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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.

The Annual Office Christmas Party And The Headaches It Can Provide For HR Managers

December 7th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in HR | Leave Management | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software | Time and Attendance Canada | Time and Attendance Toronto - (Comments Off on The Annual Office Christmas Party And The Headaches It Can Provide For HR Managers)

The annual boisterous and sometimes, boozy office Christmas party means HR has to be on high alert. This staple of corporate culture year-end party is usually seen by some, as a way to unwind, get to know our co-workers a bit better, boost our social capital or win the next promotion. Some employees might even use this time of the year to request a vacation day or two so, they can relax or use it to spend time with their family.

The Annual Office Christmas Party And The Headaches It Can Provide For HR Managers

 

And, while you might be waiting with great anticipation for your company’s annual office party take heed from this list of ‘The Do’s And Don’ts Of Any Office Christmas Party’ by Lynda O’Neal in a recent Yahoo publication.

“Don’t: Enflame The Office Drama
The Etiquette School of New York, which offers training to large companies, universities and individuals, provides a long list of optimal behaviors for workplace holiday parties and devotes a large portion of text to small talk.

Do: Expand Your Network
Mingling outside of the team you interact with on a day-to-day basis could help you take away something positive from the event — a longer-lasting benefit, at least, than free drinks and hors d’oeuvres, Susan Bryant, a contributor to job search engine Monster’s career advice section, opined.

Don’t: Try To ‘Keep Up’ With The Heavy Drinkers
No one likes a hangover, but it can be easy to go overboard at office parties, especially if an open bar is involved. Stick to one drink per hour, and two in total if you can help it, manners blogger and author Maralee McKee advised in a post”.

 Bottom-line, use common sense before you attend your company’s office Christmas party, or you can always seek the advice of someone with the HR department or a trust colleague.

And remember, to relax and have fun. ‘Tis the season to be merry.

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Whether you are implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Workforce Management, Payroll or Human Resources Information System (HRIS), you need a plan and someone project manager to lead it. And with the advent of cloud-based solutions gaining momentum in the world of business, deploying a software solution has becoming easier for companies.

If You Follow These Implementation Tips Your Rate Of Success Will Improve

If you are considering automating your business process this article, 6 Tips for Full HR Automation That Will Dramatically Increase Efficiency written by Carlie Bush, for HR Daily Advisor, is a useful guide for any business.

  1. Step into employees’ shoes. It is important to consider the transition from the perspective of the employees.  Too often, we discuss the potential changes with the leaders of the various departments, but to do the transition right, employee input should be prioritized and included in the discussion.  Employees are often resistant to change, so including them in the discussions, answering their questions, and using their ideas will go a long way in reassuring them throughout the transition.
  2. Consider a consultant. From start to finish, a third-party expert can help companies transition to automation.  As an external consultant, they can provide unbiased advice including how to get support from the top-level executives, what to look for in a provider, how to help employees through the transition, and many other critical parts of the transition process.
  3. Collaborate with Information Technology (IT). IT plays an invaluable role in the transition to automation.  From the beginning, collaborate and plan alongside IT.  Their knowledge and vision for how things should work will help HR departments consider the options available to them as well as provide a backdrop for a well thought out transition.
  4. Have a robust communications plan. Before starting the transition, have a formal communication plan in place that outlines for employees what to expect, a timeline of when things are going to change, and information on training and where they can get help.  Remember to give them adequate time to prepare.  The more transparent you are with employees the higher the chances of a smooth transition.
  5. Get executive support and buy-in. From the top down, there needs to be support for the transition.  Employees need to know the leaders of the company understand and fully support the change.  By being part of the change and talking openly about the benefits to employees, company executives can have a huge impact on how the transition is received.
  6. Help employees along the way. Employees will need help throughout the transition.  It is important that they feel supported through training and communication.

It’s also useful to note, that every implementation is different and some will go smoother than others. However, the best implementations are the ones where both sides (vendor and customer) are flexible in their approach and have contingency plans, should the implementation not go as planned. In other words, a contingency plan should be part of any implementation.

To learn more about ATS Workforce Management Solution and our implementation methodology or to download a pre-recorded demonstration go, to our website, where you can also register for one of our bi-monthly webinars. And, to reach an account executive by phone, call; 866.294.2467.

Business Jargons That Outlived Their Time And Should Perish From Everyday Conversations

November 14th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Career | HR | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Business Jargons That Outlived Their Time And Should Perish From Everyday Conversations)

Have you ever being in a meeting and feel like you have been transported to another universe when you hear useless business jargon being used by some of the attendees? We’ve all being there! Yes, even some folks, here at ATS are guilty of using jargon.

Below is a list of business jargons or crap speak (as it’s referred to in some quarters) that were extracted from a Forbes.com article titled ‘The Most Annoying, Pretentious And Useless Business Jargon’ They are listed in no particular order. Here goes:

Leverage
Meet the granddaddy of nouns converted to verbs. ‘Leverage’ is mercilessly used to describe how a situation or environment can be manipulated or controlled. Leverage should remain a noun, as in “to apply leverage,” not as a pseudo-verb, as in “we are leveraging our assets.”

Think Outside the Box
This tired turn of phrase means to approach a business problem in an unconventional fashion. Kudos to a Forbes.com reader who suggested: “Forget the box, just think.”

Lots of Moving Parts
Pinball machines have lots of moving parts. Many of them buzz and clank and induce migraine headaches. Do you want your business to run, or even appear to run, like a pinball machine? Then do not say it involves lots of moving parts.

Corporate Values
This expression is so phony it churns the stomach. Corporations don’t have values, the people who run them do.

Make Hay
This is jargon for being productive or successful in a short period of time. The phrase ‘to make hay’ is short for ‘make hay while the sun shines’, which can be traced to John Heyward’s The Proverbs, Epigrams and Miscellanies of John Heywood (circa 1562). A handy nugget for cocktail conversation, but that’s it.

Buy-In
This means agreement on a course of action, if the most disingenuous kind. Notes David Logan, professor of management and organization at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business: “Asking for someone’s ‘buy-in’ says, ‘I have an idea.  I didn’t involve you because I didn’t value you enough to discuss it with you.  I want you to embrace it as if you were in on it from the beginning, because that would make me feel really good.’”

S.W.A.T. Team
In law enforcement, this term refers to teams of fit men and women who put themselves in danger to keep people safe. “In business, it means a group of ‘experts’ (often fat guys in suits) assembled to solve a problem or tackle an opportunity” says USC’s Logan. An apt comparison, if you’re a fat guy in a suit.

Of course, not everyone loves using these nonsensical words. But for the ones who simply cannot get enough of it during the day, check out Lucy Kelleway’s columns on business jargon or “business guff” as she calls it, and her compelling reasons why saying what we really mean, can go a long way.

Can You Attest To Having A Perfect Hiring Record?

November 8th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Careers | HR | Leave Management | Recruitment | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Can You Attest To Having A Perfect Hiring Record?)

Seasoned HR executives will never attest to having a perfect hiring record. Why? Because no company has this record and if they claim that they do, they likely have a long nose.

Sharlyn Lauby is a highly regarded and well sought-after HR consultant and leads the HR bartender site. In one of her latest blogs what’s your Hiring Nightmare Story offers five tips that can be used by new and seasoned and HR managers alike.

Can You Attest To Having A Perfect Hiring Record?

Those five tips include:

  1. Establish selection criteria. It’s so much easier to take a few moments on the front end to discuss selection criteria than to find out after a whole bunch of interviews that the hiring manager isn’t on the same page. When an opening occurs, buy your hiring manager a cup of coffee and discuss the KSAs for the job and a sourcing strategy.
  2. Ask good interview questions. This applies to everyone in the process. Interviewing is hard. Managers who haven’t interviewed for a while might want a refresher (and they could be reluctant to ask for one). Have some pre-designed interview questions ready to help managers out.
  3. Get multiple people involved. I believe it doesn’t help employees if the only two people they know on Day One is HR and their manager. Yes, more interviews take extra time but they also allow employees to start building relationships. Exactly what they need to be successful.
  4. Don’t rush the process. The hiring process can’t drag along either. But I’ve seen plenty of managers speed up the process and make bad hiring decisions because they felt that they were racing the clock. Adding a couple of days to get the right candidate makes sense for all.
  5. And conduct a comprehensive background screening. Once you find a great candidate, verify their background. Instead of thinking that background checks are to catch deception, consider it as confirming what’s already been discussed.

Those are all useful tips and while they are not perfect (nothing ever is) following them could help your hiring averages of candidates within your company. And, the best part is that these hiring tips are free of charge.

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Here is the drill: Daylight saving time (DST) ended on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017 at 2 a.m. ET. Most north Americans would have set their clocks back an hour. This makes for darker days, and for some people, it will take a few days to get used to, while for some others, it might take them a week or two to adjust to the time change.

The spring brings the arrival of daylight saving time in March 2018 and requires clocks to be moved forward one hour at 2 a.m. Employees who are shift workers and who are on duty at that time and who normally work an eight-hour shift will actually work only seven hours, unless of course, your company is using an automated time and attendance system that automatically adjusts with daylights savings time.

ATS TimeWork OnDemand Is Designed To Handle Daylight Savings Time

A blog titled As the clocks turn back this weekend, don’t forget FLSA rules authored by Pamela Deloacth for HRDive offers the following advice for companies:

“That extra hour of work can present several unanticipated challenges, in addition to an unpaid hour:

Overtime: If that additional hour puts an employee at more than 40 hours during that workweek, the Fair Labor Standards Act requires the employee be paid overtime. Employees who fall under the “8 and 80” system — or in states that require daily overtime — may be eligible for overtime for that day.

Collective Bargaining Agreements: Employers should ensure that they are following any provisions in a collective bargaining agreement that addresses wage and hour provisions for time change”.

If your company has in excess of 30 employees handling daylight savings time (DST) manually can be a challenge. Automating your time tracking system, instead of doing it manually, will make your payroll and HR managers happy and more productive, especially if they have to deal with sleep deprived employees, still adjusting to the daylight savings time.  ATS TimeWork OnDemand is a cloud-based time and attendance designed for; Payroll, Accrual Benefits, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Talent Management, and Analytics integration. ATS TimeWork OnDemand provides organizations with access to real-time data of Workforce Management (WFM) capabilities, across all domains.

To learn more about ATS TimeWork OnDemand or to attend a bi-monthly webinar, go to our website where you  can also download a demonstration from our website or contact us by phone at: 866.294.2467 to discuss your business requirements.

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.

Building A Business Case For Telecommuting

October 18th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Career | Employee Productivity | HR | Telecommuting Employees | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Building A Business Case For Telecommuting)

Want to convince your boss that you should work from home? Make sure you have a compelling case, including facts to prove that working remotely will not impact your productivity. In other words, do your due diligence, talk to your HR personnel, other work colleagues, and be sure to take time to learn about your company’s history as it pertains to telecommuting, otherwise, it could backfire on you.

Building A Business Case For Telecommuting

Here are some tips from Melanie Pinola’s blog on LifeWire titled What You Should Know Before You Ask to Work from Home

“The first thing you should know, if you’ve never worked from home before, is that telecommuting has awesome benefits but it’s not for everyone.

There are many pros and cons to telecommuting. That said, if you want to give it a try, start with the basics below.

Find out what the current policy is

  • Check the employee manual. If there’s an existing remote work policy, then your chances of success are good. You can use the information provided to make your case in your remote work proposal.
  • If there’s no written information but some of your co-workers currently have flexible work arrangements, ask them for advice on proceeding. They’ll have the inside scoop on how easy it was to negotiate the work arrangement and how it’s working out for them.
  • Don’t worry if no one ever has established a flexible work schedule or remote work agreement at the company, though. You can be the first! (In my former job, I was the first person to start working from home regularly as a telecommuter as I was able to prove I could get my job done at home. See below for more details.)

Use your experience to your advantage

  • Because your supervisor’s support and approval will be key to getting your request granted, you’ve got a leg up if you are an established employee whom your supervisor trusts and values. Make sure you maintain that respect and continue to make yourself invaluable to the company.
  • Gather past employee evaluations that had positive comments related to critical telecommuting traits, such as: initiative, ability to work without supervision, and communication skills.
  • If you are a new hire, think about past experience at other companies that prove your ability to telecommute productively, such as occasionally working while traveling for work or working from home when needed on the weekends. If you don’t have past remote work experience, perhaps delay the request, however, until you’ve developed a strong rapport with your supervisor and proven yourself invaluable to the company.

 Be sensitive to your employer’s needs and goals
Look at the company’s mission statements, website description, and other materials to see how they present themselves. If they say they care about their employees’ well-being or are innovative/progressive companies of today, you can use these “branding statements” in your proposal.”

If you are still unable to convince your boss about the benefits of telecommuting, don’t be dishearten, simply try again in a few months. However, if your company has a no telecommuting policy, you should also be respectful of it by either abiding by the company’s policy, or find a company that offers telecommuting to its employees.

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Today’s HR practitioners have a symbiotic relationship with technology. And why shouldn’t they? When you consider the old ways of calculating and managing employee time and attendance was relegated to paper time sheets. In other words, a time-consuming task, that resulted in numerous errors, it’s no wonder many in HR are giving a warm embrace to technology.

Technology Has Become A Great Resource For HR Departments

A brief summary of an article titled World-class HR departments do more but spend less, thanks to technology written by Valerie Bolden-Barrett, for HR Dive reads, in part:

  • World-class HR organizations spend 25% less than average HR organizations and function with 30% less staff, but are more effective, according to a report from The Hackett Group. The consulting firm’s benchmark analysis​ also found that, should an average company with $10 billion in revenue gain world-class HR status, it could save up to $15 million a year. The Hackett Group defines world-class HR operations as those which maintain a level of performance in the top quartile in effectiveness and efficiency.
  • The analysis also showed that world-class HR operations spend more of their budgets on cloud-based technology and selective outsourcing compared to other HR staffs. Top-ranked departments have also reduced the amount of staff performing transactional tasks with error rates for those tasks two to fives times lower that of traditional HR operations.
  • The Hackett Group’s research also found that, through digital technology, HR organizations can improve their efficiency and effectiveness in delivering services, boost customer experience, place additional resources on high-value activities and use sophisticated analytics for better decision-making.

Bottom line: Technology has created remarkable new opportunities to eliminate administrative overhead and, at the same time, give HR departments access to advanced technology tools like, workforce analytics, real-time employee dashboard review, employee self-self service and hosts of other workforce management tools available 24/7 365 days a year.

Do you think your HR department will want to turn their backs on tools that helps them streamline payroll costs and improve productivity? We are guessing the answer is no.

To learn about ATS Workforce Management Solutions go to our website. You can also register for a bi-monthly webinar or call us at 866.294.2467 to arrange a demonstration.

What Is The Right Fit Anyway?

October 2nd, 2017 | Posted by ATS in HR | Recruitment | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on What Is The Right Fit Anyway?)

That’s a tough one to wrap around one’s head when a company says they are looking for the ‘right fit’? What’s the hidden meaning behind these words and will your company know the ‘right fit’ when you see it and if so, what does it represent? Some have argued that these words mean some companies are only interested in hiring candidates who attended the same schools or have the same circle of friends and/or associates as their current employees. If that’s the case, why not say so, on these job applications?

What Is The Right Fit Anyway?

In her article, Hiring Fit vs. Hiring for Inclusion: Which Route Should You Take?

Lin Grensing-Pophal writes, “HR professionals are talking a lot about “hiring for fit,” and the concept seems sound. After all, to create and maintain a strong corporate culture, companies would seem well-served to ensure that new hires will fit into that culture. But is there a flip side to this commonly held wisdom? Could building a culture based on “fit” keep out those who are different in some way? Does it create equal employment opportunity risks? Are innovators being excluded? How can HR leaders help their companies find the right balance?”

The importance of preserving culture within an organization is at times, nothing more than a load of baloney. Progressive organizations are that the ones who are who are diverse in thought and people. The words ‘right fit’ are embraced by some companies, thereby limiting their own growth prospects simply to attract candidates who think like them.

In closing, Lin Grensing-Pophal’s article, in SHRM, contains 6 tips for companies who hire based on ‘fit’:

  • Hire from the broadest pool of applicants. Go beyond recruiting from the same education programs. Go beyond word-of-mouth hires.
  • Use neutral job descriptions focusing on the essential job requirements and the requisite merit, education and skills needed for each position.
  • Identify the company’s core values and how a person who is a strong cultural fit best represents these values.
  • Have a wide panel of interviewers from a variety of backgrounds interview job candidates.
  • Focus on what the individual will be able to bring to the company based on his or her experience and how that will advance the company’s goals, mission, sales and success.
  • Make inclusion a goal during the onboarding process.

Apex Time Solutions (ATS) is the global leader in delivering workforce management solutions in the cloud. Thousands of organizations that spans Canada, South America, US and Europe— including Fortune 500® — companies use ATS TimeWork OnDemand to control payroll costs, minimize compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity.

To learn about ATS best-in-class time and attendance solutions, job costing, employee scheduling, forecasting, payroll and workforce analytics management go to www.atimesolutions.com