Unlocking Efficiency: The Benefits of HR Software for Small Businesses in the UK


As a small business owner in the UK, you’re constantly looking for ways to streamline your operations and improve efficiency. One area where this can be particularly challenging is HR. If you’re still relying on spreadsheets and manual processes, now is the time to consider implementing HR software.

HR software for small businesses comes in many shapes and sizes, with different features and pricing options. Here, we’ll dive into the benefits of HR software for small businesses in the UK, the key features to look for, and some of the best options available.

Benefits of HR Software for Small Businesses in the UK

1. Time Savings

One of the most significant benefits of HR software is the time it can save your team. Streamlining processes like onboarding, time off management, and performance reviews can take hours off your HR team’s workload each week. This means they can focus on more high-level tasks, such as improving company culture or developing training programs.

2. Compliance and Legal Requirements

In the UK, there are numerous legal requirements and regulations relating to HR. HR software can help ensure that you’re meeting these requirements, such as automatic tracking of holiday entitlements or recording sickness absence. This protects you from potential legal issues down the line.

3. Improved Communication

HR software can help improve communication between employees and managers. For example, if an employee requests time off, they can do so through the software’s self-service portal, which automatically notifies their manager. This eliminates the need for manual paperwork or email exchanges.

4. Data Analysis and Reporting

HR software allows you to gain insights into your workforce that you might not have had access to otherwise. For example, you can track absence rates, identify patterns, and take proactive steps to improve productivity and employee wellbeing.

Key Features to Look for in HR Software

1. Self-Service Portal

Employees should be able to access their personal information, request time off, and view their payslips through the HR software.

2. Absence Management

The software should allow for easy management of holidays, sick leave, and other types of absence.

3. Performance Management

Performance reviews, goal setting, and feedback should all be available through the HR software.

4. Recruitment

Some HR software includes recruitment features, such as job posting and candidate tracking.

5. Integration with Payroll

If you’re using payroll software, it’s important to choose HR software that integrates seamlessly.

Top HR Software Options for Small Businesses in the UK

1. Breathe HR

Breathe HR is a popular option for small businesses, offering a self-service portal, time off management, and performance tracking. It also integrates with a range of payroll providers.

2. People HR

People HR offers a range of features, including absence management, recruitment, and payroll integration. Its reporting capabilities are particularly strong.

3. CharlieHR

CharlieHR offers a free plan for up to five employees, making it an attractive option for very small businesses. Its features include time off management and performance tracking.

4. Calamari

Calamari offers a user-friendly interface and a range of features, including absence tracking, leave management, and shift scheduling.


HR software can be a game-changer for small businesses in the UK, offering time savings, improved compliance, and better communication. When choosing HR software, look for a self-service portal, absence management, performance tracking, and payroll integration. Breathe HR, People HR, CharlieHR, and Calamari are all great options for small businesses in the UK.

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