New Changes to Watu from December 2015

It’s the run-up to the holidays and chances are you’re packed with events – but please, spare us a minute! We have some very important changes in the works, some of which apply to all Watu clients around the world.

These involve:

  • staffer eligibility (worldwide)
  • staff geolocation (worldwide)
  • Holiday pay (UK only)
  • CRB checks (UK only)

Please do have a thorough read below and note any steps to take.

Staff Eligibility (All Clients)

What will change: Your staff are currently asked twice to confirm their eligibility to work in your country: once in the initial registration page, and once again as a mandatory question in their application form. We are going to be removing this tick box from the initial registration page.

What will not change: The question will still be present in the application form, and staffers will still be required to confirm their work eligibility in order to complete their application.

The important effect this will have on your account is as follows: staff who are still in the registering phase may have only completed partial information. Though they cannot be accidentally approved until all mandatory questions are answered, if you choose to book still-registering staff on a job, you may be contacting people who haven’t yet confirmed they can legally work in your country.

Next Step: Once this is live, check your profile template. We can edit the wording if you request via ‘tech support’, but the answer type of a single tick box cannot be changed.

When will it be live? By the end of December. Announcement via social media.

Staff Geolocation (All Clients)

Previous Set Up: At times, the mapping system within Watu does not recognise certain addresses. Why is this a problem? Because not only do you search for staff via their location, but staff also search for jobs within a certain distance of their house.

Coming Change: We are adding the option for staff to automatically be emailed if their address is not recognised. The email would come from the system itself and prompt staff to fix their address. This feature is an opt-in feature, meaning if you would like this to happen, a manager must tick to activate this within your general settings.

Next Step: Choose to opt in via your general settings.

When will it be live? January 2016. We’ll announce it via social media

Holiday Pay (UK Clients Only)

This feature is opt-out!

Holiday pay within the UK is an in-depth topic which we have been researching and discussing at length. Please find details and explanations within our blog.

Coming Change: We want to ensure we’re helping our clients to easily work within the limits of the law. We’re proposing changes as follows:
When building a job, the manager will enter the total pay as you have been doing. The software will split this into a “daily wage” part and “holiday pay” part. In bookings it will be displayed split as follows: “daily wage is X + holiday pay Y (total: Z)”.
When booking, it will be clearly stated that daily wage is X and holiday rate is Y for a total of Z
This will also link through to your payroll

Next Step: We will advise clients with plenty of time before this feature is released but please note this will be an opt out feature meaning if you do not want it implemented, you must untick the box within your general settings.

What are the consequences: If you do allow the feature to be enabled, you will be complying with the regulations. If you do not, that’s your choice, however bear in mind that some other Watu agencies will now be displaying holiday pay as such, as and as result, staff will be aware of the divide.

When will this be live? This will be live around mid-February. We will announce it via social media and email before it goes live, so you have the option to opt-out first.

CRB Check Change (UK Clients Only)

What has changed: If you are a UK agency and have staff working with children, you may now need to check their DBS. Note that this is a replacement for the CRB check. You can read details of the change on the government website.

Next step: If you currently have any profile template questions relating to CRB checks, and would like these edited to reflect the new wording, please reply detailing exactly how you would like us to edit the question.


Thanks for your attention in reading through all these upcoming changes.

We’re excited to get these in place for you to make your Watu experience even better. As always, feedback is welcomed, if you would like to discuss any topic further, by clicking ‘tech support’ in your account.

And as a final note, we’ll be working throughout the holidays but responses may slow down a bit as we sip mulled wine and roast our feet by the fireplace 😉

Happy holidays to all!

Holiday Pay for Temporary Staff

Holiday pay for temporary staff image of a relaxing beach

We’re going to be making some changes within UK clients’ Watu accounts with regards to the way holiday pay for temporary staff is displayed. These changes are based on the government’s guidelines and are coming into place so that we can best help our clients to stay within the recommended rules.

Currently, clients can only display the total wage for shifts. Although subsistence and expenses can be added on top, there is no space to add holiday pay. Our goal is to now rebuild this part of the software so that holiday pay can be shown in addition to the daily wage, as well as the grand total for the staff member. These changes will be reflected in the job build, adverts, confirmations and in payroll as well.

What are the rules surrounding holiday pay?

The government currently requires that temporary staff be paid holiday pay on top of their daily wage. This wage must be stated at the time of booking and on the payslip and must not be rolled into the daily wage; for example if your T&C’s state that a staff member’s daily wage includes the holiday pay, this is against the rules. As stated in the website

“Holiday pay should be paid for the time when annual leave is taken. An employer cannot include an amount for holiday pay in the hourly rate (known as ‘rolled-up holiday pay’). If a current contract still includes rolled-up pay, it needs to be re-negotiated.”

Why has no one mentioned holiday pay before?

Most staff – and many managers as well – are not aware of the the details of the law, so agencies are not in a rush to separate the two. Things have been working so far, but this could change if someone raises an issue about how holiday pay should be laid out or alternatively if a government body looks into your specific agency

How has Watu calculated the holiday pay rate?

Using the ACAS site for guidance, we have based it on the following;

“If a member of staff works on a casual basis or very irregular hours, it is often easiest to calculate holiday entitlement that accrues as hours are worked. The holiday entitlement of 5.6 weeks is equivalent to 12.07 per cent of hours worked over a year. The 12.07 per cent figure is 5.6 weeks’ holiday, divided by 46.4 weeks (being 52 weeks – 5.6 weeks). The 5.6 weeks are excluded from the calculation as the worker would not be at work during those 5.6 weeks in order to accrue annual leave.”

So when a manager enters the total wage into the job build, Watu will automatically divide it into ‘daily wage’ and ‘holiday pay’, taking care of the 12.07% maths for you.

Automatic Implementation

This feature is an opt-out feature within Watu. What exactly does that mean? Once it’s live, it will automatically be applied to your account. If you do not want this change this affect your account, then you must opt-out once we announce that it’s been made live. This can be done in the general settings area of your account.

The subject of holiday pay is complex and has a lot of ‘grey area’. If you believe this feature can be improved or have any important feedback, please do let us know.


Photo by Olin Gilbert