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The burden of proof for hours worked by its employees is the responsibility of an employer especially in organizations that do not have an automated system. However, many companies might have employee hand books that contain language, which states, in part, that employees are required to record and report time work, and submit their time cards, to their respective supervisors for review and approval.

How Ontario’s Bill 148: Employment Standards Act Reform Could Affect Employers

 

On June 1, 2017 Bill 148, was introduced. If you operate a business in the province of Ontario, here is summary of some of the changes you should prepare for in 2018.

Benefit Accruals, Vacation, Statutory Holiday and Overtime Pay

  • Personal Emergency Leave: Rather than limiting this leave to organizations with more than 50 employees, all workers will be given 10 personal emergency leave days per year – and a minimum of two days would be paid. Further, employees will not have to provide employers with a sick leave note when requesting personal leave.
  • Overtime: The Mixed Hourly Rate (a weighted average established for employees with multiple rates) would be eliminated in favour of paying overtime at the rate of the work performed after the weekly threshold is reached
  • Vacation Entitlement Increase: Minimum vacation entitlement for workers would rise from two to three weeks per year (after five years with the same employer)
  • Public Holiday Pay: Calculation changes for public holiday pay that refer to regular wages in the pay period before the holiday divided by the days worked (rather than a four-week period of regular wages divided by 20)

Employee Workforce Scheduling

  • Three-Hour Rule: Broader application – The rule would extend to unworked on-call situations and when shifts are cancelled within 48 hours of the scheduled start time.
  • Advance notice: Employers must offer employees advance notice of 96 hours or be subject to refusal.
  • Three-Hour Rule: Removal of minimum wage component – Rather than topping up shifts less than three hours to three times the minimum wage, as proposed, eligible employees would be entitled to three times the regular rate.

The reforms to the Bill148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 will work in concert with the rise of the minimum wage that was also enacted into law as well. If your organization is still using an antiquated time tracking system or one that is no longer meeting your needs, it might be time to think about upgrading to a modern time and attendance solution- one that’s specifically, designed to comply with today’s ever changing regulatory and work-rule policies.

To learn more about ATS Time and Attendance Solution, go to our website, where you can download a pre-recorded demonstration, brochures or register for one of our upcoming live webinars.

To reach a representative, call 866.294.2467.

Small and mid-size companies that use the cloud spend 40 percent less on the need for a fulltime IT person. Deploying a time and attendance solution to the cloud is much faster and don’t need as much of an investment in upgrading infrastructure and as a result, this frees up expenses that would otherwise, be used for upgrading server licenses-thus making more capital available to support business growth.

3 Great Reasons To Move Your Employee Time Tracking To The Cloud

So, if you happen to be one of those companies that are still sitting on the fence, when it comes to embracing the cloud, here are some compelling reasons to take note.

  1. The Cloud is simple to use: A cloud-based time and attendance is easier to implement, and use when compared to the traditional on-premise solutions. With a cloud-based time and attendance– commonly referred to as software-as-a-service (SaaS) – you only pay for what you use. For example, a large hotel chain will have a high number of employees during the summer months, as this tends to be the busiest time of the year for that industry – but during the fall and winter months, those numbers will decrease. A company using ATS TimeWork OnDemand can scale easily, thus paying for only the employees who are working during this slow period.
  1. Mobile: With a application like ATS TimeWork OnDemand employee self-service (ESS),  a company can now give its employees the ability to request time-off, switch shifts and review hours worked at anytime, from anywhere instead of using paper time cards or spreadsheets. In the cloud, employees only need an Internet connection and they can tap into the power of mobility.
  1. Efficient and compliant: A growing body of evidence highlights the efficiencies and return on investment (ROI) that many businesses are experiencing by moving to the cloud.  Companies are required to comply with ever changing payroll and other workforce related rules- a cloud-based time and attendance like ATS TimeWork OnDemand can help businesses keep with these rules and other compliance matters, while driving business growth.

To learn about ATS Cloud-Based Time and Attendance, go to our website. You can download brochures, pre-recorded demonstrations or register for one of our bi-monthly webinars.

ATS TimeWork OnDemand is a best-of-breed time and attendance solution that helps small, mid-size and large enterprises streamline payroll costs, tackle complex workforce challenges and improve compliance.

Tracking And Managing Workforce Compliance Is Easier Than You Think

A recent article by Kate Tornone for HRDive titled Docking pay for bathroom breaks exceeding 90 seconds ‘absolutely contrary’ to FLSA states in part;

  • Employers must pay workers for breaks lasting 20 minutes or less, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled (Secretary United States Department of Labor v. American Future Systems, Inc., No. 16-2685 (3rd Cir., Oct. 13, 2017)). The opinion came in a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) suit filed by sales representatives at American Future Systems, doing business as Progressive Business Publications (PBP). The reps were paid only for time spent logged into their computers; any time away that lasted longer than 90 seconds became unpaid.
  • Federal regulations say that breaks of 20 minutes or less are compensable (see 29 CFR 785.18) but PBP argued that it didn’t provide “breaks;” rather, it maintained an arrangement called “flex time” that allowed workers to go off the clock whenever they wanted, for any reason. The court, however, was not persuaded; that’s an arrangement that “forces employees to choose between such basic necessities as going to the bathroom or getting paid unless the employee can sprint from computer to bathroom, relieve him or herself while there, and then sprint back to his or her computer in less than ninety seconds.” Docking the pay of employees who can’t manage to do that is “absolutely contrary to the FLSA,” the court said.
  • Ruling in the employees’ favor, the 3rd Circuit upheld a lower court’s summary judgment for them. That court had previously found the employer liable for least $1.75 million in back wages and damages, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The ruling applies in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the Virgin Islands.

There is likely more than meets the eye to this issue which prompted the DOL to intervene, if you are using the honour system and/or some paper-based time sheets to track employee time.

Managing employee schedules, overtime and work hours should not be a complex issue, if you using a solution like ATS TimeWork OnDemand.

Some of the benefits include:

  • The automation of time tracking and reporting capabilities, while giving employees self-service access to Internet-enabled devices like smartphones and tables.
  • Transforming human resources tasks from an administrative function to a strategic asset with powerful integration tools to; HRIS, Payroll and ERP.
  • Improved accrual benefits management- this embedded module gives you the tools to track and monitor employee vacation and other absences, thus eliminating the types of errors that occur in a manual-based environment.

ATS TimeWork OnDemand application is designed to help you grow your business by automating routine tasks and providing power analytic tools to better manage your workforce.

To learn more about ATS TimeWork OnDemand, go to our website. You can also register for a bi-weekly webinar or download a demonstration. To reach an account representative by phone, call: 866.294.2467.

Here Are Some Of The Reasons Why ATS Employee Self-Service Can Boost Productivity

August 3rd, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Absence Management | ATS TimeWork OnDemand | Benefit Accruals | Employee Self Service | Payroll | Time and Attendance Canada | Time and Attendance Toronto - (Comments Off on Here Are Some Of The Reasons Why ATS Employee Self-Service Can Boost Productivity)

Proposed hikes to the minimum wage in several jurisdictions, tight margins and increased global competition across all business sectors are just a few reasons why, many of today’s companies are trying to find ways to streamline payroll costs. And, many of these companies — have also discovered that by adopting employee self-service applications they can reduce human resources paperwork— thus, allowing them to focus on more strategic objectives.

Here Are Some Of The Reasons Why ATS Employee Self-Service Can Boost Productivity

ATS TimeWork OnDemand Employee Self-Service automates administrative human resource management processes. The application, when combined with ATS Benefit Accruals, provides your HR team with easy access to the information they need — all in a single employee record — to reduce errors and consistently enforce policies. Improve HR productivity, engage employees, control costs, and reduce compliance risk with automation that reduces tedious tasks and lets employees focus on what they do best.

ATS TimeWork OnDemand Employee Self-Service will help your company:

Boost Productivity
ATS Employee Self-service, integrated into the ATS TimeWork OnDemand solution, and provides seamless mobile access to both benefits and pay information. It’s a wonderful way to connect employees to managers — and connect managers to employees. Employees can update profiles and benefits, review shifts and overtime data, and request time-off. This means your HR and payroll team recovers valuable time to focus on larger goals.

Automate with Consistency and Adhere to Workforce Compliance
ATS TimeWork OnDemand robust data engine can be configured to comply with various legislative requirements, including the Canadian Family Medical Leave and Affordable Care Act. Automation of rules, policies, and regulations are applied consistently across the board, simplifying complex processes and helping you manage compliance with Employment Standards Act (ESA), FMLA and other employment acts across North America.

Streamline Data for HR and Payroll Practitioners
Recruiting, hiring and managing talent is a complex, but with ATS TimeWork OnDemand Employee Self-Service it should not be. If, however, your company is tracking employee time-off requests and hours worked on paper — you are likely giving yourself an unnecessary headache. ATS Employee Self-Service reduces errors consistently enforce policies, and helps you build the type of workforce you envision.

To learn about ATS Employee Self-Service, Benefit Accruals or Time and Attendance, go to our website. You can also download a demonstration,  and to reach us by phone call, 866.294.2467.

 

You have been charged with the responsibility of purchasing a new time and attendance system for your organization. Naturally, you are immensely excited and you can’t wait to call every vendor in for demonstrations and go through every conceivable feature of the software. But wait a minute? Why do you need to go through a myriad of features that you might never use? This is a common occurrence with many companies especially ones who are in the market for a time and attendance for the first time.

Below is a list of three straightforward strategies and tips that will help you find the right solution for your business:

In The Market For A New Time And Attendance? Don’t Forget To Focus On The Fundamentals

Make a list of your requirements: Making a list will help you define the scope of your project. Also be very specific about your company’s business requirements. The more specific you can be upfront, the more detailed your vendors can be in their demonstrations and proposals.  Chances are, you will likely be awed by the latest technology advancements, during product demonstrations but it is important to keep in mind your corporate culture and how easy the solution is going to be for your users. Very often an IT person is invited, but the very people who are going to be using the system are nowhere to be found.

Think Cloud: Even if your company has no desire to deploy a cloud solution, be open minded and discuss it with your colleagues and senior management. Every company is using a cloud solution today in some way or another. Whether you are using Face Book, Drop Box, or Google these solutions are all in the cloud. And, if your company has mobile workers, a time and attendance that’s based in the cloud, with self-service portals, should be given stronger consideration. Also do not forget about data integration- any time and attendance solution that does not have the ability to integrate with your payroll, HRIS, or ERP is not a solution but another expensive piece of unusable software. In short, move on and do not waste your time with a solution that’s does not fit your business requirements.

Obtain References: This might seem all too obvious, but don’t forget to ask your potential vendor for references. If your potential vendor cannot provide at least three happy customers, they may not have the experience you need. Go to the next vendor on the list.

Too often, people select a time and attendance solution based on price, fancy features, and the latest technology. A solution that’s comprehensive, scalable, and easy-to-use should top your list. In the end, what you need is to find the company that understands your company’s requirements, and whose solution can be designed to fit your specific needs. And, once you find right solution, you will be well on achieving the ROI and long term benefits.

To download a white paper on ‘how to select a time and attendance solution’, go to our website. You can also download a demonstration or register for one our bi-weekly webcasts.

Annoying Buzzwords That Should Be Banned From Everyday Vocabulary

January 9th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Employee Scheduling | Employee Self Service | Workforce Management Solutions - (Comments Off on Annoying Buzzwords That Should Be Banned From Everyday Vocabulary)

In business there are some buzzwords that are used which makes sense to some degree. After all, some of them are used in everyday life as well and we all get that. Where it becomes a problem is when these same buzzwords or a variety of them are used incessantly when a more simple explanation will do. In short, it becomes annoying after while hearing buzzwords that should have been banned years ago.

Annoying Buzzwords That Should Be Banned From Everyday Vocabulary

 

Scott Gerber published an article for Mashable about ten annoying buzzwords. He asked some business leaders to unravel the meaning these words and why some people use them. We changed their order of appearance and added our reasons why we think they should be done with forever.

    1. Pivot- It seems for some bizarre reason this word is being used at every meeting and on every newscast. Next time someone says this word at a meeting, just roll your eyes, hopefully they will get the point.
    2. Paradigm Shift-pleasantly surprised this word is still around. Thought it was buried some 10 years ago?
    3. Think Outside The Box-Which box exactly? It’s amazing how this term has become. After a while, and similar to other buzzwords, people begin to turn a deaf eye when they hear them.
    4. Game Changer-There has to be other words that can replace this and make people pay attention.
    5. Hit The Ground Running-Yes, point taken. But how about you’ve the skill and are ready to handle the project instead of this outdated, hit the ground running stuff?

Not everyone is impressed with buzzwords. In fact, the people using them are probably attempting to come off as being intelligent. Who knows? What’s clear is that these buzzwords have become irritating for co-workers who hear them constantly and even roll their eyes when no one is looking.

How about slowly doing away with these buzzwords as a New Year’s resolution in 2017?

Having Difficulty Scheduling Employees? Then You Are Likely Using The Wrong Software

January 3rd, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Employee Scheduling | Employee Self Service | Forecasting | Overtime | Payroll | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software | Time and Attendance On-Demand - (Comments Off on Having Difficulty Scheduling Employees? Then You Are Likely Using The Wrong Software)

If you are in the service industry that includes: retail, healthcare, emergency service response, call centres and hospitality- you know that scheduling employees can be a tall order. When you consider things like shift swapping, replacing absences, and the most egregious of them all; back-to-back and on—call shifts having the right scheduling system is paramount to health and well being of your employees and your company’s balance sheet.

Employees who are constantly working different shifts every day or week will most likely be tired and unproductive. In a recent article by USA Today by Kevin McCoy regarding the issue of on-call shifts by some employers, the New York Attorney General was quoted saying the following: “On-call shifts are not a business necessity and should be a thing of the past,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who characterized the procedure as unfair. “People should not have to keep the day open, arrange for child care, and give up other opportunities without being compensated for their time.”

Using an effective scheduling system that ATS TimeWork OnDemand Scheduling module will help your company reduce labour costs and provides additional insights to help you budget and forecast and improve the operational aspects of your business.

Having Difficulty Scheduling Employees? Then You Are Likely Using The Wrong Software

ATS TimeWork OnDemand Scheduling will:

  • Adjust staffing levels by linking position-specific labor standards to changes in business demand
  • Enhance employee participation by providing them with the ability to swap shifts with their colleagues through the self-service portal
  • Quickly fill vacant shifts thus, enforcing complex canvassing requirements and collective bargaining rules when applicable

The key to business success today starts with recruiting and retaining great people. And, if your company is using an outdated scheduling system, it will not help. ATS TimeWork OnDemand Scheduling solution takes the guesswork out of aligning the right talent, in the right place, at the right time. ATS TimeWork OnDemand Scheduling eliminates manual scheduling processes to help ensure optimal staffing coverage for every shift, every day.

To download a demonstration, go to our website. And to speak to a representative, call 866.294.2467.

Some have argued that the annual performance review should have been ditched ages ago. After all performance reviews are taking into account what employees did 12 months ago and it’s a process that most managers and employees alike detest. According to a recent Washington Post article, consulting firm Accenture along with several other fortune 500 companies, including Microsoft and Adobe have decided, to do away with performance reviews and/or replace it with a easier process.

Has The Annual Performance Review Past It’s Best Before Date?

But how did a process that was so beloved by so many companies, and used as a barometer to; gauge performance, enhance benefits and employee pay premiums and bonuses elicit so much hate in recent years? Times have changed and, in most cases, the annual performance process has not. And, according to an article by Ratan Tavawala for Eremedia here are three reasons why:

Work is different-Work moves at a much faster pace today, with goals and projects measured in days and weeks instead of months and quarters. Performance reviews traditionally occur on a twelve-month cycle — which means they’re not keeping pace with production. In addition, companies are putting greater focus on team success over individual outcomes. At an organization where global teams are connected by virtual technology and work outcomes are a shared experience, individual yearly performance appraisals do not reflect the reality of how work is accomplished.

Ties to compensation– Historically, pay raises and bonuses have been directly tied to performance appraisals. This sets up a skewed power dynamic that can hinder the type of candid conversation that leads to real improvement. Separating employee performance discussions from raises allows for more focused, coaching conversation about day-to-day job performance, areas for improvement, professional development resources, and opportunities for growth.

Lack of honest dialogue-The power dynamic at play in traditional performance appraisals is top-down, with few companies focusing on assessing the supervisory and leadership skills of managers. Allowing employees to provide feedback to (or even formally evaluate) their managers not only improves efficacy, but leads to better employee engagement and empowerment.”

Traditional performance reviews have been, for many years, anxiety inducing, and have been reduced to an awkward for managers. Employees, in turn, cringe at the notion of having to sit in front of their manager to go through this process, which from their viewpoint is an exercise filled with criticism.

So, what’s the answer? Why not look at changing it. As some have suggested, instead of doing an annual review, reduce it to once a month or better yet, spend a day with your employee while they are performing their tasks and offer feedback. Whichever method you choose, one thing is for certain the old way of doing performance reviews are out of step with today’s workforce.

Managing paid time off can be a difficult undertaking, for companies who are tracking it the old fashion way through; a variety of spreadsheets and disparate systems used by different supervisors who each have their own method of tracking time off.

But this type of tracking can only take you so far. Because when it comes to proper compliance of labour laws in many jurisdictions, those spreadsheets and the archaic methods of tracking paid time off (PTO) won’t help. Why? Because many provinces and states throughout Canada and the US have stepped up their compliance investigations and, as such, many organizations have found themselves facing increased risk of scrutiny and financial fallout.

how-to-effectively-manage-paid-time-off-and-increase-employee-morale

Here are three ways to effectively track and manage your workforce paid time off policies:

 Automate the Process
Instead of manually tracking employee time off requests through spreadsheets and other outdated processes, you should think about deploying a time and attendance solution. ATS time and attendance will become an important part of protecting your business from penalties. ATS TimeWork will help your company stay on track, and stores the documentation you will need in case of a payroll or attendance audit.

Intuitive Absence Tracking
ATS Absence Request is fully configurable tool accompanied by full complement of analytic reporting that can be assigned to any type of absence including; family leave, (maternity and paternity) long and short term disability, jury duty, sick days, vacation and unlimited flexibility and code options that can be tailored to any company regardless of industry. And best of all your employees can punch in and out through a mobile device, kiosk/touch screens and/or biometric time clocks.

 Integrate to Payroll, Human Resources or Enterprise Resource Planning
ATS Absence Request can be easily exported and imported into many existing management systems. Data can be imported into payroll to ensure proper payroll tracking for personal time off (PTO) days are taken in accordance with correct payouts for those days. By deploying ATS Time and Attendance and taking advantage of the Absence Request module, you immediately eliminate human error that comes with tracking employee absence manually.

With ATS Absence Request you can transform tedious, time consuming everyday tasks into intelligent, efficient processes that drive business insight.

To learn more go to our website and download a demonstration. To reach an account executive by phone, call: 866.294.2467.

It’s that time of year when you can safely pull out that ugly Christmas sweater and not have to worry about wearing it since there will be others like you, who will be wearing one. And, like years past, you and your colleagues have been invited to the company’s annual office Christmas party. And, according to many experts, unless you have a legitimate excuse you had better attend, because not only will your absence be noticed but you could be also limiting your career prospects.

You Better Watch Out, Useful Tips For The Annual Office Christmas Party

Here are a few common sense tips from Dr. Patty Ann Tublin from an article written for The Huffington Post titled ‘Do’s and Don’ts for the Office Holiday Party’ and in no particular order here are a few of these tips.

Tip Number One

“GO! Don’t even think about blowing this party off. Love em or hate em, it will serve you well to be seen at them. Even if this party is touted as being optional – that doesn’t really mean it is. Your absence may very well be noticed. Worse – it may be prone to misinterpretation (he/she is not a team player, is aloof, is a snob, etc.).

Tip Number Two

It’s not good enough to just show up. Since you’re already there – you might as well make the most of it. This is a great opportunity to network with the movers and shakers of your company (i.e., upper management and executives) whom you would normally not have access to. If you’ve never met them before, make it your business to introduce yourself with a brief introduction and non-work related conversation.

Tip Number Three

Dress Appropriately. The office holiday party is not the time to come slinking in with a way too high mini-skirt or stained T-shirt. Rule of thumb: the venue dictates the dress code. If you are in doubt as to how formal or casual the party will be, ask someone whom you believe will know. Every office has that someone who seems to know this stuff!”

These annual Christmas office parties should be seen as fun event and a chance to celebrate, and get to know your co-workers and boss on a personal level. They are not created so, you can “Party like it’s 1999.” After all, who wants to end up being (well, maybe some people) tagged in photos and videos; Snap Chat, Face Book or YouTube, dancing, while seeming incoherent of their surroundings? It could end up being a painful conversation with HR department days later, perhaps resulting in a permanent leave of absence for the party-goer/s.