Britannia Hotels Chooses Payrite To Manage Complex Payrolls

Britannia Hotels Chooses Payrite To Manage Complex Payrolls For Multi-Skilled Workforce Across Its 29 Hotels

Britannia Hotels was established in 1976 and is the leading privately owned hotel group in the UK, operating nationwide with 29 hotels and over 4000 employees. The group’s hotels can be found in prime locations – seafronts and cities -throughout the country from Aberdeen to Brighton.

Its flagship hotels include the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool, Britannia hotel in Manchester and the International in London.

The hotel group’s aim is to provide good value for money, flexibility for all travellers and superior accommodation. Clearly to achieve its goals the group has to rely upon a highly motivated, professional and flexible workforce, and Britannia prides itself on recruiting professional hotel staff that can move easily within the group.

Accurate and timely payroll

Managing the administration of such a workforce requires careful planning and management. The group has implemented Rutherford Webb’s payroll solution to ensure that its weekly and monthly payrolls are managed accurately and within tight timescales.

Irina Kotovas, responsible for payroll at Britannia Hotels explained,

“We have over 2500 staff paid weekly and 500 department management staff paid monthly working in hotels throughout the country and in the building division. We rely on Payrite to ensure that we run our payrolls within the tight deadlines and to cater for each hotel’s different staffing requirements”

Rapid growth

Prior to using Payrite, Britannia Hotels had used the same payroll system for over ten years. The software had met the group’s needs, however, rapid growth through acquisition has increased the original number of 19 hotels over ten years ago to its current total. To accommodate this growth the payroll department has also increased its staff, resulting in five full-time staff currently processing payroll. Initially the payroll department ran Payrite in parallel with the existing system for two to three months.

According to Kotovas, “The growth of the group has obviously increased the workload within the wages department. However, Payrite has enabled us to automate many processes – importing data directly instead of inputting it manually. This has meant that despite the increased workload, we have not needed to recruit more staff.”

Flexibility with tight control

One of the key reasons for selecting Payrite was its ability to link to the nominal ledger system and its Time Management system, enabling costs to be split across departments. Payite is used independently of the company’s HR software system, but is used for all wages-related administration.

Staff are able to work in different departments within hotels or even different hotels within a region. For example, one member of staff may work two hours a day on reception, then work within the restaurant and then perhaps cleaning rooms. Or a member of staff may work some time in the London Portland hotel and then the rest of the week in another London hotel.

All working hours are captured by the hotel management on the spreadsheet, and allocated as costs against each cost center. Each hotel is responsible for compiling spreadsheets detailing each individual within the hotel and hours worked. This is them sent by email to the head office, for processing by the wages department.

“As a privately owned hotel group it is very important for us that we can keep a very close eye on operating costs. For this reason department heads are keen to ensure that they also keep staff and consumables down to minimum in their cost centres. Using Payrite, we are able to import the details required to ensure that we have the flexibility to enable staff to move around, while keeping a tight control,” explained Kotovas.

The hotel management also record absence and sickness, while maternity pay is checked by head office as it requires more complex calculations. Tax codes information is received directly in electronic format from the Inland Revenue.

Similarly when new staff join the payroll department follows a set process that creates a new identification and reference for the new employee.

Straightforward reporting

Payroll produces regular reports on holidays for each hotel. Ultimately each hotel will also receive its payroll register by email, to enable it to produce its own payslips. The group’s IT department is working on an implementation program through each of the hotels nationwide.

According to Kotovas the report writer has been straightforward to use. The payroll department has been able to quickly produce reports to send to each hotel. The reports duplicate information required by the hotels that were produced using the previous system. However, more training is planned in the future to take full advantage of the more powerful reporting functionality available within Payrite.

“We were very familiar with the reports from the previous system,” said Kotovas. “However, as we explore the functionally available within Payrite more, I feel that we will be able to use the data to produce even more valuable management reports.”

Each hotel is responsible for compiling spreadsheets detailing each individual within the hotel and hours worked. This is them sent by email to the head office, for processing by the wages department.

To date Britannia Hotels has found moving to Payrite a smooth transition. Calling on Rutherford Webb’s team several times for product support in the early stages, Kotovas’ team has found them professional and knowledgeable.

“We work to very tight deadlines, and so it is comforting to know that should a problem arise with importing data, we can be assured of a friendly and helpful voice at the other end of the phone,“ concluded Kotovas.

Since implementing Payrite, Kotovas and her team are delighted with the payroll software and the capability that it offers the payroll department.

“Our philosophy at Britannia Hotels is to have a flexible, multi-skilled workforce which of course needs to be reflected in our payroll. Payrite easily enables us to accommodate variations in staff locations and hours and we can track and report them. With over 42 payrolls to complete before the end of the tax year, we require a robust, flexible system that we can rely upon.”