Using Time and Attendance Software for Managing Union Pay and Benefits

If your company’s workforce is comprised of any of the 14.5 million union members in the United States then you are likely very familiar with the intricacies of how those union workers must be paid their overtime and their benefits. Considering that the collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) are continually amended, the management of paying union workers can become very complicated. This is where a time and attendance software solution can help.

During the configuration and implementation phase of new time and attendance software, individual policies involving pay types, pay adjustments, and labor levels must be set up to carefully follow each piece of the CBA. Within each union there are different benefit levels that change upon hitting specific marks of time — say after 10 years of service, for example. This critical information must be accounted for up front to ensure all union workers are paid appropriately.

Let’s say a CBA states that a union worker will receive his or her regular rate of pay working between 8:00am and 5:00pm, but at 5:01 he or she must begin to receive double time. Meanwhile, another union CBA might indicate that only if the employee works more than 12 hours in a day would he or she receive double time. It’s hard to imagine manually managing payroll and benefits for even a small number of union workers, let alone companies with 100s or even 1000s of union employees.

When you’re shopping for a time and attendance solution to do the heavy lifting, I encourage you to consider the following:

  • How many different pay policies can the software maintain? Hopefully the answer is “unlimited.” Your software needs to be able to accommodate new policies as they arise. This is especially important should your company acquire another that uses different unions.
  • How will your union employees be keeping tracking of their jobs? A sophisticated mobile solution will allow employees to clock in, take breaks, and transfer between jobs or departments. This should be done either via individual smartphones, or a manager’s smartphone. The use of cloud-based time clocks will also allow employees to process all time-related punches via electronic swipe, proximity badge, and biometric fingerprint.
  • Will you need to contact a union to send over a certain number of workers for a specific job? Meaning, are you going to be responsible for paying employees who aren’t on your regular payroll? Make sure those employees can be added to your time system quickly, easily, and accurately.
  • Are you going to have administrator access (and training) to make necessary changes to your policies should they need to be altered or even declassified? Or, will you have to rely on the time and attendance provider to do this for you?

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