HR Planner or PeopleHR: Which is better for UK SMEs?

If you’re looking for a new HR tool, but are unsure which one is right for your business, we’ve started a new series of unbiased comparison guides to help you on your way to making an informed decision.

In this guide, we’re taking a closer look at HR Planner and PeopleHR:

HR Planner or PeopleHR: Key takeaways

Short on time? We’ve put together a few key takeaways for you to consider. You can always come back to our in-depth comparison later.

HR Planner

  • Transparent pricing – Just £2.50 per user, per month (£2.29 if paying annually). There are no hidden costs and users get full functionality.
  • Customisable – HR Planner is easy to use, with intuitive customisable dashboards and unlimited custom fields. You can see the information you want, when you want.
  • Optimised for SMEs – HR Planner was designed for SMEs, by an SME, so we know you will have all the tools you need. 


  • Payroll – PeopleHR has payroll functionality available at an additional cost, if it is something your business is looking to manage internally.
  • Limited customisation options – PeopleHR’s customisation is limited, customisable dashboards and unlimited custom fields are not available.
  • Price – On a comparable plan to HR Planner, PeopleHR is £7 per user, per month.

User experience: HR Planner vs. PeopleHR

HR Planner

With over 20 years in the industry working with SMEs, we have designed HR Planner so it offers SMEs flexibility and convenience. We’re all about customisable user experiences to save busy businesses time, and make managing HR simple.

Experiences can be tailored at an individual and company level, with:

  • Custom dashboards
  • Unlimited custom fields
  • Unlimited custom leave types
  • Custom role-based access
  • Custom reports

Our users find HR Planner easy to use and customise, for a hassle-free experience.


Like HR Planner, PeopleHR offers a clean and modern interface that is easy to navigate.

However, PeopleHR does have limitations when it comes to customisation. Currently, the software doesn’t offer customisable dashboards and has restrictions when it comes to custom fields and tailoring role-based security access.

Key features: HR Planner vs. PeopleHR


HR Planner

HR Planner makes creating bespoke reports easy; you can even include custom fields, so you can quickly summarise the information you need. Our reports module also has plenty of inbuilt user-friendly reports, designed just for SMEs.


PeopleHR generates intuitive reports covering recruitment, engagement and productivity, so you can react quickly to improve profitability and employee happiness. The system also has a custom report writer which can be used to build charts, graphs and infographics.

Custom fields

HR Planner

HR Planner is jam packed with customisable options, with custom fields giving you flexibility to add whatever data you need to your employee profiles. With 10 different field types to choose from, you can create as many custom fields as you need, as well as set custom security settings controlling who can view, edit or propose changes to those fields.


PeopleHR’s customisation options are limited. Customisable dashboards and unlimited custom fields are not currently available.

Surveys / forms

HR Planner

A new Survey & Forms module will be coming soon, as part of HR Planner’s scheduled releases. Users will be able to take full control and create everything from pulse surveys to training programmes. Even managing onboarding and offboarding will be possible!


Pulse surveys, employee engagement surveys and a built-in HR forms builder are included in the PeopleHR system, making it easy to quickly send out surveys to your workforce to gain feedback and improve engagement.

Rotas, time & attendance

HR Planner

Time and attendance functionality is not currently offered with HR Planner. But we do provide rotas and a working patterns tool. Rotas let you assign shifts to your team, and customisable work schedules show who is working each day.


PeopleHR’s time and attendance software automates managing schedules and improves tracking accuracy. This allows businesses to monitor how effectively time is being used, as employees can log specific tasks and projects. It can also be used to calculate variable pay, such as overtime or shift working.

Flexible timesheets can also be created for all rotas and working patterns.

Expenses management

HR Planner and PeopleHR both offer comparable expenses modules, making it easy to submit and approve claims, plus upload photos of receipts to support each.

A unique feature of HR Planner is the ability to create custom fields for expense claims and claim items. This allows organisations to record specific information against each expense, for example a dropdown list of projects.

Role-based access security

HR Planner

With HR Planner, you have the flexibility to create an unlimited number of ‘roles’ throughout your organisation and set custom rules to determine access permissions. You can define whether each role can view information and propose or make edits.

You can also configure these actions across the whole organisation, for direct/indirect reports, or exclusively for the user. This configuration ensures only authorised personnel can access sensitive HR information, enhancing overall security.


PeopleHR does not offer custom role-based access security currently.

Pricing: HR Planner vs. PeopleHR

HR Planner

You get full set up and access to HR Planner for one simple, transparent price: only £2.50 per user, per month. For a company with 25 employees, this works out at £62.50 per month.

Set up is also included in this price.

Annual discount?

You can get a discount if paying annually, with pricing per user working out at just £2.29 per month.


PeopleHR’s pricing is bracketed depending on the plan you select and whether you choose to add on additional modules. Their plans include:

  • Essentials – £3 per employee, per month
  • Professional – £5 per employee, per month
  • Enterprise – £7 per employee, per month
  • Elite – £9 per employee, per month

For use of many of HR Planner’s similar features, users would need to be on the Professional or Enterprise plans, which would work out at £125 per month or £175 per month, respectively, based on 25 employees.

Annual discount?

There is no mention of an annual discount on PeopleHR’s website.

So, who’s better?

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which solution best meets the needs for your business.

Our customers often find other HR management tools are too complicated, with functionality that doesn’t match the needs of an SME. One of the best things about HR Planner is that being an SME ourselves, we know all of the essential functions that will be applicable to you. We’re proud to offer a fully customisable and cost-effective solution, that is tried and tested to meet the daily demands of your business.

PeopleHR offer a largely comparable solution, though their customisation features are limited. However, with their higher-tier plans and add-ons (priced separately), you can access features such as payroll, recruitment and time and attendance management.

If you’re unsure, why not sign up for a 14-day free trial of HR Planner today? No credit card or commitment required. Alternatively, if you’d like to talk through your requirements with our team, give us a call on 01252 636070 or email