New rostering features allows you to get visual with pay rates

Alex Ghiculescu

4 December 2015    |   

This week at Tanda, we’ve launched some exciting new features to give businesses a complete visual breakdown on different pay rates that are applying on the roster. This is a game changer in allowing managers to easily build a fully costed, compliant and optimised work roster. Making it easier to understand the cost of a roster Tanda’s always given you the cost of a roster, broken down by each employee and each day. However, even that doesn’t always make it clear why costs blow out sometimes. This is why we built the roster costing chart. Visible on the costs view of their rosters, it shows a breakdown of each hour of the employee’s roster, showing if the time will be ordinary time or overtime and the cost that it’ll be paid at. With lots of staff on a roster, you’ll see a small preview for each person. We call it the candybar because of how datalicious it looks. You can even sort the list of staff based on this candybar – so you can order rosters based on who has the most complex costing which usually comes from having the most different kinds of overtime. Making it easier to give staff the hours they want We’re tackling these problems from both ends to give you more tools to make great rosters. You can now set the preferred hours that someone would like to work on their employee profile. If you roster someone with a lot more, or a lot less, hours than their preference, you’ll see a reminder on your roster. There’s 10% leeway on either side, which means you don’t need to roster everyone with exactly the number of hours they want – just in the general vicinity. This is a great way of giving staff hours they are happy with, while still maintaining the natural flexibility in hours required for casual employment. Did you know? If you roster a casual for the same hours every week, most Modern Awards include a clause where you need to offer them a permanent contract. Fair Work refers to this as “regular and systematic” rostering. Our goal at Tanda is to make it super simple to build a roster that is both compliant and optimised under your relevant Fair Work Award. If you’re interested in finding out some more information about implementing this in your business check out our rostering or award interpretation pages.

This week at Tanda, we’ve launched some exciting new features to give businesses a complete visual breakdown on different pay rates that are applying on the roster. This is a game changer in allowing managers to easily build a fully costed, compliant and optimised work roster.

Making it easier to understand the cost of a roster

Tanda’s always given you the cost of a roster, broken down by each employee and each day. However, even that doesn’t always make it clear why costs blow out sometimes. This is why we built the roster costing chart. Visible on the costs view of their rosters, it shows a breakdown of each hour of the employee’s roster, showing if the time will be ordinary time or overtime and the cost that it’ll be paid at.

With lots of staff on a roster, you’ll see a small preview for each person. We call it the candybar because of how datalicious it looks.

You can even sort the list of staff based on this candybar – so you can order rosters based on who has the most complex costing which usually comes from having the most different kinds of overtime.

Making it easier to give staff the hours they want

We’re tackling these problems from both ends to give you more tools to make great rosters. You can now set the preferred hours that someone would like to work on their employee profile.

If you roster someone with a lot more, or a lot less, hours than their preference, you’ll see a reminder on your roster.

There’s 10% leeway on either side, which means you don’t need to roster everyone with exactly the number of hours they want – just in the general vicinity. This is a great way of giving staff hours they are happy with, while still maintaining the natural flexibility in hours required for casual employment.

Did you know?

If you roster a casual for the same hours every week, most Modern Awards include a clause where you need to offer them a permanent contract. Fair Work refers to this as “regular and systematic” rostering.

Our goal at Tanda is to make it super simple to build a roster that is both compliant and optimised under your relevant Fair Work Award. If you’re interested in finding out some more information about implementing this in your business check out our rostering or award interpretation pages.

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Awards & Rostering    |   

How much do full-time staff really cost?

Being in the business of managing staff costs, we often hear people say that casual staff just cost so much more than their full time equivalents. I mean, that extra 25% is a killer, right? Especially for staff who work a fairly consistent schedule each week, it’s almost like free money. For a while there I went along with that, not really giving it much thought. But today the thought struck me – casuals miss out on plenty of benefits afforded to full and part timers, so are they really better off? I decided to investigate further. What follows may surprise you. First – how many days in a year does a full time employee work? Weeks in a Year: 52 Working Days in a Year: 260 So far so good. We’re going to ignore the 1 or 2 days that we’re off by, for the sake of a nice round number. Next, let’s look at this full time employee’s entitlements, in days. Annual Leave: 20 (4 weeks) Personal Leave: 10 (2 weeks) Public Holidays: 10 We’ll assume a 7.6 hour work day and 17.5% leave loading. So how many hours of leave are we paying? Annual Leave – Base: 152 Annual Leave – Loading: 26.6 Personal Leave: 76 Public Holidays: 76 Total Hours of Leave Paid: 330.6 Earlier we calculated how many days of work one can work in a year, now let’s subtract leave taken to get a more accurate figure. Days of Leave Taken: 40 Actual Days Worked in a Year: 220 Actual Hours Worked in a Year: 1672 Divide 330.6 (hours of leave paid) by 1672 (hours worked) and we get 19.77%. Remember, we are comparing this to the 25% loading paid for casual staff. So from this perspective, yes, your full time and part time staff are still cheaper – but only by 5.23%. And even that number is probably on the low side. We ignored long service leave and maternity leave because they are a bit more unreliable. Both they are also costs (or accruals) that can definitely add up! When you take into account the fact that you only have to pay casuals when you need them, it’s easy to see why more and more Australian employers are turning to casual staff. According to the ABS, this has been growing steadily since the 90’s, and today over 1 in 5 jobs in Australia are casual.

Product Updates    |   

New weather feature for Tanda Rosters

If your business is often affected by weather conditions, wouldn’t it be great if you could roster your staff based on whether it’s sunny or raining next week? Now you can! Tanda has just integrated a 16-day weather feed into its new rostering platform. This new feature helps improve the decision process for rostering managers, by giving them more relevant data. The weather information even includes high/low temperatures for each day with data refreshed every 10 minutes. The data is sourced from a major weather information provider with data of over 200,000+ cities around the world so it doesn’t matter if you’re rostering for a location in Sydney or Antartica.   Existing Tanda user? If you’re already a Tanda user and want to learn how to roster using the new weather widget, go to our support page: http://help.tanda.co/   Not a user yet? Learn more about Tanda and our other features including Award In terpretation and Time Clocks to create online timesheets. Otherwise, sign up for a free trial here.

Awards & Rostering    |   

The Different Kinds of Award Interpreters

We often chat to people who have looked at a few different award interpretation tools on the market. Most are not really sure which award interpretation tool is right for their business.  In this post, we’re going to take a look at the different kinds of award interpreters out there to help you understand what is important when looking for a tool for you or your clients. Firstly, an Award Interpreter (read about Tanda’s Award Interpreter) is software that figures out how much staff should be getting paid based on their hours and times worked.  What award interpreter is right for you? There are four different kinds and the right one depends on how your staff get paid. Salary Costing Tools: Used to calculate payroll when all your staff are paid a fixed salary. Hourly Wage Calculators: Calculates when staff get paid a single hourly rate for all hours worked. Single Rate Calculators: Pays staff only single types of pay like weekday, Saturday and Sunday rates. However, it cannot handle any of the more common rate scenarios set out in Awards. Award Rule Engines: Does all of the above. In addition, they also calculate overtime, penalty rates, allowances, accruals and leave. “All my staff get paid a salary.” If you only employ salaried staff, a Salary Costing Tool is perfect for you. This is common in white collar workforces like accounting firms. In this case, you enter each employee’s yearly salary, set rules about how leave accrues and the tool does the rest. This is simple because staff are paid the same thing most pay runs. Most payroll systems (including MYOB and Xero) already include such a tool. If this is you, you’re in luck – you will not need an additional system for award interpretation! “My staff get paid the same hourly rate for all hours worked.” This might come up if you run a very small business with only a few staff. This is where nobody works on weekends, receives overtime or penalty rates. Generally, this means the business is only open for a few hours on days that it does open. If that’s you, you’re after an Hourly Wage Calculator. Warning: Be careful with this one. It’s easy to miss subtle wordings in Awards that require you to pay different rates at different times. Keep in mind that if any of your staff ever get more than one pay rate in a week, an hourly wage calculator won’t work as well anymore (even if it doesn’t regularly happen). Using an Hourly Wage Calculator, you enter the hourly rate for each employee. Each week you only enter the number of hours worked (you don’t worry about times). The tool multiplies the hourly rate by the number of hours to calculate total pay. Most payroll systems (including MYOB and Xero) already include such a tool, so if this is you, you’re also in luck – you won’t need an additional system for award interpretation! “I employ only one type of employee. They receive weekday and weekend rates only.” If you have staff that get paid hourly and receive different rates on weekdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, you might be able to use a Single Rate Calculator. However, be careful because this only works if you have a single employment type. An Employment Type refers to the way someone is employed. This includes full-time, part-time, casual or shiftworkers. If everyone you employ is the same employment type (e.g. everyone is Full Time) then this might work for you. When using a Single Rate Award Calculator, you enter the hourly rate that each employee gets during the week. You enter the multiplier for Saturday and Sunday shifts. Also, Public Holidays, if the calculator supports it. If an employee gets a base rate of $20 and your Saturday multiplier is 1.5 (Time and a Half), they receive $30 on Saturday’s. When you enter a timesheet the system pays staff at the appropriate rate based on the days worked only. Why do these only work for one employment type? If you you have a Full Time employee (base $20/hour), and a Casual employee (base $20/hour + 25% casual loading = $25/hour). This table shows how a Single Rate Award Calculator would calculate the cost of two shifts. Weekday Rate – Full Time Saturday Rate – Full Time Weekday Rate – Casual Saturday Rate – Casual 20 30 25 37.5 In most awards, you’re meant to apply the 1.5 multiplier and then the 25% casual loading! Here is how Fair Work’s Pay Rate Calculator says you should have paid: Base Rate – Full Time (1x) Saturday Rate – Full Time (1.5x) Base Rate – Casual (1.25x) Saturday Rate – Casual (1.75x) 20 30 25 35 Single Rate Award Calculator’s are great if you have staff on a single employment type as all their multipliers will be the same. However as soon as you have different kinds of staff, it stops working correctly. (It also doesn’t work if you have to pay overtime, penalty rates, deal with leave or accruals. It’s really just for simple weekend rates) Some payroll systems include Single Rate Calculators, but most likely you’ll need an external system. Most award interpretation tools on the market can be used for Single Rate Calculation. If that’s what you need, just pick whichever looks good and is well supported. However, if you have multiple employment types, or other more complex pay requirements (eg. Overtime, Allowances, Penalty Rates, RDOs, TOIL, or Leave costing), read on… “I employ more than one type of employee,” or “I have to pay overtime, penalty rates or allowances,” or “I have to manage RDO or TOIL accruals and leave” If any of these sound familiar, you’re after an Award Rule Engine. It’s called a rule engine because it’s based on different payroll rules that you configure, allowing you to pay staff at different rates across the week. However, it also covers different rates within the same day and for different employment types. Some Award Rule Engines also come with pre-built sets of rules called Templates. A template contains all of the rules necessary to pay under a particular Fair Work Award. A good template will include all of the base rates for different levels of staff (each employee will have a minimum wage and the template should include this). A really good template will automatically keep your payroll software up to date based on Fair Work Award updates. Here’s some other things to keep an eye out for when comparing Award Rule Engines. You should ask these questions before implementing a system so you don’t get burned 3 months down the track. Can I set different Saturday/Sunday multipliers for Full Time and Casual staff? When staff pay rates go up (each year when the Fair Work updates minimum rates), are these updated automatically? Are staff pay rates automatically updated in the linked payroll system? Does the engine understand the concept of Ordinary Hours? (Ordinary hours of work accrue superannuation and count towards overtime, while non-ordinary hours don’t. Systems that treat all time as ordinary can end up costing you a lot more in labour costs – and staff won’t complain if you get that wrong!) Can I configure different pay rates for junior staff? Does the system automatically update them on birthdays? How does the engine handle RDOs or TOIL accrual? Are you able to configure accrual for arbitrary leave types? Can the engine pay the correct allowances for split shifts? Can you configure how long a shift must be “split” before this kicks in? Can you configure automatic allowances (like Laundry Allowances) and manual ones (like Overtime Meal Allowances)? Just for specific employees? Based on the times or days that they work? Can I configure specific Public Holiday dates for each employee (important if you have  multiple sites with different Show Holidays or Regional Public Holidays). How is overtime calculated if an employee takes leave midway through the pay period? What if they take it on the last day? Can I calculate overtime based on an employee working outside their rostered hours? If a Template has been built based on an Award, can I change the ordinary span of hours based on agreement with the majority of my staff? Can I configure special provisions for shift workers? By the way… with Tanda’s Award Rule Engine, the answer to all those questions is yes! Hopefully, this post has helped clear some confusion around the types of tools that exist in the market and what you can use depending on how your workforce is set up. If you’ve got any further questions, feel free to email us on info@tanda.co

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About the author

Alex Ghiculescu

Alex is Chief Technical Officer and co-founder at Tanda. He leads the Product Team in delivering groundbreaking workforce software to thousands of businesses across the world.

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How much do full-time staff really cost?

Being in the business of managing staff costs, we often hear people say that casual staff just cost so much more than their full time equivalents. I mean, that extra 25% is a killer, right? Especially for staff who work a fairly consistent schedule each week, it’s almost like free money. For a while there […]

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The Different Kinds of Award Interpreters

We often chat to people who have looked at a few different award interpretation tools on the market. Most are not really sure which award interpretation tool is right for their business.  In this post, we’re going to take a look at the different kinds of award interpreters out there to help you understand what […]

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