Inevitably when people talk about Business Continuity Planning (BCP) or Disaster Recovery (DR), they discuss IT protocols and procedures for back-ups, log shipping, dual hosting locations, tapes, encryption, down times, etc. All very important requirements…. But what happens when there is a Tsunami, and the local payroll provider/ local office does not exist anymore? Although you might have a backup copy of the data somewhere, most likely the local payroll system and corresponding paperwork was located in the office. In most cases, companies do not have the data necessary to pay people, which may include the prior month’s calculations, banking details (both local and international), or even a process to determine how to support the personnel in the affected country.
Now you are thinking – so what? My payrolls are all in stable countries – well here are some more scenarios to consider: civil strife, labor strikes, power outages, provider failures, flooding, earthquakes, employee turnover, system crashes, network failures, hurricanes, bank closures and the list goes on. All of the above situations have happened in some of the most “stable countries” in the world – US, Switzerland, Japan, India, Kenya, Argentina, France, and the list goes on.
So when you are considering your BCP/DR plan, make sure you cover all of the important IT items, but also consider the practical day to day payroll operations. How am I going to run payroll and ensure my people get paid if the local office is down? Who needs to be involved from a communication standpoint? How am I going to manage the calculations? The payments? The taxes?
There are many more considerations for a truly global payroll BCP/DR plan than those stated above. But it is important for companies to consider the situation over and above the IT infrastructure to truly understand what is needed to support global payroll operations in the case of a crisis.