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The benefit of moving business applications to the cloud is no longer up for the debate. And while, there are some companies who still cling to the belief that having software installed on their server is part of a corporate policy, that they are not willing to abandon. However, this attitude towards the cloud, is dwindling as more companies realize that the cloud has become part of everything we do in this digital era.

Cloud Computing Predictions For 2018 According To Forrester Research

In a recently published article titled ‘Predictions 2018: Cloud Computing Accelerates Enterprise Transformation Everywhere’ by Dave Bartoletti for Forrester Research, he writes in part;

“Cloud now permeates all company sizes, industries, and geographies. And all of this innovation isn’t only happening in the big public clouds; exciting new private cloud technology stacks and fresh partnerships between infrastructure vendor stalwarts and upstart cloud-native companies bring the power and energy of elastic, on-demand cloud services to the enterprise data center as well.

In 2018, we’ll pass that magic threshold: Forrester predicts that more than 50% of global enterprises will rely on at least on public cloud platform to drive digital transformation and delight customers. As highlighted in our 2018 cloud predictions, cloud is truly business critical and is now a mainstream enterprise core technology”.

Many of the companies who have migrated to the cloud are reaping several benefits, including: a reduction in IT operating costs, more simplified user workflows across multiple applications, improved employee mobility, having access to real-time workforce analytics, and an increased ability to innovate business operations.

So what if your company happens to part of the few holdouts, who remain unconvinced about the benefits of migrating to the cloud? Our suggestion is to start small and/or ask other businesses who are using the cloud about their experience. Chances are you might be surprised to find out that some of today’s companies who are using cloud-based solutions held similar views to that of your organization.

To learn about ATS TimeWork OnDemand, our best-in-class cloud computing application, go our website, where you can view a demonstration or register for one of our bi-monthly webinars. To reach an account representative, call; 866.294.2467.

 

There was a time when biometrics was seen as futuristic and, too intrusive to ever be accepted by the general public. Many of today’s smart phones, tablets and laptops are equipped with biometrics. As part of its security protocols airports around the world, have installed fingerprint readers and voice recognition technologies and Disney World have installed biometrics that enables its visitors to gain access to theme parks.

Biometric Technology Is Shaping The Future Of Time And Attendance

If your company is an early adopter of biometric time and attendance, you are likely the beneficiary of a productive workforce, and at the same time are saving hundreds of dollars on payroll costs.

If you are considering a biometric time and attendance system to enhance your company’s HR process and workflows, here are three types of the most common biometric technologies for recording and tracking employee time.

Hand Geometry: Hand recognition is the most common employee biometric time clock technology. The method uses 3D analysis of the hand for tracking and identification purposes. An individual places their hand (palm down) onto a special plate. A camera takes a picture of it and analyzes the length, width, thickness and surface area of the hand. This recorded biostatistics information is then stored for future use. Companies have used this type of biometrics for attendance tracking and accessing secure entrances.

Facial Recognition: ATS FaceScan Time Clocks, uses algorithms to analyze features. These include the position/size/shape of the eyes, nose, cheekbones and jaw line. Initially, this process was known as 2D facial recognition. The 2D images were typically taken from security cameras that have integrated facial recognition technology. For the best results, face images needed to be looking directly at the camera with enough lighting. After analysis, they could be compared to other face images for identification purposes. Employee Time clocks that use facial recognition are growing in popularity— it’s as simple as snapping a photo; the time clocks are equipped with HD cameras. This type of technology is now readily available on ATS TimeWork OnDemand mobile time tracking apps as well.

Fingerprint Identification:This type of biometrics compares either one or two fingerprints (depending on the type of time clock selected) to determine identification. It analyzes the ridges and valleys patterns on the fingertip for differences. The process involves measuring and comparing employee fingerprints against data stored in the time and attendance system. It is fast and easy to use— the employee simply presses a fingertip against the time clock screen for a moment as part of the clock in/out process. Some laptop computers and smart phones, utilize fingerprint biometrics for authorizations purposes such as logging in and entering website passwords.

Other biometrics include voice authentication, which is the analysis of vocal behavior by matching it to a voice model template (that was previously recorded). Since every voice is unique, the physical characteristics of the speaker’s voice can be measured. Retinal and iris scanning is employed by different industries.

Bottom-line:

Companies deploy biometric time and attendance systems to ensure the person/s clocking in, are who they say they are. Biometric time clocks helps prevent employee time theft, ensures workforce compliance, and helps employers collect accurate time and attendance information. In short, it makes life easier for payroll and HR practitioners.

To arrange a demonstration of ATS TimeWork OnDemand and our array of biometric time clocks, go to our website or call, 866.294.2467.

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.

Keep current with ATS:

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.

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.

Where you are a CEO, HR executive or small-midsize business owner, the world of work as you know it is rapidly changing. And, if you are in a management role, you should make sure you are prepared for these changes. Here is small sample size of what’s being considered and some of them will likely come to fruition:

Minimum wage hike, addition of paid sick leave, overtime, vacation pay, minimum wage

  • Employers will be required to pay employees for sick days taken
  • Overtime pay will kick in at 40 hours, from the current 44 hours.
  • Paid vacation will change to three weeks per year from the current two weeks
  • Employers will be required to pay their part-time workers the same as full-time workers, doing jobs that are similar in nature
  • Student and people under 18 who server alcohol will no longer be subjected to the lower minimum wage

While these changes are in Ontario, virtually every province and territory of Canada and across several US states, have changes that are similar in nature are going to be enacted by policy makers. And, the regions who have not updated their workplace laws recently, will be using Ontario as a case study. If you are still using paper time sheets to handle current work rule policies, it might be time to starting thinking about implementing a time and attendance solution to help you handle and adapt to these new laws.

The World Of Work Is Changing: Is Your Company Prepared?

In this blog,  7 Smart Reasons for Your Payroll Clients to Use Time Clocks authored by Louie Calvin for Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting, a clear case is made for deploying a time clock solution:

“Collect employee data faster — There’s nothing more frustrating to a payroll preparer than waiting for, or chasing down, clients to get what’s needed to process payroll. Time clock applications manage employee changes and hours/time data throughout the pay period in electronic format — much easier than fielding phone calls or emails.

Correct and accurate payroll calculation and reporting — Anytime your team can reduce human error, you’ll spend less time correcting or delaying payroll. Time clocks today are smart devices — they can automatically log out or deduct for meal periods for people who forget to punch in or out, — and technology like data-sharing and use of APIs eliminates double data entry. An automated time system also makes recording hours easier for remote workers, or when employees travel. Depending on the system, reports upload directly into your payroll software, reducing the need for manual entries. The payroll preparer has the benefit of documented client sign-off on the data they submit, and direct import into your payroll application. This eliminates manual data entry and payroll checks are automatically ready for your review.

Ensure employees are accurately reporting time — With a time clock system, you can set up security parameters to make sure the employee is the one reporting their own hours — and that they’re reporting them accurately. You also have the ability to monitor time in and out, meals, breaks and more. Remember, wages that are overpaid or underpaid can result in liabilities that put your business clients at risk for fraud, with the statute of limitations up to three years.”

The proposed employment laws have not taken effect yet, but soon they will and you want to make sure you are prepared.

To learn about ATS time and attendance solution or to register for a bi-monthly webinar, go to our website. To speak to an account executive; call; 866.294.2467.

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.

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.