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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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Unlimited vacation policy has been adopted by a few companies but it still remains a rarity in much of the corporate world. The business community, at large, is currently dealing with, among other things, the recent push by some government and labour leaders to hike the minimum wage. Asking some of these companies embrace unlimited vacation policies might not be something they are eager to deal with presently.

Unlimited Vacation: Are Many Companies Eager To Adopt This Policy?

In her recent article titled Unlimited Vacation: Is It About Morale or the Bottom Line for Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) Dana Wilkie writes:

“Unlimited vacation first became popular at startups in Silicon Valley and then began to seep into other industries—typically those where employees work independently and can set their own hours. Companies that have embraced unlimited vacation include Netflix, Virgin America, The Motley Fool, Achievers, Jellyvision and General Electric, which offers the benefit to senior employees.

Still, unlimited vacation policies remain rare in corporate America; just 1 percent to 2 percent of companies offer the benefit, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM’s) 2016 Employee Benefits report. Evren Esen, SHRM-SCP, SHRM’s director of survey programs, said that statistic hasn’t changed appreciably during the past five years.

Leaders at companies that have adopted unlimited vacation laud the perk. They say there’s no more pressure on workers to plan and save days. Meanwhile, they say, employers are freed from the administrative hassle of tracking time off and the financial burden of paying out unused vacation time.”

The benefits of taking time-off is undisputed and studies including one by Oxford Economics  revealed that employees are more dedicated, productive and healthy when they take time-off. However, for several companies, unlimited vacation sounds more like a fantasy rather than reality, and so, it would be better to check with your HR department and ask about your corporate culture (if you are not sure) as it pertains to a policy like this, before getting excited about the companies that offer it.

ATS Time and Attendance Leave Management automates the administration and tracking of paid and unpaid federal, provincial, state and employer-specific leave policies and can be configured to match the needs of your company, to maintain and highlight vacation balances, reduce manual process errors, and control associated absenteeism costs. By eradicating manual tasks from the traditional leave management/time-off request process, ATS Time and Attendance Leave Management module ensures accurate data and full visibility when tracking and managing employee leave.

To learn about ATS Time and Attendance Leave Management module, go to our website.

Are Gym Memberships And Other Perks Good Recruiting Tools, To Attract And Retain Talent?

August 9th, 2016 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Absence Management | Benefit Accruals | Employee Self Service | Leave Management | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Are Gym Memberships And Other Perks Good Recruiting Tools, To Attract And Retain Talent?)

The recruitment practices of 20 years ago, no longer work and many of today’s companies are acutely aware of this and, as a result, offer rewards programs to recruit and retain talent. And, let’s face it, how many people are actually going to turn down; playing pool once a week, a one year yoga or gym membership or having lunch once or twice a week, all paid for by their employer?

Are Gym Memberships And Other Perks Good Recruiting Tools, To Attract And Retain Talent?

A recent article titled ‘The 44 Healthiest Companies to Work for in America’ by Abigale Thorpe for Greatist, describes in detail, some of the perks that several companies offer their employees. In no particular order, here is a list of 5 companies from the article:

Honest Tea
In addition to sipping delicious tea, all 40 employees are invited to stock up their pantries and fridges with quarterly Whole Foods gift certificates. Weekly organic fresh fruit delivery makes reaching for an apple or banana a natural habit. While you’re munching, take in one of the wellness seminars, ranging in topics from stress management to sleep habits. Boot camp is offered two times per week in-office after work, and a flexible schedule and commitment to company-wide volunteer days keeps employees feeling uplifted.

ALOHA
You might feel like you’re on vacation while taking full advantage of weekly yoga and meditation classes in the ALOHA office. The kitchen is always fully stocked with organic snacks, ALOHA’s healthy products are available to all 47 employees, and lunch is catered every Friday.

Pro Althe Inc.
Unlimited flex PTO, an on-site gym with a full-time personal trainer, access to yoga classes, and grocery store tours with a registered dietician are just a few of the perks this company’s 50 employees find on the job. Free laundry services, haircuts, massages, and cab and Uber rides are others—provided to make each employee’s home away from home as stress-free as possible. And when it comes to stress, you’d be hard-pressed to find it at the office, which has racquetball and basketball courts, a swimming pool, a bar and lounge, a game room, and a coffee shop.

inVentiv Health Public Relations Group
This PR company knows how to keep its 251 employees satisfied, with free daily lunch, chair massages, and yoga classes. And don’t forget the company-wide Thanksgiving potluck that reminds you coworkers are family too. Unlimited personal and sick days and three weeks paid vacation to start provide the downtime you need to keep living life, and the company’s VitaminC3 health program offers nutritional assistance, like cooking classes as well as physical fitness activities at the office, to keep you active between screen-staring stints.

Google
Google’s got you covered—and we’re not just referring to answering your every query. It provides on-site physicians and nurses for its 57,148 employees, as well as free legal advice and discounted legal services. In addition to a gourmet cafeteria, physical fitness programs, and on-site gyms, the company supplies a free shuttle service to employees in the Bay Area, and offers new parents paid time off and extra spending money to celebrate their little one. Headed out on vacay? No worries, Google provides travel insurance and emergency assistance (even for personal trips). Employees can also donate vacation days to coworkers who may need the extra days to take care of family emergencies.

Are Gym Memberships And Other Perks Good Recruiting Tools, To Attract And Retain Talent?

These perks, by these above mentioned companies gives the impression that you are in some sunny destination at all inclusive resort, and so, who would not jump at an opportunity work for a company that offered such great perks? One thing is certain, recruiting and retaining today’s employee, requires more than just a pay cheque, employee incentives are a good way to attract and retain talent.

And in conclusion, the old attitude that an employee is lucky to have a job and should not expect anything else, won’t sit well with the next generation of workers (millennials) who are going to replace many of today’s baby boomers.

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To learn about ATS solutions go to our website.

 

In the North American culture of work, for some at least, it means responding to e-mails from your boss or other colleagues at all hours of the night, and/or working on your day off or while on vacation. In short, work has consumed some of us, to the point, that we are defined by it. And this can result in family and leisure time, ultimately, taking a back seat to work.

In a recent article by Jennifer Deal for The Wall Street Journal titled “The Neuropsychology of Working While on Vacation–and How to Overcome It”

She writes; “Some people blame the technology for infiltrating our lives to the point we are never away from work. And certainly remaining connected with work while camping or sitting on the beach or being on car trips would be impossible without the smart-phone.”

But is technology really to be blamed for this? Are there emergencies everyday at work that requires employees to be connected 24/7, even while on vacation? Jennifer Deal’s answer to some of this question is simple; “Another way is to turn the phone off and put it physically away, such as locking it in a safe. If you can’t look at it – that is, you can’t without going to substantial trouble – the brain itch will eventually die off because you can’t scratch it.”

Can You Detach Yourself From Work While On Vacation?

And for those of us who find it incredibly busy to turn off from work while on vacation or on our days off, we can also try this; “So the next time you want to relax but find yourself unable to because your mind keeps straying back to an unfinished task, figure out a way to make it impossible for you to complete that task right then. Your mind will be more likely to let it go if there’s no possibility of completing it, and you might finally be able to relax.”

Will any of these ideas work? Who knows, however, if you do not want to check e-mails or have your boss contact you while on vacation, leave your phone at home.

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Should We Put A Policy In Place With Our Time And Attendance Solution?

July 23rd, 2015 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Absence Management | Benefit Accruals | Employee Self Service | Time and Attendance | Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Should We Put A Policy In Place With Our Time And Attendance Solution?)

ATS project managers often get asked this question during customer site-visits and prior to the implementation of our time and attendance solution. The answer to this question is always a resounding yes. Whether you are replacing your current time and attendance system or implementing one for the first time, a set of guidelines is a good way to achieve compliance. Here are some additional tips you can use in your company’s new policy:

Define and set expectations
Let employees know how much leeway they have with lateness and absenteeism and make sure this is configured within the system. Having a time and attendance system in place should not be viewed as “Big Brother” mentality and the more open you are about it the greater the compliance you can expect from employees.

Employee feedback
When crafting a time and attendance policy, your best ally are your employees. Get them involved by seeking feedback. You’d be surprised at how engaged employees can be when their suggestions are solicited by management prior to the deployment of the system.

Leave Management
It’s important to clarify terms and conditions for paid and unpaid time-off to include; leave of absence, vacation, jury duty, medical and family leave. ATS Self-Service portal is a good tool for employees and managers alike.

ATS team has deep industry experience have performed numerous deployments over the years and so, it’s likely some of our team members can provide your organizations with tips on what type of information to include in your policy.

To learn more register for one of our monthly webinars, download a demonstration or simply contact us by phone at; 866.294.2467.

Should We Put A Policy In Place With Our Time And Attendance Solution?

 

In order to quantify the benefits of a time and attendance solution, you first have to know what to look for. ATS time and attendance solution can help your company cut payroll costs and, at the same time, enhanced employee productivity.

Benefit of an ATS Time and Attendance Solution

If your company is using paper punch clocks or paper time sheets, and you are interested in automating the process, here are some key benefits you can expect after implementing an ATS Time and Attendance Solution:

Reduction in the use of paper and fraud

  • ATS time and attendance solution will reduce the cost associated with creating and distributing paper timesheets
  • No more transferring of time sheets from employee to supervisor for review and then onto payroll and HR department for processing.
  • Employees can fraudulently increase the number of hours they get paid for by having a coworker punch them when they are late or not at the work site.

Improved Data Quality

  • Through the use of ATS time clocks, Employees can find out how much overtime they have accumulated during the week, review schedules and request time-off.
  • Employee hours can be sent automatically to your payroll software with the click of a mouse.
  • By eliminating the administrative tasks of paper time sheets you improve workforce productivity, and your employees are now free to focus on more value-added activities.

Let’s face it, how many employees complain if they get overpaid? If a small fraction, of your workforce is consistently getting over paid, it will affect your company’s revenue. And, when employees get underpaid they will complain, thus, resulting in the company having to make adjustments, and that in and of itself is costly.

Employee pay is one of the biggest controllable expenses in most organizations. As an organization, you should have accurate information about; employee attendance, vacation eligibility, the ability to schedule accurately to meet customer demands, the number of projects your company completed in the last two months, and access to real-time analytics to help you make informed decisions. Manual time sheets will not help you with those objectives and will waste time and take a bite out of your profits. In an ever increasing global and competitive business landscape, wouldn’t it be better to identify and eradicate manual time and attendance bottlenecks?

So why go with ATS? Because our time and attendance solution is easy-to-use and they deliver, up-to-the-minute and high-quality information you need to make better decisions

To explore our solutions, you can download brochures; sign up for one of live product demonstrations. You can also reach us by phone at; 1.866.294.2467.

Benefit of an ATS Time and Attendance Solution

How To leverage Your Time and Attendance Solution To Improve Efficiency

May 6th, 2015 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Benefit Accruals | Employee Time Attendance | Hosted Time and Attendance Solution | Leave Management | Payroll - (Comments Off on How To leverage Your Time and Attendance Solution To Improve Efficiency)

There is no question that having the right time and attendance software and hardware and using it to its full advantage- can put your company on the path to eliminating inefficiencies while improving business productivity. It’s not an understatement to say that some companies underutilize their time and attendance solution and balk at the time it takes to achieve ROI.

Do you have a time and attendance solution in place and if so, are you getting the most out of it? If not, here are some ways to ensure you achieve that rapid ROI that you hoped for when you made your selection.

Vendor Selection-some companies get seduced by vendors who boast about being in business for 100 plus years. And, that’s fine, but make sure there is more substance to the solution offering other than being around a long time. The number of years in business does not always translate to getting the solution that meets your requirements. And, if things should falter-you want to make sure the vendor is not going to vanish but rather, help you navigate through difficult stretches of the implementation. If you shortlisted your vendor of choice, request from them a list of companies who is currently using the system you are about to deploy. And, while it’s tempting to ask for a list of companies that’s only in your industry, that’s playing it safe. playing it safe. While there is nothing wrong in asking for references of companies within your industry, you want to make sure the vendor has a breadth of experience in a variety of industries. In the final analysis, what should consume you during the process is, whether the vendor, you select truly understands your company’s business requirements.

Value VS Price Conundrum-Some companies are so enraptured by the price that nothing else matters until the system in installed. And often times, you do get what you pay for. If you are going to install a time and attendance solution in the hope of it being in place for several years, the lowest price will not cut it. Again, focus on your business requirements-because if a vendor understands your needs, then you should keep an open mind to spending in a little bit more to get what you want. You will achieve two things with that approach; one you will get a company that will implement the type of solution you want and second, your business will achieve operational excellence through the use of a robust business management solution.

Research Using The Right People-At the core of a time and attendance solution are; work and pay policies, employee time capture, employee scheduling, job costing, vacation and other personal time-off requests to name a few. And who knows your company’s pay policies inside out? Payroll and HR administrators! It is amazing how many companies have an IT person heading the search for a time and attendance solution with little or no input from the very people who will be using the system on a daily basis. IT can play an important role in your search but, if the people, who knows your company’s business requirements is not involved in your search, you are already headed down the wrong path.

In conclusion, if your company embraces the concept of the time and attendance solution that you deployed, and is using it in the manner it intended, you will be begin to see the savings. To obtain the white paper on “How To leverage Your Time and Attendance Solution To Improve Efficiency” in its entirety go to our website.

To reach us by phone to discuss your time and attendance business requirements, call 1.866.294.2467.

How To leverage Your Time and Attendance Solution To Improve Efficiency

Can You Imagine A Job That Offered Unlimited Vacation Days?

September 30th, 2014 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Absence Management | Benefit Accruals | Leave Management | Payroll - (Comments Off on Can You Imagine A Job That Offered Unlimited Vacation Days?)

When word got out that Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group had decided to grant unlimited vacation time to some of his employees, the blogosphere went nuts. In fact, many questioned Mr. Branson’s logic and perhaps sanity. Running a multi billion dollar corporation is no small feat and it is safe to say, Mr. Branson, probably applied some sober thought to this decision before embarking on it.

His reason behind this decision can be found on his website. We extrapolated some excerpts from his website, which provides a deeper understanding as to how he arrived as such a decision. “Flexible working has revolutionized how, where and when we all do our jobs. So, if working nine to five no longer applies, then why should strict annual leave (vacation) policies? 

In the past few years, Netflix has become the runaway market leader in the streaming video sector. One clue as to how they intend to remain there this time comes from a very well-advised and downright courageous initiative they adopted that rewrote the book – or to be more precise, threw it away – on something very near and dear to the hearts of most workers around the world: their annual vacation day entitlement.

I first learned of what Netflix was up to when my daughter Holly read a Daily Telegraph article and immediately forwarded the piece to me with a clearly excited email saying, ‘Dad, check this out. It’s something I have been talking about for a while and I believe it would be a very Virgin thing to do to not track people’s holidays.’ She then went on to say, ‘I have a friend whose company has done the same thing and they’ve apparently experienced a marked upward spike in everything – morale, creativity and productivity have all gone through the roof.’ Needless to say I was instantly intrigued and wanted to learn more.”

While it is not possible for many companies to provide unlimited vacation time to their employees there are numerous companies that employ flexible vacation practices. As the saying goes, a well rested employee is a productive employee.

 Can You Imagine A Job That Offered Unlimited Vacation Days?

 

In football parlance, throwing the football in the end zone in a last ditch effort to win a game is commonly referred to as a “Hail Mary” pass. At times, some NFL teams have had success with it, while many others, have simply fallen short. In the world of time and attendance, scrambling to replace an ailing software solution and using a tight deadline can lead to undesirable results and is tantamount to throwing a “Hail Mary”. If you have decided that your paper time sheet or antiquated solution needs replacing, and then take a methodical approach to its deployment. ATS time and attendance solution product offering and implementation methodology encompasses:

 Superior Cloud-Based Time and Attendance
ATS TimeWork On-Demand software offers superior workforce analytics for your organization. With ATS TimeWork On-Demand, your company will reap the benefits of a market-leading, time tracking and optimized solution, essential for driving business results.

 A Lower Payroll Cost and Quick Return on Investment
Our cloud-based time and attendance is offered through a dedicated, secure data center with resilience built in. Our solution is configured to an organization pay policies and other business requirements and gives you the freedom to scale as your business evolves. The predictable monthly billing allows you to access a plethora of workforce management software features including; business intelligence, time capture analytics, job costing, workforce planning, overtime equalization, vacation planning calendar, and HR capabilities from anywhere, at any time.

Scoping, Planning and Implementation
Say good-bye to the “Hail Mary” type of installation. With an ATS time and attendance solution we administer the preparation, setup, training and testing, which are the hallmarks of a successful time and attendance implementation. By scoping the project, our Implementation Specialist gets a better understanding of your business requirements. By planning and testing means this ensures the solution matches all of your work rule policies. Implementation means we have covered all the bases and now ready to deliver a world-class solution to your organization.

ATS Time and Attendance was designed to provide your company with best-of-class standard time tracking, combined with workflow management features, and in-depth process customization capabilities. The result is a wide ranging set of pre-configured software features covering the standard requirements of every industry, while, at the same time, being easily adaptable to your company’s specific deployment goals.

To learn more follow join our LinkedIn group, or go to our website to see a live product demonstration.

 Throwing A Hail Mary Pass Doesn’t Always Work