Time and attendance is constantly changing and evolving, especially when it comes to technology. Another piece we don’t have so much control over are laws and legislation. It’s important to stay in the know with the future of the industry to keep your practices up to date. See the Q&A with a few of the Synel team members to learn more about the future of time & attendance.
Tracy Aikens, Sr. Technical Trainer
Ben Ely, Sr. Client Support Representative
Preston Bagby, Sr. Client Support Representative
Time & Attendance is Changing – Q&A
What is happening in legislation right now that is impacting time and attendance laws and policies?
Ben: The latest legislation impacting time and attendance is regarding biometric data (finger print templates, hand punch templates, etc.) deletion as several states are requiring that data be deleted after a specific period of time (i.e. three years). We have included a feature in our XactTime software which will allow a client to remove biometric data at their convenience. States are also adopting paid sick leave for all employees based on the number of hours worked, event part-time and contract employees. Most have been one hour of sick for every 30 hours worked up to a minimum of 24 hours; however, each state has their own specific criteria regarding the policy.
Are there laws and policies governing rounding rules, overtime and other labor-related time and attendance issues?
Preston: Every state has their own laws governing rounding rules, overtime, and other items based on issues raised in that particular state.
Tracy: The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments. However, each state may define their own laws, as Preston mentioned. The state law may not go above or beyond the Federal law; essentially, the state law must be to the advantage of the employee and not the employer.
How can automated and policy-based time and attendance improve compliance and reduce errors and save money?
Ben: Using an automated time and attendance software reduces human error, as employers/employees are no longer calculating time manually. This also increases the efficiency by simplifying tasks and reducing the number of things that must be done manually (i.e. Holiday Pay).
Tracy: An automated system allows all employees to be on an equal playing field as you are paid for the exact time you are working. This is calculated based on employee punches, not a person entering time. The employee is controlling the narrative surrounding their honest hours by punching appropriately.
What are some ways to improve time and attendance processing with new technology available?
Tracy: Automated time and attendance is a form of technology, but to what extent a company may use the technology is the real question. As technology improves, the price point is reduced, which enables more companies to use time and attendance systems. Mobile devices (e.g. smart phones and tablets) are also increasing the availability and ease of use. There are so many mobile apps and solutions, like DayTrack and XactTime, which make time and attendance more seamless and convenient for both employees and employers.
What are some expected changes to the way time and attendance will look and be offered in the coming years?
Ben: I wouldn’t be surprised if the use of physical time clocks starts decreasing, while at the same time the price also starts decreasing so it is available in major new markets. Software as a service continues to be the trend as paying each month is desired over an upfront payment by many companies. This option gives the company flexibility to switch at any time if need be.
Preston: I believe time clocks will be moving to tablets and smart phones, while moving out of the accounting and HR departments. With the technology nowadays everything is automatic so there is no need for someone in HR or accounting to go in and manually enter time, change labor levels or pay, etc.
Tracy: Due to the automation, payroll/accounting departments and human resource departments are no longer manually manipulating employee time. Time and attendance is becoming an employee self-service world; the employees can view their hours, change labor levels, and make a request for time off. All of this can be done online in the software or via most mobile apps.
It’s clear that the future of time & attendance will be a lot more automated and hands-off based on all the evolving technology. Contact our team today to make sure you are staying current with time & attendance trends and have the best solutions for your team!