Catch-all solution to in-house staffing problems: outsourcing!


QuillBy Julian Bryan, Managing Director of Legal Futures Associate Quill.

Every employer knows that, at some point in their life, employees will be absent and depart their place of work. Such matters are not always possible to predict. That’s the main reason for the immense popularity of outsourced cashiering services as a more reliable alternative to in-house staff.

Businesses have a real fight on their hands when they’re understaffed because it’s unfair to expect other people to share their absent colleagues’ additional workload. The same argument applies when staff are departing. It’s a similarly tough challenge allocating sufficient time to the recruitment process. On top of pre-existing responsibilities, adequate attention should be given to the advertising, shortlisting, interviewing, selection and initiation processes. This is too tall an order for most companies.

The preferred way to man a business is outsourcing. With this type of set up, staffing is constant. Typically, firms will be allocated a named cashier. Just like anyone else in employment, there will be occasions when this cashier’s off work. Unlike a traditional set up, however, an assigned deputy will pick up the workload until the cashier’s return. It’s seamless. No service interruption. Ever.

Here we’re going to address some of the causes of absent and departing cashiers to demonstrate exactly what employers can find themselves up against…

  1. Cashier retiring?

The combination of an increased life expectancy and government-introduced austerity measures mean that the state pension retirement age is now 67. In theory, while this is good news for employers, who get to keep valued employees for longer, in reality it’s actually possible to retire on a state pension as soon as age 55. It’s new pension reforms that are enabling people to build up bigger pension pots thereby giving them greater freedom to retire early.

  1. Cashier resigning?

Retirement aside, there are multiple other causes of employees to quit their jobs in order to progress their career elsewhere. Staff turnover is a real issue for today’s employers, and a talent management strategy and succession planning are essential elements of a senior leadership team’s toolkit.

  1. Cashier on holiday?

Holiday entitlements are typically around the 25-day mark of paid annual leave each year, often escalating with length of service. While holidaying employees don’t cause a notable problem for much of the year, there are peak holiday periods when it does, school summer months and Christmas amongst them.

During these times, organisations are stripped right back to a core staffing structure. While staffing problems will be magnified in holiday season, all employers have to accept that staff members will request days off work in order to spend time with family and friends, most likely at the same time as other colleagues.

  1. Cashier on sick leave?

One thing that simply can’t be planned is sickness. Sometimes people do know in advance about scheduled operations or medical procedures that necessitate time off work. Largely not, though. The wide spectrum of illnesses has minor complaints and infections at one end to serious diseases and disorders at the other.

Current reports estimate sick leave costs UK employers £29 billion a year in lost productivity, a figure predicted to maintain an upward trend because of factors such as an ageing workforce and rising mental health problems.

  1. Cashier on maternity leave?

Statutory maternity leave entitlements are up to 52 weeks, the first 26 weeks being ‘ordinary maternity leave’ and the last 26 weeks being ‘additional maternity leave’. There are also fathers’ rights to bear in mind with paternity and shared parental leave obligations. It’s 2 weeks’ leave for the former, and up to 52 weeks’ leave between mother and father for the latter.

  1. Cashier going part time?

The need to switch from full to part time working can be driven by many things including family commitments and health concerns. For employers, job sharing isn’t always the most desirable solution. Recruiting two part timers can be more costly than one full timer. There may not be enough workload to warrant appointing a part timer and full timer simultaneously. It’s a dilemma and one that’s aggravated by complicated employment legislation.

We could go on and on… jury service, study leave, dependant leave, career breaks etc. The key message being the plethora of motives that exist, resulting in a deficient staffing structure and making it difficult to run a business efficiently.

What may be surprising to learn is that, although these are tricky to remedy with in-house solutions, they’re really easily solved with outsourced service support. Outsourcing can be instructed in all manner of ways. By and large, outsourcing is a permanent, full time arrangement. Less frequently, but no less effective, outsourcing is a temporary resource engineered ad hoc to help companies through what may be a slight rough patch or critical emergency situation.

Outsourcing providers operate in similar ways with subtle differences in cashier allocation, cashier-firm interaction, software utilised and so forth. As a Quill client, you have a named cashier and deputy for the duration of your cover period. Our cashiers use our own legal accounting software, Interactive, and its echits functionality is the tool that closely connects your firm with its Quill cashier.

The biggest claim any outsourcing supplier can make, Quill included, is that we’re always available. Even if any Quill cashiers retire, resign, go on holiday, get sick, take parental leave or switch to a part time contract, there’s zero impact on you, the end user of our outsourced cashiering service. That’s because your deputy will cover instead and / or you’ll simply be assigned another cashier for longer term agreements.

To you, this means no more short staffing worries. Instead you’ve got continuous cashier support, whatever your unique circumstances and however your requirements might alter over time.

To find out more on Quill’s Pinpoint outsourced legal cashiering service, visit www.quill.co.uk/quillit, email info@quill.co.uk or call 0161 236 2910.

Julian Bryan joined Quill as Managing Director in 2012 and is also the Chair of the Legal Software Suppliers Association. Quill is the UK’s largest outsourced legal cashiering provider with 40 years’ experience supplying outsourcing services and software to the legal profession.

Associate News is provided by Legal Futures Associates.
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