let me reschedule my shift. I also missed birthdays of loved ones, my own birthday and lost a few friends because it. For people like nurses, doctors and many more escaping the 24 hour roster isn't ever going to happen. Set up a system where if needs be co-workers can do a swap. A disappointed and sulking worker is of no benefit to anyone.

4. Hand Over the Power

I cannot stress how important I think Self Service is. Employees, in my opinion should always have access to their own records. I want to be able so see how many hours overtime I have done, I want to check my holiday balance and I want to know how many times I was late or early this month without having to ask HR who will usually pass comment or wonder why I am asking. Don't get me wrong I think every company; big or small should have a HR department. A great HR team is fundamental to every successful company but my roster and my holiday details are the business of my manager and I. Get rid of the middle man.

5. Time to be on Time

We all have great intentions. You all know that amazing feeling when you come out of a productive meeting feeling all motivated because you and your team brainstormed tons of great ideas that could really work. Then you look back on the minutes of the meeting a month or two later no progress has been made and most of the ideas have been tossed aside and forgotten about. Start tracking your projects. Once the whole team can see on a shared screen what needs to be done and who needs to do it, the project will be done in no time. Set a deadline, make a task list, assign responsibility and get on with it. A great idea should never be let slide.


I would love to know your tips too! Feel free to share



Topics: Time & Attendance, Workforce Solutions, Flexitime / Flexible Working Hours Arrangement, Labour Scheduling, Work-Life Balance, Flexible Working, Working From Home, Rostering, Working Hours, Performance, Happy Workers, The Key To a Happy Workforce

Time to be On Time!

Posted by Nadine Walsh on Thu, Dec 4, 2014


Win an alarm clock!

1 in 5 people are late to work once a week. Are you?

It can be really difficult to monitor your staffs' comings and goings, but if you don't, those few minutes late for just one worker every day can lead to hours of work missed every month which you may be still paying for. On top of this, frequent lateness contributes to a negative working envoirnment, as other workers will notice the lack of discipline paid to the late comer. Research also highlights that late comers are more distracted and are far more likely to suffer from stress in the workplace. 

Softworks Time and Attendance system is an easy to use, powerful, automated time recording system that captures 100% of your organisation’s rules and work practices. With over 1,000 implementations across the UK, Ireland Canada and USA, Softworks Time and Attendance will help your organisation to build a clear picture of employee time through detailed dashboards, KPI’s, proactive alerts and reports on attendance, absenteeism, overtime, flexi-balances, scheduling and holiday leave. Our systems can shedule alerts to notify managers when an employee arrives late, and allows reporting on an employee's punctuality. 

If 9 - 5 if proving problematic in your envoirnment, Perhaps this be a good time of year to consider implementing flexitime in your workplace. Softworks Flexible Working can assist you to easily manage flexible working hours and family friendly policies, which will in turn assist you to attract, retain and motivate a talented workforce.

Join our #timetobeontime campaign this December to promote a timely workforce in your office. To celebrate we have really annoying alarm clocks to give away. Just register yourself or a collegue who you think needs one. We will also send you our expert tips on time management in your workplace. 


 Click here for more information! 



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Topics: Time & Attendance, Flexitime / Flexible Working Hours Arrangement, Labour Scheduling, Flexible Working, Working Hours

Rostering - Putting Skills in the Right Places

Posted by Nadine Walsh on Fri, Nov 28, 2014


Roster resized 600


Almost everyone’s heard of the saying ‘Right place, right time’ and when it comes to your workforce, a key element to the successful management of a business is ensuring that you have the right staff in the right place at the right time.

This often comes down to judgement, trusting your manager(s) to roster correctly and assess the possible requirements of their department within set constraints, be it contract terms, working hours, holiday leave, sick leave and so on. Whether it’s a shop floor, a manufacturing plant or a hospital, the demands on staff will change depending on various factors. Whilst these factors are more often than not outside of your control, you can plan effectively to deal with them based on historical data, local knowledge and general trends.

After all that, there is still a time consuming necessity to plan out the rosters based on the business requirements and the staff available. This can often be a frustrating and tedious task, which is subject to change at any given moment. Having an efficient and flexible rostering system can often save multiple hours every week/month as well as ensuring that all regulatory obligations are met. It can also be designed to factor in many of the aforementioned variables which aids in reducing the risk of under staffing at critical times, not to mention ensuring cost effectiveness by controlling resources when they are less needed.


Softworks offers a range of rostering & erostering solutions to make scheduling your workforce as easy and stress free as it should be. Click here for more details.


By Softworks' Head of Finance: Oliver Mitchell, ACA                    Oliver

Topics: Time & Attendance, Workforce Solutions, Labour Scheduling, Rostering

Webinar - Fall in love again with your Time & Attendance System

Posted by Nadine Walsh on Tue, Nov 25, 2014


Retail 01ii


Do you find managing areas such as; employee attendance, absenteeism, overtime, flexible working, scheduling, leave, pay rules & policies, compliance etc. a nightmare? Does any of the following sound familiar…?

 You are still calculating your more complex pay rules by hand.
 Your system makes it difficult for managers to approve time.
 Your employees still contact HR to find out the status of their leave requests.
 Your current system is not able to grow with you.
 Your system was chosen without understanding your department’s “actual” needs. 
 You are not getting the benefits you originally expected – doesn’t do what it said on the tin!
 You have multiple locations but no visibility across them.

There is an easier way to work!  Join Andrew Ferguson, Softworks CEO for a live 45 minute webinar on Wednesday 10th December at 3pm GMT/10am EST*.  In this session Andrew will demonstrate what you should expect as standard from your Time & Attendance System.

*Not sure what time this is in you city? Click here to check

Can't attend? Click Here to Register anyway and we will send you on the recording.

Topics: Time & Attendance, Workforce Solutions, Compliance, Labour Scheduling, Absenteeism, Absenteeism, Work-Life Balance, Flexible Working, Working From Home

Holiday Pay - Could You be at Risk of a Lawsuit?

Posted by Nadine Walsh on Fri, Nov 7, 2014


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The European Working Time Directive has put holiday pay under a new ray of light. A case which has been ongoing over the last six months saw Mr. Joe Lock take action against British gas at the Employee Appeal Tribunal on the grounds that taking his annual leave meant he was bereft of his usual commission payments and other expenses. This lawsuit also saw premium retailer John Lewis pre-empt any claims and subsequently took to back pay all of their workers for their holidays to the value of £40 million.


Abiding by the guidelines in Article 7* of the Working Time Directive, This ruling in favour of Mr. Lock has indicated that the worker must receive any commission or other payments that constitutes part of their regular wage so that taking annual leave may not result in an employee being left at a financial disadvantage.


We advise that companies take this window to examine their current holiday payment structure. Overtime, commission and expenses should be taken into account whereby that amount effects the weekly/monthly income. Employers have a statutory duty to keep records and take reasonable steps to ensure the Working Time Directive limits and policies are complied with. As standard with Softworks Workforce Management systems, you can ensure that you are always 100% compliant with the Working Time Directive. We provide solutions for both clocking & non-clocking environments Click here for more information.



*The Operative part of the judgment refer to the following articles in the directive:

1) Article 7(1) of Directive 2003/88/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time must be interpreted as precluding national legislation and practice under which a worker whose remuneration consists of a basic salary and commission, the amount of which is fixed by reference to the contracts entered into by the employer as a result of sales achieved by that worker, is entitled, in respect of his paid annual leave, to remuneration composed exclusively of his basic salary.

2) The methods of calculating the commission to which a worker, such as the applicant in the main proceedings, is entitled in respect of his annual leave must be assessed by the national court or tribunal on the basis of the rules and criteria set out by the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union and in the light of the objective pursued by Article 7 of Directive 2003/88.

Topics: Working Time Directive, Holiday Pay, Lock vs British Gas

Meet the Softworks Team at the CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition

Posted by Nadine Walsh on Tue, Nov 4, 2014

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The Softworks team are looking forward to exibiting at the CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition this November 5th & 6th. 

Visit our stand to learn about how Softworks Time & Attendance, Scheduling and Absence Management solutions assist companies to organise the working day, in a way that makes them more productive, profitable and add value to their operations. Our highly qualified team will demonstrate how we enable organisations to drive efficiencies, ensure compliance and improve reporting – while promoting a safe, positive working environment.


You will find us at stand 588. Be sure to drop by if you are attending this event and our friendly team will be happy to answer any of your questions plus you'll be able to test-drive the very latest in Workforce Management Technology from Softworks.


We look forward to welcoming you to our stand and hope you enjoy the conference! 

Topics: Conferences, Workforce Solutions, Flexitime / Flexible Working Hours Arrangement, Labour Scheduling