ASX-listed ReadyTech expands payroll and workforce management offering through the acquisition of Zambion and WageLink.

ASX-listed ReadyTech expands payroll and workforce management offering through the acquisition of Zambion and WageLink.


  • ReadyTech has acquired two businesses that will extend its payroll and workforce management software capabilities, including advanced time and attendance and rostering capability;
  • The acquisitions will enable ReadyTech to enhance its employer customer value proposition, adapt to changing customer preferences and add to its client portfolio.

ReadyTech (ASX:RDY), a leading provider of people management software for employment and education, has announced the expansion of its payroll and workforce management offering for employers with the addition of two businesses, Zambion and Wagelink.

Already home to two of Australia’s leading payroll and HR administration providers, HR3 and Aussiepay, ReadyTech has acquired workforce management software provider, Zambion and payroll service provider, WageLink.

The acquisition of Zambion’s modern and mobile cloud software, including advanced time and attendance and rostering capability and support for both Australia and New Zealand customers, as well as WageLink’s client base, largely focused in South Australia, positions ReadyTech as a leading trans-Tasman workforce management partner for employers.

ReadyTech CEO Marc Washbourne said the addition of two complementary technology and service providers would allow ReadyTech to enhance the support it provides employers.

“With the addition of Zambion and WageLink, we are welcoming payroll and workforce management technology and services that expand our capabilities and strengthen our competitive advantage,” Washbourne said.

“With their focus on customer service and a loyal client base built by committed and talented people, the addition of Zambion and WageLink’s offerings into our available software and service suite will ensure employers have a partner that is getting them ready for the future of work.”

Zambion, based in New Zealand, has been providing workforce management technology for over 10 years. With a modern, web and app-based technology platform, Zambion will offer new and innovative capability to ReadyTech’s clients.

WageLink is an Adelaide-based managed payroll services provider that supports employers outsourcing their payroll function. Acquiring WageLink allows ReadyTech to expand the reach of its existing premium outsourced service Aussiepay.

ReadyTech Chief Executive, Employment, Daniel Wyner, said employers were increasingly seeking technology partners who could provide a broader range of services that took the complexity out of managing their employees.

“At ReadyTech we have a comprehensive suite of payroll and workforce management solutions that can meet employers where they are on their growth trajectory and give them a choice of either managing their payroll in-house or outsourcing it to a trusted provider.”

“With the future of work demanding employers get smarter about managing the employee lifecycle, ReadyTech is able to give them the tools they need to be more modern, mobile and efficient while backing it with a team of people dedicated to customer service.”

About ReadyTech

ReadyTech is the leading provider of SaaS technology managing the complex human journey through study, work and career transitions. ReadyTech provides people management software to over 3,600 educators, employers and facilitators of work transitions. Bringing together the best in student management, apprenticeship management, payroll and HR admin, employment services and behavioural science technology, we support the development and success of tomorrow’s workforce.

 

For further information contact

Daniel Wyner
Chief Executive, Employment
ReadyTech
+61 466 774 512
daniel.wyner@readytech.com.au
Ben Abbott
Media Relations
ReadyTech
+61 468 787 803
bena@readytech.com.au

ReadyTech announces partnership with Flare HR

Flare HR ReadyTech

ReadyTech (ASX:RDY), a leading provider of people management software for education and employment, is pleased to announce a partnership with fast-growing employee engagement platform Flare HR that will augment its value proposition for Australian employers.


As businesses increasingly consider their employee value proposition, the partnership will see ReadyTech offer Flare HR’s integrated suite of employee lifecycle and benefit products to the 2000+ existing customers using its market-leading payroll and HR administration platforms.

Flare HR offers employee onboarding and engagement tools, employee benefits and wellness products as well as financial security-related support. Flare’s offering is designed to help employers focus ‘more on people and less on paper’ to create an evolutionary step change in employee engagement.

Coming in addition to ReadyTech’s existing stable of core payroll software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms HR3, Aussiepay and ePayroll, ReadyTech’s customers will be able use Flare HR’s products to create an end-to-end employee management experience that is ready for the future of work.

Marc Washbourne, CEO of ReadyTech, said: “We are delighted to agree a partnership with Flare HR which enhances our offering to employers with Flare HR benefits to help our customers better attract and retain staff. Flare’s offering is highly complementary to our core payroll and HR admin offering and strengthens further our management of the employee lifecycle.”

Dan Cohen, CEO of Flare HR, said: “People come to work generally because they have two needs – for a purpose and for financial security. By partnering with ReadyTech and their market-leading payroll solutions we can better solve employees’ financial needs.

“ReadyTech’s superior payroll platform combined with Flare HR’s financial wellbeing offering will enable us to re-imagine the way pay is managed in the workplace in a way that will really disrupt this space. We’re excited to do that alongside ReadyTech.

“The combined offerings will help businesses improve their existing employee value proposition, by enhancing it with a range of features, such as employee benefits and wellness solutions, all within their existing experience.”

Click here to download the press release.

 


About ReadyTech
ReadyTech is the leading provider of SaaS technology managing the complex human journey through study, work and career transitions. ReadyTech provides people management software to over 3,600 educators, employers and facilitators of work transitions. Bringing together the best in student management, apprenticeship management, payroll and HR admin, employment services and behavioural science technology, we support the development and success of tomorrow’s workforce.

About Flare HR
Flare HR provides software that manages the onboarding of new employees, benefits and other HR functions. The company offers unrivalled technical expertise and experience in building contemporary enterprise HR, payroll and financial wellness platforms for businesses of all sizes. Flare HR has won multiple awards for their software and work with hundreds of Australian businesses including Sephora, GUD, Health Engine, SocietyOne, and zipMoney.

For further information contact:
Daniel Wyner, 
Chief Executive Employment, ReadyTech
+61 466 774 512
Daniel.wyner@readytech.com.au

Emily Morrison,
Flare HR+61 428 887 457
Emily.Morrison@Flarehr.com

Why Meaning and Purpose Matters in the Future of Work with Darren Coppin

The WorkED Podcast – Why Meaning and Purpose Matters in the Future of Work

What do we really know about meaning and purpose? Why do we feel like we have less of them than ever? Is there any way we can bring more meaning and purpose into everyday education and work?

On this episode of WorkED Marc Washbourne sits down with behavioural science extraordinaire Darren Coppin from Esher House to enter the realm of meaning and purpose and come back with new understandings of their importance in our working lives and the health of society as a whole.

From the modern day existential vacuum and its causes, the components of meaning and how using our character strengths can help get us closer to it, we explore subjects as diverse as philosophy, evolutionary psychology and social media to take the pulse of meaning in Australia in 2019.

Does work make us miserable – or does it actually give us meaning and purpose? Could happiness ever be as easy as popping a pill? And what can death teach us about living in the here and now?

 Find out the answers to these questions and more on this episode of WorkED.

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ReadyTech supports VET careers at ACT Training Awards

ReadyTech ACT Training Awards

ReadyTech supported the future growth of VET careers through platinum sponsorship of this year’s ACT Training Awards where it presented the ReadyTech ACT Apprentice of the Year Award to winner James White.


ReadyTech supported VET careers in Australia through sponsorship of the ACT Training Awards in September where it presented the ReadyTech ACT Apprentice of the Year Award to Canberra Institute of Technology graduate James White.

The ACT Training Awards is an annual awards program that celebrates the achievements of all those who are involved in the ACT’s vocational education and training (VET) sector.

For the fourth year running ReadyTech was a platinum sponsor and presented the ACT Apprentice of the Year Award. The winner goes on to compete in the national Australian Training Awards which will be held in November.

ReadyTech CEO Marc Washbourne said the future of VET was important to Australia and the company was proud to support that future at this year’s ACT Training Awards.

“We’ve had a long association with vocational education and training in Australia and we have a special affinity for the pool of talent the ACT is able to deliver year after year,” Washbourne said.

“Last year we were thrilled to name the ACT Apprentice of the Year – Matthew Egan – and we were pleased once again this year to showcase another VET success story in the 2019 winner James White.”

ReadyTech Head of Education Strategy and VET expert Chris Smith was invited to participate as part of the judging panel for the ACT Training Awards for the third year in a row in 2019.

“I’m always impressed by the powerful success stories that come out of the ACT’s VET industry. This year is no exception and I’d like to personally congratulate all the finalists and nominees this year.”

The winner, James White, is a Certificate III in Carpentry graduate from Canberra Institute of Technology who is now employed in construction by Actpro Group.

This year’s other finalists for the ReadyTech ACT Apprentice of the Year Award were:

Christopher Bale

Qualification: Certificate III in Sports Turf Management
Training Provider: Canberra Institute of Technology
Employer: Yowani Country Club

Mohsen Karimi

Qualification: Certificate III in Hairdressing
Training Provider: College of Transformation, Education and Training
Employer: Bentley’s Hair of Canberra

Jayne Roberts

Qualification: Certificate III in Parks and Gardens (Horticulture)
Training Provider: Canberra Institute of Technology
Employer: Transport Canberra and City Services

Sally Shipard

Qualification: Certificate III in Carpentry
Training Provider: Masters in Building Trading
Employer: BBD Construction

Kerryn Thomas

Qualification: Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician
Training Provider: Canberra Institute of Technology
Employer: Delta Building Automation

The ACT Training Awards were held in the ACT on Thursday 12th September. The national Australian Training Awards will be held on 21 November in Brisbane.

The Employability Hurricane with Mark Pettitt

 

The WorkED Podcast – The Employability Hurricane

A university education used to be about higher learning rather than getting a job. That conversation has turned upside down, with universities now caught in the eye of a new employability ‘hurricane’.

ReadyTech CEO Marc Washbourne sits down with the founder of education consultancy Edified, Mark Pettitt, to unpack the state of employability and discuss how educators can up their employability game – across higher education and vocational education and training (VET).

From the viability of teaching experiential learning and soft skills at university, to the brave new world of virtual internships, WorkED looks at the past, present and future of student readiness for work.

Do employers think today’s students are employable? Should universities double down on teaching employability, and how? Or is employability a part of the higher education lexicon that is destined to disappear?

Listen to this episode of the WorkED Podcast to find out.

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ReadyTech recognised for innovation in disability employment services

The National Employment Services Association (NESA) has named ReadyTech business Esher House’s collaboration with WISE Employment as a 2019 Innovation in Disability Employment Award finalist.


Australia’s peak employment services body, the National Employment Services Association (NESA), has named a ReadyTech collaboration with employment services provider WISE Employment as one of Australia’s most innovative programmes in the disability employment services (DES) sector.

ReadyTech business Esher House worked with DES provider WISE Employment over a period of two years to integrate behavioural science-driven participant assessment technology and targeted resilience interventions into its disability employment operations across South Australia.

The programme’s impact on WISE Employment’s operations and the outcomes of jobseeker participants using WISE’s employment services led to NESA naming the initiative as an Innovation in Disability Employment Award finalist ahead of this year’s 2019 NESA Awards for Excellence.

The NESA Innovation in Disability Employment Award recognises those employment service providers, employment organisations or employers who are using innovative service strategies or initiatives to contribute to the employment inclusion of people living with a disability.

Esher House CEO Darren Coppin said the WISE Employment and Esher House collaboration in South Australia was a microcosm of what is possible for employment services in Australia.

“We’re all about building better lives for participants in employment services. Together with WISE Employment, we aimed to demonstrate how behavioural science and data analytic technology can lead to a better understanding of jobseekers that enables case managers to support jobseekers in a very efficient, very person-centric and very human way. This is reflected in the higher outcomes achieved.”

A central challenge faced by DES providers is understanding job seekers and building trust from the beginning, so they can respond to barriers effectively through targeted intervention services and progress the participant into meaningful work. The ability to get this right quickly can literally mean the difference between meaningful employment and the slip into long-term unemployment.

The WISE and Esher House collaboration sought to understand and respond to participant attitudes towards employment, using the latest in behavioural science, predictive analytics and machine learning. In overhauling and innovating WISE’s case management approach, it was able to facilitate a more person-centric, efficient, accurate and human approach to participant support.

Following its success in South Australia, WISE Employment went on to integrate the Esher House into its disability employment services operations Australia-wide. WISE Employment has a total of 139 DES offices across NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

ReadyTech CEO Marc Washbourne said NESA’s recognition for innovation would be welcomed by a ReadyTech team who were all working towards improving employment and education outcomes.

“ReadyTech’s roots are in delivering employment outcomes for job seekers through innovative technology – including those people living with a disability seeking employment through DES. The DES sector is full of people and organisations who are innovating and improving the employment outcomes of people living with a disability, and we’re proud to be named among them this year.”

Are gigs the future of work or is the gig (economy) up?

The future of work was meant to involve the Uberisation of everything, but in-built limitations may find the ‘sugary drink’ world of the gig economy confined to niches of the employment market.


There’s a running in-joke in the start-up community that every new would-be tech breakthrough ‘unicorn’ will front potential investors and explain their pitch by saying, ‘It’s like Uber but for….”.

With similar platforms launching in industries as diverse as food delivery, design and lawn mowing, the expectation was many people would soon be part of a grand new age of work. The gig economy.

Except maybe the future of work isn’t what we expected.

The ‘natural limits’ of the gig economy

Found Careers co-founder Andrew Joyce is one expert who believes the gig economy will not disrupt the economic and work realities we’ve become used to quite as deeply as was once expected.

Speaking with ReadyTech CEO Marc Washbourne on the WorkED Podcast, Joyce said he believes the gig economy has ‘natural limits’ and that we’re already butting up against those constraints.

“The view two or three years ago was, ‘everyone’s going to be a contractor, everyone’s going to be doing a different job every day’, but we’re now starting to see the natural limits of the gig economy.”

He’s not alone. In recent years sensible heads at home and abroad have had time to gather data on the gig economy and think through the impacts, including how it interacts with workplace laws. 

In just one example, Deloitte’s 2019 report The path to prosperity: Why the future of work is human  found Australians are actually staying with their traditional employers now for longer than ever. It found 45 per cent of workers have been with their current employer for more than five years and that the rate of self-employment has actually been falling for almost a century – to a new record low.

“The gig economy isn’t taking over,” the Deloitte report states. “Casual jobs are a smaller share of all jobs than two decades ago, and that share hasn’t budged in over a decade.”

The Victorian Government has also been charting the gig economy’s limits as part of an inquiry into the sector. Commissioning a landmark survey of 14,000 people across Australia, it found just 7.1 per cent of people had sourced work through a technology platform in the 12 months to June 2019, while 13.1 per cent have at some time used a platform. Of those people using platforms to source work, only 15.5 per cent relied on this work to meet their basic financial needs and only 2.7 per cent of current platform workers derived 100 per cent of their total annual income from platform work.

So what happened to the early promise of the gig economy? It turns out that, while the gig economy does serve some people and businesses well in some circumstances, it doesn’t in many others.

 

A new age of flexible work?

A 2016 McKinsey Global Institute report Independent Work: Choice, Necessity and the Gig Economy, estimated that between 20 and 30 per cent of the working age population in the US and Europe were at that time engaging in what could be considered ‘gig economy’-style work.

McKinsey also found that – if workers had their way – that percentage would creep even higher. The report estimated that 40 to 50 per cent of the entire working population had an appetite for gig economy work, uncovering a latent demand for this more independent and flexible style of work.

The appeal of gig-style work is reflected in research findings closer to home. In the Australian cut of its 2019 Millennial Survey, Deloitte found 50 per cent of millennials and Gen Z would consider doing gig work instead of working full time and 61 per cent would supplement work with gig assignments.

These findings reflect the positives of the gig economy. Appealing to the entrepreneurial spirit that young employee in today’s working world can understand, gig work promises to deliver a new breed of tech-enabled, independent and flexible work unheard of during previous generations.

For millennials, Deloittte found the top drivers of wanting to get involved were the chance to earn more money (58 per cent), work the hours they wanted (41 per cent) or achieve a better work-life balance (37 per cent). The Victorian Government, in its survey of workers, found that actual gig workers are most satisfied with choosing the hours they work, being their own boss, choosing their own tasks or projects, working at the pace they chose, and enjoying the work they did.

What about employers? ReadyTech CEO Marc Washbourne said on WorkED that the gig economy has advantages including the ability to source great people in a competitive recruitment environment.

“A lot of this is tech-enabled, so it does open up a global market for skills; you get much wider access to often hyper-specialised talent in a world where it’s also hard to attract and retain talent. It also allows employers to scale up and down, so it’s pretty appealing,” he said.

It’s true the ability to maintain a flexible workforce brings in a potential new age of flexibility for employers that could help them become more nimble and responsive to market conditions. A global survey from recruiter Robert Half found employers would actually like one third of work to come from the freelance or temporary worker pool by 2023. Perhaps ‘idealising’ their perfect workforce, Australian hiring managers envision a future 70:30 split between full timers and temps.

Found’s Andrew Joyce said there are definite positives flowing from the gig economy. In particular, he said it gives workers the chance to go out and get more work to fit their schedule, build up a portfolio of opportunities, or get a ‘side hustle’. In the end, he says this advantage boils down to flexibility.

 

Mixing risk with reward

While the flexibility remains, for some gig workers the risks may not outweigh the rewards. A series of findings have uncovered that the outcomes achieved through the gig economy can vary considerably.

Attitudes

      • McKinsey’s international report found only 30 per cent of gig workers are considered happy, full-time ‘free agents’. Another 40 per cent dip in as ‘casual earners’ on the side. This left 14 per cent classified as ‘reluctants’ who only do it full-time because they have to, and 16 per cent who are ‘financially strapped’ and forced to top up their income with gigs to put food on the table.
      • Attitudes differ by generation. A report from Prudential, Gig Economy Impact by Generation, found millennials are more likely to be in the gig economy out of choice, while Gen Xers are more likely to be there because they have to – and might prefer a traditional job. Interestingly, Deloitte’s Australian 2019 Millennial Survey found that, despite the strong interest, only 6 per cent had chosen to take the leap into the gig economy instead of regular full-time work.
      • Australia might be a little more friendly to gig workers. The Victorian Government found our platform workers were ‘moderately to fairly satisfied’ (though it cautions workers can express high levels of job satisfaction in jobs which are generally agreed to be poor quality).

Earnings

      • Earnings in the gig economy can be volatile. A US Prudential report estimated that gig workers earn only 58 per cent of full-time employees. Meanwhile JP Morgan Chase Institute’s Online Platform Econony in 2018 report found transport (think Uber and Lyft) gig workers’ income fell 53 per cent from 2013 to 2017, even while leasing income (think AirBnB) grew by 69 per cent.
      • This makes reliance on gig work more risky. A recent 2019 report on economic wellbeing from the US Federal Reserve found gig economy workers struggled financially more than the average person. It quantified this by showing 58 per cent of gig workers would have a hard time coming up with just US$400 to cover an emergency bill – much higher than company employees.
      • In Australia, the Victorian Government pegged the average hourly rate for platform work at A$32.16. This includes professional service work at higher hourly rates of $50 or more an hour, to a very low income band under $10 per hour for some clerical, data entry, writing and translation work (this was despite the minimum wage at the time being $18.93 per hour).

The mixed results from the gig economy raise questions. In Hyperwallet’s 2019 Marketplace Expansion Index (rating economies based on their embrace of ecommerce and the sharing economy), Australia was ranked seventh as an ‘established’ marketplace. The caveat? “Regulatory pressure is preventing Australia from reaching its full potential”. The question is, what would our full potential actually look like, and how would this impact gig workers if regulation was not fit for purpose?

Regulators in Europe responded in April 2019 with minimum protection laws for ‘on-demand’ gig economy workers. They propose member states adopt more predictable hours and compensation for any work cancelled and an end to abusive practices associated with casual contracts. In Australia, regulators have proved similarly nonplussed: a 2017 Senate Committee inquiry into Corporate Avoidance of the Fair Work Act found gig workers were not legally independent contractors.

Andrew Joyce said one of the key issues with the platform gig economy is that ‘independent’ workers end up shouldering more of the platform’s business risks, leaving them potentially vulnerable.

“What’s bad about the gig economy is – and this has been an issue with some of the platforms so far – there is no protection around how much people earn per hour. There’s also no work density – you can’t actually get 40 hours of work a week delivering food for Deliveroo or Uber Eats – so you can’t build a full-time career there. As a worker, you’re basically taking all the risk – all the business risk – of the platform having not a very busy night or too many people turning up to work, that kind of thing.”

Joyce argues Australian workplace laws are a good thing in arresting the extremities of gig work.

“Everything that’s been successful in the gig economy – be it Airtasker, Uber, Deliveroo – the workers are being paid piecemeal, so they are being paid per job or per task completed. In the Australian workplace laws, you can’t do that on an hourly basis, so unless you can really accurately define what the person is being paid for and meet a whole bunch of very stringent requirements around proving they are a contractor, you just can’t get that contractor arbitrage – I 100% agree with that.”

 

The productivity question

Andrew Joyce believes what was originally missed in hype around gig work was productivity. With many roles requiring people to develop relationships and knowledge of a business over time, having gig workers do the work can represent a loss of knowledge, experience – and also productivity.

“Companies are a collection of people who work together and the more experience they have the more productive they get. So if you snapped your fingers and everybody is working a new job tomorrow, the economy would literally shut down – no one would know what’s going on. Some jobs are just not suited and will never be suited to having a high turnover of workers,” he said.

Joyce gives the example of a GP and a receptionist. While many people would intuitively think a receptionist’s role is more easily ‘gigged up’ via a tech platform, it is actually the GP that is more easily able to step into the same role in different locations and be more productive straight away.

“If you’ve got a job that is incredibly standardised – a GP is very standardised, you are seeing patients who have illnesses – they can be plugged into any workplace in Australia and do a pretty good job from the word go. If you’ve got a job which relies a lot on deep knowledge of personal relationships or is highly variable, they are the ones that are just never going to work,” Joyce said.

ReadyTech’s Marc Washbourne agrees. “I think the key word here is continuity. Be that relationship or knowledge. You think about sales roles or customer service roles, and what you are talking about there are actually long-term relationships and that sounds tough to gig up.”

 

The ‘sugary drink’ economy

Washbourne said there has been some big benefits come out of the gig economy for many people.

“It’s been fantastic for older workers that want to keep active, it’s been popular with young people and millennials, and I think it’s opened up some amazing opportunities for parents wanting to work from home, and people with disabilities are able to do more from home,” Washbourne said.

The Victorian Government’s research did indeed find that some people’s motivation for gigging included ‘finding work despite health issues or disability’ and ‘connecting socially with people’.

Found – which targets younger workers – is seeing a strong appetite from younger generations for work. Joyce said this could entail risks if they end up getting hooked on a diet of gig economy work.

“We hear from young people all the time, ‘I just want a job. I want a way of making money. I need to make money. I need that to exist in the economy at the moment’,” he explained.

“So in many cases it’s kind of the lowest common denominator; they’ll fall back to whatever they can get. This is where work protection is really important because if you said to someone who is desperate for a job, ‘I can offer you five dollars an hour’, they might just do it.”

This makes the gig economy much like a ‘sugary drink’, he said. “It’s a great pick-me-up at various points, but you can’t live on it. You know you can’t create your entire diet out of junk food; you can’t create an entire career out of gig stuff. But it’s great as a side, as a way to hold you through. The risk is that people come to rely on it or come to see it as a long-term option and it’s not, unfortunately, the way it’s operating at the moment.”

This means the future could indeed be limited for the gig economy. “I think we’ve found a really interesting niche case with the likes of Uber and Airtasker where they’ve grown very rapidly into a niche in the economy, but I think that is kind of it in terms of where this can go,” Joyce said.

 

Want to hear more? Listen to ReadyTech CEO Marc Washbourne’s interview with the co-founder of app-based job platform Found, Andrew Joyce, for an investigation of the gig economy reality, open plan offices and remote work. Is the gig (economy) up? Are we right to question the open plan office? Is remote work still the future? Listen to this episode of the WorkED Podcast to find out now.

The Gig Economy and Remote work with Andrew Joyce

The WorkED Podcast – The Gig Economy and Remote Work

The gig economy once promised to set workers free from office cubicles and give businesses a way to engage flexible workforces at will. But is the reality short-changing employees and employers?

ReadyTech CEO Marc Washbourne sits down with the co-founder of app-based job platform Found, Andrew Joyce, for an investigation of the gig economy reality, open plan offices and remote work.

Is the gig (economy) up? Are we right to question the open plan office? Is remote work still the future?

Listen to this episode of the WorkED Podcast to find out.

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