‘There are still plenty of challenges ahead’
His official job title is ‘HR Operations officer’ at BAM HR Services, but Theo Spanbroek prefers ‘salary administrator’. That’s his chosen profession and the job that’s been keeping him happy for decades already.
When did you join BAM?
‘In 2006. Before that I worked in several other jobs, including at the Reinier de Graaf hospital in Delft. Those were interesting times, as we went through a series of mergers between regional hospitals. From the hospital I moved on to Cadans, a Dutch government agency for unemployment benefits. Again, very interesting, and one of my jobs was as project leader of an interdisciplinary fraud team that focussed on an economically depressed district in The Hague. When they transferred my department to the tax office I left and joined BAM Infra Rail in Breda.
Has your discipline changed much in your time?
‘As a salary administrator, your prime responsibility is to ensure salaries are paid on time and to the right amount, plus payments of taxes, pension contributions and such. All on the basis of information from BAM People and – in the case of site employees – the time registration of the operating companies. Another factor to be taken into account is legislation, which is subject to frequent amendments.’
‘The objective is to keep salary slips simple and easy to read, but as a consequence of the many changes in legislation, such as the shortening of benefit periods, we need to include all kinds of information about how we bridge the gaps in premiums. The effect is that slips tend to get more complex rather than simpler, but on the other hand our measures ensure greater financial security for our employees.’
In terms of the BAM organisation Theo has also seen plenty of changes, such as the pooling of all personnel and salary administrations of the Dutch operating companies in BAM HR Services. Here, he works in a team of eight salary administrators. ‘All of them are total salary freaks,’ says Theo, and he means that in the nicest sense of the word. ‘After the introduction of BAM People we ran into some teething problems, as is to be expected with a new system, so we – and not only we - went the extra mile to make all our deadlines anyway.’
What do you expect for the future?
‘BAM HR Services is taking important steps to further improve process control, data quality and uniformity of HR services. We’ve introduced scrums and lean methodology. There are still plenty of challenges ahead, such as the implementation of a global salary system and a global BAM People. I hope that we salary administrators will be able to put our knowledge to use to help this transition forward.’