Softworks Blog

Workforce Management for the Hospitality Industry

Posted by Jimmy English on Wed, Aug 9, 2017

The Hospitality Industry at the best of times has a lot of moving parts, and at the worst of times is organized chaos. Managers are constantly on the lookout for new methods of ensuring their Hotel or Restaurant runs as smoothly as possible. For any establishment to perform well, it depends on the ouput of its employees. And what better way to efficiently manage employees than with Workforce Management Solutions. There are several key areas of employee management that benefit greatly from the implementation of Workforce Management Solutions.

  1. Employee scheduling.

Rostering in the Hospitality Industry depends largely on a combination of forecasting guest demand and guesswork. With employee scheduling solutions, hospitality managers can roster employees with flexibility in both their hours and departments they work in. Split shifts are very common in the Hospitality Industry, and are no longer a headache when using eRostering. Scheduling solutions never forget and will automatically schedule an increase in staff levels for typically busy times.

hotel staff.jpg

  1. Absence Management.

Planned and unplanned absences can throw rosters out of whack. Being short staffed can put even more stress on already stretched resources and employees. With absence management solutions for the Hospitality Industry, managers can draft in replacement staff or have additional staff on standby to replace a sick colleague. Absence management solutions are particularly effective for preventing losses as a result of not having enough staff on the floor.

  1. Working Hours compliance.

As with all industries, hospitality employers must comply with the Working Time Directive on the maximum amount of hours an employee can work in one week. Time & Attendance solutions assist employers in the Hospitality Industry to track the working hours and breaks of their employees.  Employers who do not implement compliance procedures for maximum hours are opening themselves up to fines and sanctions.


As you can see there are numerous benefits to introducing Workforce Management Solutions in the Hospitality Industry. Along with improving employee output and efficiency, employers can avoid the situation of being short staffed or over working employees and the negative connotations of both scenarios. 

Find out about the best workforce management solution for Hospitality here, and try a live Demo of Softworks.

Book a Demo

Topics: Labour Scheduling, Working Time Directive, Hospitality, Automated Absence Management, Employee Motivation


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

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

Posted by Nadine Walsh on Fri, Nov 7, 2014


describe the image



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

Softworks attends NHS Confederation Annual Conference in Liverpool

Posted by Mairead Walsh on Tue, Jun 3, 2014

Softworks are delighted to be exhibiting at the 2014 NHS Confederation Annual Conference which is taking place this week at the ACC Liverpool, UK. 

The NHS Confederation is the membership body for the full range of organisations that commission and provide NHS services. They work with members and health and social care partners to help the NHS guarantee high standards of care for patients and best value for taxpayers.

Softworks eRostering, Time & Attendance and Absence Management Solutions provide a completely automated workforce environment for healthcare providers.  The portfolio has been developed around staff management and managing the working day and is used to tackle some of the most challenging problems for healthcare, such as managing complex rosters/scheduling, time and attendance, working time directive compliance, employee self-service solutions, data collection and access control.

Unlike traditional rostering software for hospitals, Softworks eRostering Solution can manage rosters across the entire hospital landscape from nursing, medics, non-clinical to ancillary staff, enabling effective rostering and management of staff across all units, multi-disciplinary teams and multiple locations.  

Softworks Malcolm Riviera who heads up Softworks Healthcare Division will be on hand at stand H85 to answer questions and demonstrate our unique solutions.  Make sure you stop by if you are attending the conference this year.  For more about how Softworks Healthcare could assist your organisation check out our website -

Softworks Healthcare at NHS Confederation

Topics: Time & Attendance, Conferences, Rostering, Healthcare, Working Time Directive

John Lewis to pay £40m for not implementing Working Time Regulations

Posted by Mairead Walsh on Thu, Aug 29, 2013

John Lewis are to spend £40m to compensate staff who were accidentally underpaid for working Sundays and Bank Holidays during the past seven years.They will make a one-off payment to staff reflecting the amount due dated back to 2006.

Following a  review of their Partnership's holiday pay policy it became clear that Partners who receive certain additions to pay, such as premiums for working on Sunday or bank holidays, had not been paid correctly under the Working Time Regulations legislation. The Partnership Board therefore decided to make one-off additional payments to those affected.

Retail Industry

About 69,000 employees from its department stores and Waitrose supermarkets are set to receive individual payments ranging from a few pounds to about £4,000, accounting for more than 80 per cent of its 85,000 workforce.The cost to the Partnership of these repayments and associated expenses will be around £40 million. This one-off cost will be reported in their half-year results in September. However, it will not be deducted from this year's Partnership Bonus pool. They expect future pensions liabilities to increase by approximately £7m as a result.

Tracey Killen, Director of Personnel, had this to say:

“As soon as we established that we were not implementing the Working Time Regulations correctly, we worked quickly to make the repayments to our Partners in a way that is both fair and responsible.”

The John Lewis Partnership operates 39 John Lewis stores across the UK as well as 295 Waitrose shops and has annual gross sales of more than £9.5 billion.

I think this story reflects just how challenging implementing working time regulations and ensuring compliance can be even for some of the most respected and admired large organisations.

It also highlights just how high the costs can be - in this case a whopping £40 million. Not great PR either. We are still amazed, when we come across companies using manual systems to track this type of critical information. With automated Time and Attendance solutions, monitoring WTD compliance couldn’t be easier. We work with all sorts of companies some using our “Honour Based Attendance Tracking”, designed specifically for organisations where the culture is not to clock, and others our simple “Web Based In & Out clocks”.  

You can get more about the working time directive and our automated solutions here  

Topics: Time & Attendance, Compliance, Working Time Directive