Jobs to go as GlaxoSmithKline moves to centralise HR function

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has taken steps to restructure and reduce the cost of its HR function, and has launched online total reward statements.

The pharmaceutical firm wants to reduce the headcount of its HR and benefits workforce. Some generalist HR positions in the UK are already under consultation and, by April 2010, a number of compensation and benefits roles are also likely to be at risk. GSK’s businesses currently have individual HR teams, each with its own HR director, manager and administrator. It plans to replace this system with a centralised HR hub to serve all its different businesses.

In its interim management report for the second quarter of 2009, GSK said it wanted to reduce the cost of its support functions by 20%. This is part of an overall restructuring plan which is expected to achieve £1.7 billion in annual savings by 2011.

In November, GSK introduced online total reward statements, provided by Thomsons Online Benefits, for its 16,000 UK employees. These replace GSK’s previous in-house paper and online statements. GSK has set up computer kiosks at some of its manufacturing sites to help staff who are not computer-based to access statements more easily.

Staff can also opt to buy five days’ extra holiday a year through salary sacrifice via their online statement. In the future, GSK will modify the statements so staff can apply for all benefits online. A pensions calculator will also be added.

Harsha Modha, director of UK benefits programmes at GSK, said: “Employees will, in the future, be able to enrol onto all our plans via the platform. An employee’s basic pay might be £30,000 but their overall package might be worth £45,000.”