Ian Davis, Head of Payroll & Business Support at Direct Line Group
RS: What has been the story of your career so far?
ID: Like a lot of Payroll people I fell into it accidentally in the early 90s – a far cry from my ambition of being a sports broadcaster! My career has been very rewarding so far working in the Postal, Food and Insurance industries being responsible for employee populations between 12,000 and 180,000.
RS: What do you think has been the most visible change to the payroll and HR industry in the last year?
ID: I think Automation is definitely on the rise – whether via Robotics or just making better use of the modern Payroll and HR Systems that we have.
RS: What do you think are currently and will be the biggest trials facing payroll professionals?
ID: I think once again we are facing some really big challenges on legislative change. IR35, National Minimum Wage and Holiday Pay are 3 topics that are all bubbling up around the same time which means that our profession are needing to spread ourselves quite thinly across a number of key business projects.
RS: What is going to be the biggest area of investment for your payroll function in the next 12 months?
ID: It goes back to one of my earlier answers around automation. We are trying to get our systems to take care of as much of our manual processing as possible to enable my team to focus on more value add activities.
RS: Without giving too much away, what two things will delegates learn from your session?
ID: Firstly that Payrolling Benefits is not something to be scared of and secondly how to communicate effectively with employees on upcoming changes.
RS: What other sessions are you looking forward to at this year’s Autumn Update?
ID: I think the Agenda looks really good but I’m particularly looking forward to the session on Segmentation of Rewards to ensure you understand the changing demographics in your business and what they really want from a Reward scheme.