Blog Post

Time & Attendance Technology Best Practices

Research shows that upward of 60 percent of US employees are paid on an hourly basis, tracked by employers using electronic hardware and software technology. But most popular systems raise best practice issues in terms of fairness employees. In today’s hyper-informational age, you can bet that savvy employees know when they’re being shortchanged – which can create an unnecessarily contentious environment.

The best practice to assuring accurate timekeeping while also engendering employee confidence is a simple two-fold solution: clear communication and a highly effective and accessible time and attendance tracking software system.

In terms of communication, it’s critical that employees clearly understand how accurate timekeeping benefits them beyond providing proof needed for basic and overtime pay. Time tracking also is used to establish eligibility to receive benefits under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which requires that an employee log at least 1,250 hours of service during the 12-month period preceding the leave. Also, paid time off (PTO) for personal, vacation and sick days is awarded and gradually increased based on hours worked.

Of course, accurate time tracking protects employers as well. Federal overtime rules are set by the Fair Labor Standards Act, administered by the US Department of Labor, and many states have additional mandates governing hours and wages. Most states also require that employees receive breaks at certain points and for specified durations during their shifts. Affordable Care Act requirements and benefits are based on hours of service. And small businesses may be eligible for a federal tax credit of 50 percent of the premiums they pay for their workers. That credit eligibility is determined by the number of full-time and full-time equivalent employees. Accurate and thorough timekeeping helps to assure that businesses remain compliant with all applicable laws and establish eligibility for beneficial programs.

However, it’s important to be upfront about software features that can cause employees to question fairness. For instance, many timekeeping software programs round employee’s time to present increment, typically the nearest five or 15-minute mark. Thus, the employee who clocks in five minutes late may get the same credit as the coworker who arrives five minutes early. Many calculate automatic break deductions, even if an employee works through a lunchbreak. Employees should be informed as to the level of supervisor access to editing of employee timecards, and there should be a check-and-balance procedure in place to verify accuracy and validity of those edits.

The key best practice relative to time and attendance technology is providing employees access.  Today’s workforce expects a certain degree of access to their employee records, including hours credited to their attendance logs. This affords them a feeling of control and allows them a chance to quickly request corrections if they spot mistakes.

If you’re a payroll service bureau or human capital management services broker, Apex HCM offers multiple solutions for time and attendance including clock-in using mobile devices, key fobs, proximity cards, fingerprint or swipe cards, all integrated to software that can create, modify, track, and analyze the data and time and attendance information in real time.   And, via the Apex HCM MYGO mobile app, employees can actively monitor their gross hours worked for each payroll period and review eligibility status for benefits based on accumulated work hours.  Providing employees easy access to their time and attendance information is quickly becoming a requirement for employers.

To request a demo of our time, attendance and other payroll and HR management products, call 877-750-2739 or visit us online.