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Accenture care for Lever HR

Mumbai, June 7: Accenture, the IT consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, today won a multi-million-dollar deal to handle all of Unilever’s human resource services, including recruitment, payroll processing and performance management.

The seven-year agreement ' its exact size wasn’t spelt out ' will commence from July 1 and will cover 100 countries, including India.

The announcement put to rest intense speculation in the western media about the one-of-a-kind deal that entirely outsources Unilever's human resource operations.

Accenture will also provide Unilever with a range of learning services.

Although the local arms of both companies refused to give out any financial details of the deal, according to various reports, the size could be anywhere between $500 million and $1 billion. Both companies refused to comment.

The work will cover Unilever's activities across Europe, Americas and Asia (Africa, West Asia and Turkey). Accenture will provide services to nearly 200,000 employees in more than 20 languages from delivery centres in Bangalore, Manila, Dalian, Bucharest, Prague and Curitiba.

“This agreement will help support Unilever as it drives to transform its business and achieve increasingly higher levels of performance,” John Zealley, managing partner of Accenture’s European Consumer Goods & Services Practice, said in a statement.

“Unilever’s global cadre of professionals is one of the company’s most distinctive assets. An enhanced human resources capability is vital to ensure that these people have the support they need to maximise their efforts and Unilever’s future success.”

The spokesperson for Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL), the Indian arm of Unilever, said, “The major impact of the deal will be on the European and the North American markets. As far as job cuts are concerned, we will know the impact only when a country by country plan has been made. It is very premature to say anything now.”

He added that 40 per cent of the global HR staff of Unilever would be affected by the deal.

Under the HR portion of the contract, Accenture will provide recruitment, payroll administration, reward administration, performance management, workforce reporting, core HR administration and third party provider management services.

Under the learning portion of the contract, content sourcing and development, program planning and delivery, learning system hosting, and management and administrative services will be outsourced to Accenture.

Unilever's global HR staff, approximately 3,300 employees, will be part of this transformation process.

Both the companies have already been doing business with each other for more than 10 years. Accenture recently signed a separate application outsourcing contract to provide Unilever with applications development, implementation and support services in Europe.

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