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Compliance More Challenging with COVID-19

Posted on Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Time & Attendance Software | COVID Compliance Challenges | Time Rack

Times are tough, make no mistake. Plus there’s a whole lot of opinions floating around about what’s next regarding COVID-19. Example? James Gorman, CEO of Morgan Stanley, recently said that he believes a recession fueled by coronavirus would likely last through 2021. So there’s that.

Meanwhile managers are dealing with a workforce that’s increasingly working remotely (itself a positive step!), often while strategizing how to manage social distancing, increased cleaning and other health concerns for workers who have to be on site. These are mostly new workforce guidelines, but they’re just that, new.

Finally, there’s compliance issues.

New compliance can be a perennial challenge for businesses. Laws and regulations seemingly change constantly even when times are normal. The coronavirus outbreak has only added to that, so it’s key to get your information and resources down so you can stay on top of what’s what.

On March 18, 2020, a landmark piece of legislation, the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA), was signed into law. It makes major changes to how paid leave is managed for the remainder of 2020 at least. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employers who have 500 or fewer employees must provide paid sick, family and medical leave for reasons related to coronavirus for their employees.

It’s a good thing employees have greater allowances during an unprecedented crisis. For managers, be sure to rely on your vendors and partners so that your job doesn’t become more complex. Get your friends in order and behind you!

So let’s make sure your time & attendance software is up to the task. Remember this: “challenge” is often another word for “opportunity.”

Why Modern Time Tracking Is Critical

A few years ago, the American Payroll Association conducted a study which found almost half of employers were using outdated payroll systems. Nearly 30 percent of them were using payroll systems a decade or more old.

What’s that mean for time tracking? Many payroll systems come with time management software that’s often only an afterthought. Limited features and clunky interfaces aren’t just annoying, they can become critical weak spots that mask fraud like buddy punching, or worse, don’t let employers know when they’re out of compliance with new regulations.

It’s a volatile time for business. And in a time of rapid change that’s likely to continue, take some time to look critically at your processes and see if there are ways they can be improved.

How Up-To-Date Time Tracking Can Elevate Your Business

The new regulations of FFCRA might make for occasional management headaches, but the right time & attendance solution can help. Here’s an example: Under the FFCRA rules, part-time workers are eligible for sick leave equal to the average number of hours the employee worked over a two-week period.

"The new regulations of FFCRA might make for occasional management headaches, but the right time & attendance solution can help."

It’s certainly complex, but if you have a software that makes tracking part- and full-time workers a straightforward process, you’ve got a real advantage. Being able to have robust reporting tools showing the average amount of hours your employees worked over that same two-week period along with each employee’s hourly status puts you in an enviable position to track time and employee statuses accurately.

Also, look for a solution that can track time easily with a calendar – it makes setting PTO and sick leave alerts easy.

FFCRA made another major change to family leave. Under new laws, eligible employers have to provide up to an additional 10 weeks of paid family and medical leave to employees who can’t work because they have to care for a child whose regular care provider is unable to work due to COVID-19.

Make sure your system allows users to set leave policies. A modern system should be able to automatically start tracking after 30 days for new employees, and it’s even better if it doesn’t roll over to the new year, giving you the flexibility to anticipate and adapt to further changes.

"Modern time & attendance solutions give you the flexibility you need to anticipate and adapt to new changes in law."

Finally, a valuable feature right now is being able to adjust timecards when you need to. The right system should let you add COVID-19 sick leave types to a timecard, create multiple COVID-19 leave types for different employee work statuses and being able to set sick leave to different rates based on an employee’s status.

In summary, your time and attendance system should have these capabilities:

  • Reporting tools that show employee Full Time/Part Time status
  • Reporting capabilities that show average hours worked by part time employee in a 2-week period
  • Ability to track leave time with time-off calendar
  • Leave policies that can be set to begin after 30 days of hire and do not rollover to following year
  • Ability to add COVID-19 sick leave types to a timecard
  • Ability to create multiple COVID-19 leave types based on employees work status
  • Alerts that can notify employer if employee status changes from part time to full time, based on threshold set by employer
  • Ability to setup multiple pay items and codes which import sick leave set to different rates, depending on part time/ full time status

No Time to Fall Behind: Stay on Top of System Competency

Keeping up with changing laws is hard enough during normal times. Now? Getting left behind is the last thing you need. Time Rack’s software and hardware gives you accuracy and compliance while keeping you current with the demands of a changing market – and a remote workforce.

Want to learn more? Click the link below.

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