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Newcastle Theatre Royal

New integrated HR and Payroll solution enables Theatre Royal to comply with new pensions legislation and auto-enrolment policies

Carval Computing has been selected by the Newcastle Theatre Royal Trust to provide Payroll and HR software. As well as providing in-house payroll processing and HR functionality, Carval’s HR Unity system will enable the iconic Theatre Royal to comply with new pensions and auto-enrolment legislation for its 150 strong workforce. After a thorough evaluation of the market, Carval was selected for the fully featured and integrated nature of the solution, for its ease of use, and for its pricing model, which meant that the Theatre Royal could purchase the software via a license rather than a fee per payslip. 

HR Unity will be used by both finance and HR departments to manage the Theatre’s complex staffing situation which includes regular, casual and permanent staff. All staff work variable hours depending on the type of production being staged and the number of performances, which can vary each week.  In addition, many staff have more than one job within the Theatre so it was important that the new system could manage employees with multiple Posts.

Opened in February 1837, the Grade I listed Theatre Royal remains one of the most historic, cultural landmarks in the country and continues to dominate the heart of Newcastle’s Grainger Town. The Theatre Royal is one of the most famous theatres in the country and in its 177 year history has played host to the biggest names in dance, drama, music and comedy.

The Theatre Royal presents over 380 performances to over 300,000 people each year and is the regional home of the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, Opera North and Rambert Dance Company. Its status and reputation as one of the finest theatres in the UK ensures it is a key date in the touring calendar of some of the world’s leading theatre companies. Performances include the biggest and brightest West End musicals, thought provoking drama from the world’s leading playwrights, contemporary dance from internationally acclaimed choreographers - not to mention the North’s favourite pantomime, attracting more than 90,000 people.

Pamela Dowds, Director of Finance at the Theatre Royal explained; “Due to the nature of the theatre business we have complex staffing arrangements and we do not always have our schedule of performances confirmed at the point at which we are setting our budgets. Therefore, it was important for us that we could find a system that could deliver all the functionality we needed, including auto-enrolment, pensions contribution administration and post management, and deliver it all for a known price. Carval was able to deliver on every aspect and we really liked the look of the system.”

Once the new HR and payroll software is fully implemented at the Theatre, the next step will be to look at the Self-Service options from Carval. Dowds added; “In time it would be good to introduce a Self-Service facility so that staff can check their own details, and managers can help to analyse employee data, for example, leave and absence taken.”

John Ovington, Sales and Support Director at Carval Computing said; “It is important for every business to run as efficiently as possible while looking after its workforce and meeting employment legislation.  At Carval we aim to make this as easy as possible for our clients by supplying a feature rich solution that is also intuitive to use. HR Unity contains a myriad of process automation and workflows that streamlines many HR and payroll functions, ensuring that even the smallest HR team is able to keep up with statutory requirements and still have time for more strategic work.”

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