Personnel Administration Data Systems (PADS)

Personnel Administration Data Systems (PADS) provide data needed to carry out the personnel administration responsibilities of an employer. As the government legislates additional protections and social programs, these responsibilities have increased and are growing. Affirmative action requirements in USA, health and safety regulations and pension plans regulation are many new sources of the employer’s responsibilities.

Payroll and personnel planning data system (PPDS) are closely related to PADS, all using the employee master file. Not only accessing the file, but updating of file is often organized on a coordinated basis. Data items in the employee file are updated by the payroll system not for self but also for PADS and PPDS. Payroll provides the most effective way to capture the new data for this updating activity.

Three types of Personnel Administration Data Systems (PADS)

  1. Personnel status reporting systems (Files used are Employee file, Job file).
  2. Personnel action systems (Files used are Employee file, Job file).
  3. Fringe benefit administration systems (Files used are Employee file, Insurance claims file, Insurance accidents file).

All the three data systems parallel the common administrative responsibilities of the personnel department in large organizations. There may be other administrative responsibilities differing from the above in some of the organizations which may give rise to other types of data system. Fringe benefit systems may include a variety of systems like:

  • Group insurance,
  • Pension,
  • Profit sharing,
  • Credit union,
  • Educational programs etc.

It is assumed here that a DBMS is used to manage the files involved in the above systems. An integrated set of files is used by all the personnel administration systems.

There are several files, but all the three systems access the employee file. Putting at least a segment of the above files on a DASD (Direct Access Storage Device) is justified. The employee file should be accessible by employee name, department, skill, category, race, sex, other employee characteristics and the employee number (File key). Secondary key access to the file should be possible. The employee files have to b e segmented in view of the cost of storing employee data as a result of increasing government regulation of the employment activity. The less activity data can be placed in a segment stored on tape/mass storage systems. The real time features needed for the most cost effective personnel action and fringe benefit data system can be achieved by placing the jobs file, job applicant file and the insurance file on DASD.

Various files used in a Personnel Administration Data Systems (PADS) are:

1. Employee file

This file provides data relevant to many aspects of employee supervision and administration as well as for workforce planning. The data are grouped under ‘seven’ headings:

  1. Identification Data
  2. Benefit Data
  3. Payroll Data
  4. Termination Data
  5. Performance Data
  6. Skills Data
  7. Affirmative action Data

In some of the companies, these groups may differ according to their needs or convenience. Affirmative action data is not required in India. Termination data is also of not much prominence in India.

Identification data items serve to identify and locate a particular employee. The data items that serve a significant business purpose is to be included. Employee name, address and telephone number are important. Employee number is the file key. To identify an employee in the organization, whatever data items required are to be included. Social security number in countries like USA is required for tax purpose in the payroll data section of the record. Pointer to next record with the same job and location code is used to make record retrieval efficient in the personnel status reporting system.

Performance data items are used for supervisory and work force planning purposes. An employee review system is in operation means that the immediate supervisor reviews the employee’s performance periodically, rates them according to an evaluation scheme and set goals for the next period. Job performance statistics are to be maintained, concerning tardiness, unexcused absences, idle time and performance relative to the standard hours set for each piece of work.

Benefit data items are required to administer the employee benefit programs such as life insurance, health care insurance, pension plans etc.

Skills data items are mainly for employee promotion and project assignment purposes concerning the last position held prior to the employee’s current position and the highest formal education level achieved. Additional detail on work history and education should be placed in a separate file with pointers to that file in the employee master file. Various skill codes can be used in the employee file to summarize the employee skills.

Affirmative action data items (in USA) are facts required to prepare a defense against changes of: (i) Unfair hiring (ii) Promotion and (iii) Termination practices. Access to these data items should be restricted to those responsible for preparing such defenses. Termination data is primarily of value in controlling unemployment insurance expenses. It has value in ad hoc workforce planning and strategic studies.

2. Job Data

A job or position exists independent of the employees filling it, authorized in a work force budget. It is usually defined by a job description that covers qualifications, duties and responsibilities. The same job may exist in several places in an organization. Clerk-typist position may exist within many departments of an organization. To define the job specifically, a location code and job code is usually required.

More than one employee may be required to perform a certain job in a particular location. Another important data item is number of full-time and part-time employees filling a particular job at a location.

The data items in this file are:

  1. Identification Data
  2. Position description Data
  3. Budget Data and
  4. Performance Data

The position description data is useful to the personnel department in advertising possible positions and screening applicants for those positions. The cut-off data is the last date that the new application for an open position will be accepted.

The budget data is for work force and cost control purposes. The actual labor and labor related costs are compared to the budgeted figures, which are the work force budget set by the work force planning system. Travel expenses, fleet expenses and cost of operating supplies are the examples of labor related operating expenses. The budget data in this file provides supporting data for the labor and labor related expenses totals in the cost center file.

Performance data items include measurement of the productivity and idle time also, dated with a job as well as indications of job dissatisfaction and supervisory problems.

3. Job applicants’ file

The items are in four groups:

  1. Applicant identification data
  2. Work history data
  3. Education data and
  4. Application status data

4. Accident file

This file contains a record for each reportable accident. It is usually an event for which the organization may be held responsible for damages (i) Either directly or (ii) Through worker’s compensation insurance.

The data items are grouped into three categories:

  1. Time and place data
  2. Characteristics data
  3. Effects data

The time and place data items define when and where the accident took place. The characteristics data item describes the accident. The effects data items record actions as a result of the accident and the costs incurred subsequently as a result of the accident.

5. Claims and injuries file

These may be insurance claims recorded by the organization under insurance policies or they may be claimed by employees under group insurance policies managed by the organization. Also, damages resulting from an accident for which no insurance claims can be made are recorded. These are organized although these are payment files of a claim. (The To data, From data, Basis data, When data, Amount data).

Data privacy and integrity

The employee file should have this important database consideration. So also, the job applicant’s file, job master and insurance claims files. Both the employer and employee are concerned about this data.

The privacy of pay-rate data is of concern to both the employer and employee. From the employer point, he wants to safeguard this information from other employees and competition (about the individual’s earning or job’s pay). So also, the employee may not want others to know his earnings or other data items such as medical reports. Both employer and employee may want access to this data strictly controlled.

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