The cloud-based software will be useful for Singapore-based organizations grappling with the changing regulations around infection testing and vaccination regimes.

Businesses in Singapore have a lot to navigate: they need to get acquainted with ever-changing policies on treating COVID-19 as an endemic disease, and managing employee safety and well-being via vaccination status monitoring and ensuring infection testing cycles are up to date.

To help relieve some of this administrative burden, which is especially onerous on F&B, hospitality, retail, recruitment, construction and production industries, one HR tech platform in the country has launched a free digital tool for its corporate customers to stay on top of their employees’ antigen rapid test (ART) testing status. 

Backgrounder: submissions of ART results in many firms are currently being conducted manually via WhatsApp messaging—a tedious task given the manpower constraints and remote-working arrangements even in large corporations. Even existing HR tech platforms have not offered add-on modules to help users adapt to the different and continually adjusted emergency regulatory requirements, nor extract verifiable information quickly upon request from enforcement officers.

With a new tool introduced for free to the Payboy—a cloud-based all-in-one HR tech platform featuring advanced Payroll, Leave, Claims, Time Attendance and shift-scheduling functions—organizations will be able to automate some of the vaccine-status/infection-testing administrative processes.

To gain a better idea of how this automation works, DigiconAsia interviewed the firm’s Managing Director, Nigel Lim.

Nigel Lim, Managing Director, Payboy

DigiconAsia: What are some key challenges in managing vaccination status updates that organizations have had to grapple with in Singapore?
Nigel Lim (NL): With the regulations introduced by the government to monitor the vaccination statuses of vaccinated and unvaccinated employees, the two main challenges for organizations are collecting vaccination statuses, and also tracking the vaccination expiry dates of their employees. Many are using WhatsApp and other manual means to collate the information, which can pose potential administrative and security issues.

In the larger organizations, HR or admin teams have to handle hundreds or thousands of staff vaccination statuses, ART scheduling results, collating and verifying various forms and data through manual or non-specific software can be a tedious and error prone process. Should any infections were to be detected, contact tracing would be extremely tedious without a proper digital dashboard providing constant visibility of employees’ self-test dates and vaccination statuses.

Another key challenge is that the vaccination-related may be changed within a short timeframe, rendering various attempts to streamline the workflow redundant and requiring rework. For industries such as retail, delivery and F&B that require constant changes in hiring part-time, shift-based and self-employed workers, this can add to the administrative challenges.

DigiconAsia: How did your firm use automation in your existing HR tech platform to help customers address these challenges? 
NL: With much employee data already in place, and many processes on the platform already securely managed by the system, we thought of creating a module to let users keep track of vaccination matters such as vaccination status compilation.

Expiry date reminders can also be set up in the system to prompt admins if the vaccination status of employees are due to change.

With the ‘COVID Safe+ Module’ that we created, we are opening it up to help businesses that need to move fast and relieve their teams from manual tasks by up to 80%. We also decided to make the module free to all existing users of the platform to encourage usage.

Note: Organizations not already on the Payboy HR tech platform can use the module for free, but they will need to populate the AWS-based software with employee data before they can take advantage of the automation features. This can be done via uploading existing Excel spreadsheets containing the required data. Existing users of the platform will have already populated the employee database, and will also be able to use the platform’s other HR functions to automate employee vaccination/ART status management tasks such as attendance/rostering.)

DigiconAsia: What other workplace safety concerns can your HR tech solution help to resolve?
We are planning to implement a feedback system where employees can raise safety concerns in a structured manner. This can help HR teams and management to implement safety measures quickly to improve employee well-being.

DigiconAsia: What are some major HR-related challenges organizations can expect in 2022 and beyond?
We are seeing higher employee turnover rates as more organisations are struggling to engage with their employees due to changing workplace policies and ongoing mental health deterioration from the prolonged pandemic. 

DigiconAsia: In your opinion, how should businesses navigate these pandemic-related HR challenges in 2022?
Businesses should engage with their employees, find out what their struggles—especially those outside of the workplace—and either work towards creating a solution or provide a listening ear. Start implementing simple tools to gather feedback on employee wellness so that management can have quick pulse checks on the organization’s mental health as a whole.

DigiconAsia thanks Nigel for his insights.