Major scheduling delays last month led to the airline having to cancel another 50 flights throughout October, disrupting at least 400,000 holiday-goers and business commuters. It’s a devastating blow to Ryanair who claimed they’d ‘messed up’ pilot rosters due to summer cancellations, but as details emerge it’s becoming clear that the disruption was due to a terrible HR oversight which then led to the mismanagement of pilot holidays. Not only has Ryanair’s reputation taken a huge hit, they’ve also had to compensate customers in the form of flight vouchers and offer pilots more attractive pay packages to prevent them leaving.

The question everyone’s asking is, could this have been avoided?

It’s a perfect example of what can happen when large-scale organisations don’t give HR the attention it deserves. Whether it’s time and attendance, data transparency and availability or simply tracking staff absence and holidays, having a solid HR platform in place is an absolute necessity for businesses in all sectors. Every contracted full-time employee in the UK is entitled to holiday, and other members of staff may step in to accrue overtime during busy holiday periods. However, airline companies like Ryanair have to manage pilots who, much like HGV drivers, have safety limits placed on the amount of overtime they can do. This can present a great HR challenge, and if the tools aren’t there and the data isn’t being recorded, can result in circumstances like those facing Ryanair bosses today.

Equator HR is a revolutionary HR platform that tracks and manages all aspects of staff workflow, including absences, hours worked, tasks completed and even their current location which can be ideal for busy shop floors. An HR platform like Equator HR could have easily prevented the Ryanair catastrophe from occurring in the first place.

As well as simple tasks like recording time and attendance, Equator HR also offers total transparency and a business-wide view when it comes to analysing employee work patterns. Data entry of staff absences is made seamless because work patterns are already recorded, completely removing the need for manual spreadsheets that can lead to human error. What really sets Equator HR apart is that it allows business-wide long term planning and holiday forecasting, ensuring that managers are always in control of their busy teams. If Ryanair had a solution like this in place, giving those in charge of the schedule complete visibility and accurate forecasts, this mess could have been avoided entirely.

Of course, it’s not just airlines that are at risk of HR disasters like the one facing Ryanair. Businesses across all sectors need to ensure that they don’t compromise on HR management in order to remain competitive and maintain the quality of their business and the service they provide.