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Time is Money: Tracking and Monitoring Hours and Absences

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You have heard the expression “time is money” – and when you are running a business, those words ring especially true. It is crucial for businesses of all sizes to create a internal mechanisms to accurately track employee hours.

Labour costs will be among your largest expenses, so it is important to ensure hours are accurately logged. In addition, there are various regulations in place that govern working hours and associated compensation; Honiva Consulting Ltd. can help you build a solid understanding of these laws, and how they can affect your business profitability.

Work Hours

For employees who are paid hourly, it is important to track exactly how much time is spent on the clock each week as productive billable time. We will work with you to create attendance policies and procedures, and help you understand related legislation (such as paid versus unpaid breaks).

We can also walk you through various time tracking options, from creating customized time sheets to exploring time clocks and other record-keeping solutions, as well as help you to integrate these tools into your payroll procedures.

Overtime Hours

Employment Standards legislation dictates when and how overtime must be paid, the creation of overtime agreements, and the rules surrounding the offering of time off with pay (often called lieu time) instead of paying overtime wages. These laws also outline exceptions to standard overtime legislation, which include certain industries (such as construction and oilwell servicing) and certain occupations (such as managers and certain salespeople). Recording overtime hours empowers employers with the ability to implement process improvements with the goal of minimizing or even eliminating overtime hours paid. This can have a significant impact on the bottom line of your business, and even improve its long-term sustainability.

Time Off

Along with tracking the time employees spend on the job, it is also important to accurately log time off. Following the specific points in the employment relationship, most employees will become entitled to vacation time and vacation pay.

In Alberta, employees are eligible to receive vacation pay from their first day of work. And, after one year of service permanent fulltime employees are entitled to take accrued vacation time. During the first 4 years of employment, employees are entitled to 2 weeks of vacation time. Then 3 weeks after the 5th year of service with a single employer. However, employers are free to provide more vacation time or vacation pay as long as it is above the minimum standards.

In the past, there were no obligations to provide paid or unpaid Sick Days for employees. Starting on January 1st, 2018 employers must provide a minimum of 5 unpaid days under the new Personal and Family Responsibility Leave. Employers must be very careful not to breach any terms within existing employment contracts when they update their HR policies to comply with the new legislative changes.

Keeping track of how many Vacation and Sick Days have been taken protects both the employer and the employee from any abuse of the agreement, as well as any misunderstandings. Honiva Consulting Ltd. help you to create necessary documents such as customized Time Off Request forms, as well as efficient tracking systems to monitor the number of days your employees are absent.

Leaves of Absence

Laws surrounding Leaves of Absences are changing in Alberta, effective January 1st, 2018. Several new types of job-protected leave will be added to the Employment Standards Code. These include:

• Personal and Family Responsibility Leave • Long-Term Illness and Injury Leave • Bereavement Leave • Domestic Violence Leave • Citizenship Ceremony Leave • Critical Illness of a Child • Critical Illness of an Adult Family Member • Death or Disappearance of a Child

Honiva Consulting can help you understand the details of these changes as well as other legislation pertaining to leaves of absence, and how this may impact your business operations.

Here to Help

We can be reached for a free confidential consultation at +1-403-470-5350 or [email protected] For further details on additional HR service offerings, click here or follow along for more informative tips by joining us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. We also run a complementary LinkedIn and Facebook group called “Insights by HonivaHR” where you can access free information on how to become a more empowered employer. Or you can sign-up for our quarterly newsletter to have help sent straight to your inbox from our company homepage.

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