The Co-operative Group has awarded a huge contract to time and attendance specialist Temposoft for a workforce management system to cope with its 62,000 employees.
The project was driven by the need to comply with the EU Working Time Directive (WTD), although it is also part of a massive human resources implementation with Oracle. The whole project is estimated to cost up to£10 million.
According to Temposoft UK managing director Chris Manton-Jones, the Co-operative Group had a fragmented approach to workforce management, which could not continue if the retailer was to conform to the WTD.
The directive stipulates that employees may not be asked to work more than a set number of hours in one 17-week period.
'From a retail perspective, if you want to get everyone in over Christmas, that's going to be a big problem,' said Manton-Jones.
The first stage of the project aims to get 27,000 employees - involved in grocery, funerals, travel, milk delivery and farming - onto the system next year. Temposoft has already held a trial of 3,000 employees, and will roll out the system early next year.
Co-operative Group chief information officer Simon Webb said of the decision to use the Temposoft system: 'We chose Temposoft because its solutions will provide us with the flexibility to manage a large number of employees engaged in a wide variety of activities. The solutions will also scale up to help us manage the growth that we anticipate across our organisation.'