As an employer, keeping track of your employee’s hours can be very tricky at times. There are many variables in your employee’s day-to-day work life happening: leaving work early, working overtime, or using their phone for any work purposes after-hours. It’s easy to get lost in all the details when you have so many things on your plate.
Keep up: our experienced outsourced HR professionals at Vested HR can help you with all of your payroll needs, including timekeeping. Knowing these do’s and don’ts of timekeeping will help make sure you stay on top of your employee’s time and keep this part of the HR process running smoothly.
Here are some of our most notable dos to stay on top of timekeeping for your team.
Ensure Employees Record All Time Worked
Require and encourage your staff to record any overtime, time taken off, or working while outside of their workplace. Work outside of the workplace includes checking emails, replying to messages, taking phone calls, or performing any work-related task while “off the clock.”
Ensure your hourly employees all have an understanding of what times should be tracked, and that even going through or responding to emails is time that needs to be recorded. It is also important for you to make sure they know how to track this time and whether or not it can be recorded on their regular timekeeping system.
Understand Which Rest Breaks are Compensated
There are some regulations for which breaks should be paid and not paid. Make sure you know what regulations need to be followed in your state and that your employees are aware of the expectations as well. Generally, short rest breaks that last under 20 minutes are considered paid while any break 30 minutes or longer may not necessarily be compensated depending on your state’s laws.
Keep in mind, the reason for the break does not determine compensation; the duration of the break is what matters.
Ensure You’re Using an Accurate Timekeeping System
It’s important to make sure you have an accurate timekeeping system that keeps track of your team’s hours worked. Your system should be able to keep track of multiple shifts, paid time off, and any type of overtime. It should also provide records for payroll purposes and report any discrepancies in the data that may occur.
Since the Fair Labor Standards Act permits employers to round their employee’s time up or down, you will want to be careful not to consistently round their time in the company’s favor and to be fair when making this adjustment.
Accurate timekeeping and quality HR you can count on? Being human-focused makes a big difference. Schedule a free evaluation to go over how to streamline your HR so you can take more time to grow the business.
Require Employees to Verify Their Timesheets
Your staff should be verifying and signing off that their timesheet is correct and doesn’t require any adjustments before records get submitted to payroll. You should do this at the end of each pay period and take care to make sure each gets verified as it is easier to make corrections before the paycheck gets sent out to your team.
Until you have the help of licensed HR professionals, here are a few don’ts to keep in mind when managing your employee’s timekeeping.
(Don’t) Permit Off-The-Clock Work
You cannot require or permit your employees to perform off-the-clock work. As mentioned previously, this includes any work-related tasks that are performed outside the employee’s typical work hours. Not only does this violate the Fair Labor Standards Act but it is also unfair to your employee and should be avoided at all costs.
A policy should be in place to ensure team members are aware of the company’s expectations and that they will be compensated for any extra time worked before, during, or after their shift.
Read More > Preventing Employee Burnout
(Don’t) Make an Automatic Meal Break Deduction
Although you may have a standard lunch break time for your company, it is best to have staff be able to clock in and out to more accurately display how much time they took for their meal break, whether they came back later or it was cut short.
Another issue you may run into depending on your state is that some states will require employees to take a meal break by a certain consecutive hour of their shift. If the employee does not take their meal break by that time, they will be compensated an extra amount for that day.
(Don’t) Withhold Pay
Withholding pay can cause a lot of trouble and it is best to avoid it all costs where you can. If an employee has forgotten or missed verifying their timesheet for the pay period, do not withhold their pay for that period. You can ask their supervisor to verify it for them if needed as per your company policy.
You should also never withhold pay in the case of an employee working unauthorized or during unscheduled work time. Even in the case of your company having a policy in place that requires employees to get authorization before working overtime, you must still pay for the employee’s overtime hours even if it was not approved. Employers may subject the employee to disciplinary action for not getting approval first, however, employers can never withhold pay.
Simplify Your Timekeeping Process with Vested HR
How is your business currently handling payroll and keeping track of your employee’s time? Any room for improvement? When it comes to timekeeping: accuracy and efficiency are vital.
When it’s time to take the timekeeping hat off, remember our seasoned HR professionals are in (Vested) in you. Our trusted PEO service can ensure that your payroll is prompt, accurate, and compliant. Contact Vested HR to set up an evaluation. We’re happy to discuss how we can make your timekeeping process hassle-free.