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Awards & Rostering    |   

A spate of wage theft accusations has swept across Australia. It left in its wake damaged reputations and millions in back wages. From the small Barry Cafe in Northcote to cosmetics giant Lush, employment practices, especially involving overtime pay, have been called into question. Some smaller businesses have also come under fire, mainly in the hospitality industry, where experts say wage theft and exploitation are rife. In the mad scramble to resolve these accusations, two questions emerge. Why does wage theft happen, and how do we solve it? Complex Awards system blamed for wage theft In the aftermath of a street protest by the former employees of Barry Cafe in Northcote, owner Anne Petroulias said a lack of understanding about the awards system led to underpayment. She admitted they were unaware of the wage rates, and thought weekend penalty rates could be traded off for staff meals. “My brother looked on Google and got the wage rates. I know we did wrong and we want to rectify anything.” Could it be that the complex award system is the root cause? Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Greg Bicknell thinks it is a major factor. “The award system is quite complex for small businesses to use,” he said.  Recent Fair Work investigations seem to support this. A cafe in Darwin underpaid three employees $4,988 in total. They apparently misinterpreted the classification descriptions under the award. It’s not just small businesses, however, as even the popular cosmetics store Lush wasn’t immune. Last month, they committed to paying back $2 million to 5,000 workers. The massive breach, according to director Peta Granger, was the result of inefficiencies in its payroll system. This occurred during the 2010 transition to the system of Modern Awards. More recently, the Super Retail group declared they will pay $7.9 million in back wages to 4,500 staff members. According to Managing Director Peter Birtles, an internal review revealed employees were not paid under the correct award. They also approached time in lieu, overtime payments and allowances inconsistently.  \"This was a genuine mistake that we deeply regret,” he emphasized. Dire consequences for businesses The reality, however, is that ignorance of the Fair Work Act will not shield an employer from its consequences. Last May, employees of Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio and Vue de Monde began to sue for back payments after allegedly working for more than 50 hours a week, for just 38 hours of pay, due to the incorrect application of annualised salaries. The owners of the restaurants, celebrity chefs Darren Purchese and Shannon Bennett, risk damaging not just their own brand. They also risk their many affiliations, such as MasterChef Australia. Indeed, the price is not just financial. Businesses can quickly lose their reputation in the controversies. Recall that last year, another celebrity chef and MasterChef Australia judge George Calombaris apologised after his restaurant group was caught underpaying 160 staff members a total of up to $2.6 million. Unsurprisingly, Calombaris’ professional credibility as a judge was questioned, and the incident is likely to cast a long shadow on his career moving forward. And it’s not just the owner\'s personal brand at risk, because the businesses’ reputation as an employer is too. The spotlight on underpaying businesses revealed a slew of other unethical practices. The fixed pay at popular travel retailer Flight Centre, for instance, was revealed to be $4,000 below minimum wage. They made the rest of their legally mandated pay from commissions. Employees also complained of rare breaks and unpaid overtime, likely discouraging others to pursue a career with them. And without the best people, there is no way for a business to succeed. Read more: How to Serve 200 Customers Daily in an 8-seat Restaurant Beyond payment of back wages, governments are also now considering criminalising wage theft. Queensland’s Palaszczuk government began hearings last Thursday after being contacted by 169 people to detail cases of wage theft. Victoria\'s Labor Government has also promised to introduce laws targeting employers who underpay their workers, with hefty penalties of up to 10 years in jail. Using tech to comply with Modern Awards While Fair Work Commission president Iain Ross admits significant improvements can be made to make understanding awards easier, businesses need to comply with the current system and fast. There is no question that the complexity of modern awards costs a lot of time, money, and effort. According to the Australian Payroll Association’s 2018 Payroll Benchmarking Report, it costs an average of $36.30 to produce a single payslip for companies with less than 200 employees. In addition, some employers cannot keep up when superannuation and tax policies change. But times have changed. Employers are no longer limited to old, unwieldy methods of complying with various laws. Automation has been introduced to many companies around the world. Businesses subscribed to automation software are able to use an impartial system that monitors time and attendance, tracks employee rosters, and applies modern awards. One such software is Tanda, whose library of modern awards automates payroll and wage calculation with minimal effort from administrative staff. Investing in time and attendance software ensures that businesses do not make the same mistakes that are now costing others millions. The revolution has begun, and it is expected that many more will follow. In fact, research from Willis Towers Watson found that workplace automation is expected to surge in the next three years. Read more: The Digital Workforce Success Revolution: Why you need to shift to cloud-based HR today Empower staff, improve business The responsibility to pay staff correctly falls squarely on the shoulders of employers. This is true whether they’re running a large retail chain or a small neighborhood cafe. And indeed, companies can insure themselves against controversy down the line by investing in time and attendance software. However, that’s not the only reason to do it. A fair system builds trust among employees. It empowers them to do their best in their respective roles. It’s a win-win situation because it maximises the bottom line without defrauding the front line and ruining the brand. When done correctly, time and attendance automation means there would no longer be a need for staff to protest on the streets, or form digital unions to fight wage theft. Employers will automatically comply with all regulations, every time. Automation can spell success for your workforce, and ultimately, your business, in more ways than one. The recent spike in accusations has already drawn attention to the weakness in how companies compute wages; now it’s time to solve it. Want to see comprehensive workforce success technology in action? We’re ready to show you - request a demo here.

Taking Back Time: Solving the enduring wage theft problem in Australia

22 February 2019

Industry Insights    |   

Understanding your wage costs from a financial report is a bit like trying to piece back together a fruit smoothie that’s already been blended. Only a fraction of employers ever master their wage costs. Those who do are able to turn what’s viewed as a burden by their competitors into their best competitive advantage. A well trained and engaged workforce is a terrifyingly sharp weapon to take to your competition. The secret to it all is actually highly practical in application. It has been proven through decades of research that links highly engaged workforces to increases in topline revenue. We\'ve worked with some of the most successful companies in traditionally low margin industries. Here are three of the most potent strategies you can apply to turn your workforce into your weapon in 2019. (1) Start measuring the future, rather than just reporting the past Financial reports are good if you want to see what happened yesterday. But taking control of wage costs is a long-term game. This means managing all expenses that a company bears for the employment of a staff member. This includes everything from gross salaries and benefits to other legal employer contributions. If you want to improve your future wage cost position, you need to start in advance. Building a conceptual report of your future wage costs works well because changes to the way you manage your workforce can take a long time to flow through. That’s especially true when it comes to agreed rostered hours, employment types, and hiring strategies, which take time to materialise into long term savings. You know what Christmas trade was like for 2018, so what will it look like in 2019 with higher wage costs and new employees? What could you change throughout the year in terms of things like the types of employees you hire and their agreed hours? The difference can be significant. Scenario test your forecasts based on employment type, age, level and test the impact of unforeseen overtime. Software will greatly speed this process up. If you’re only reporting on how well you’ve done, start reporting into the future in 2019. Plan to be successful in the future so you can start moving towards your goals now. (2) Tie up loose ends with a sharp ‘day of operations’ plan A well-run shift feels good, it’s like a hot knife through butter. The perfect win-win-win for business, employee, and customer. For some businesses, this is a random occurrence, but businesses that invest in the success of their workforce replicate this effect on a daily basis. It sounds simple enough: you need the right people in the right place at the right times, and management that leads the charge from the front.   The reality is that planning and execution have many moving parts, which is why the day of operations plan holds key to your long term success. Staff levels should track your schedule, or day of operations plan, like clockwork. Any observed discrepancies should be viewed in light of demand being increased or decreased versus what was expected. At Tanda we we’ve quantified the ‘loose ends’ of a shift to be worth at least 1% of total payroll cost, based on clients who moved off manual timesheets. These represent just the small 1 to 5 minute variances here or there to what was planned, so with larger unexpected variances there can be a much larger than 1% difference between your plan and actual costs. Executing shifts with precision and recording times accurate to the minute is low hanging fruit in 2019.  You can do this by setting goals for the time between trading or production end, and the official shift end, to encourage staff to finish diligently. If the original plan results in success, sticking to the plan guarantees it. [caption id=\"attachment_470\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"940\"] Tanda\'s Live Wage Tracker lets you see wage costs in real-time and adjust staffing levels to drive profitability[/caption] (3) Return Managers to the Frontline If you want to sell more, make more, and ultimately do more in 2019, empower your managers to lead from the front. This is an opportunity that most businesses leave on the table. Frontline managers are your managers who lead shifts and teams, and they lead more employees than any other level of management. Remember, frontline staff have direct and measurable impacts on top line revenue and quality -- they are the doers of any company. Research shows that the most valuable thing a frontline manager can do is allocate time to lead from the front, yet frontline managers spend more time on administration than on more important things like coaching and training. In 2019, make the admin the exception. Analyse what keeps managers in their office and automate it,  so they can lead the charge from the front. Industrial engineers use the fancy term “task based observation”, but in practice finding out what to automate is as simple as analysing each piece of paper a manager touches and asking, “why?” [caption id=\"attachment_469\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"992\"] Tanda\'s Live Wage Tracker monitors your wage costs in real time as Tanda’s Award Engine calculates the exact cost of your wages for each minute of the day[/caption] Master your Wage Costs Mastering your wage costs only takes a few key changes to the way you do business. First, investing in the right software will empower you to accurately forecast the next 12 months and beyond based on both reported data and common scenarios. Workforce success platforms like Tanda eliminate the need to guess how different employment and overtime levels affect revenue. Second, planning ahead and having contingencies ensure that every shift runs well and no resources are wasted. Besides having a sharp “day of operations plan”, preparing for staffing difficulties is possible with features like shift swapping that dramatically reduce no-shows. Third, ensuring that managers have a connection with both the staff and the customers gives you an edge over the competition. A manager that is not stuck in the back office understands concerns from all ends, and makes better decisions as a result. Help your business grow by implementing these three strategies today! Curious to know more about a workforce management system that can help your business get better this 2019? Book your FREE demo with Tanda today.

3 Strategies to Master Your Wage Costs in 2019

22 February 2019

Industry Insights    |   

The last 10 years have been an exciting time for businesses. The growth and adoption of cloud technology have presented huge opportunities for business optimisation and increased profits. One of the most popular categories has been the adoption of Workforce Software. This type of software has been used to manage shifts, monitor staff, and ensure timely, accurate pay. This makes sense when we think about it. Employees are your most valuable business assets, but are also one of, if not your largest, cost centres. Naturally, businesses have attempted to optimise this cost by adding oversight and controls to their wage spending. But there are still lots of businesses who use paper to handle their rostering, timesheets and award interpretation. This was always to be expected as many businesses are hesitant to change what they know. Perhaps more surprising, however, is the persistence of old technology. They predate cloud technology and bearing many downsides that continue to hurt businesses. About a year and a half ago we wrote an article about why fingerprint scanners don’t work for time and attendance, and we preferred to use employee timeclocks. It turned out to be one of our most popular articles, presumably due to the number of people still using old technology and experiencing the frustrations that come with it. This week we released our completely new, rebuilt Time Clock App. It has a bunch of cool new features like facial detection, facial recognition, multiple breaks, predictive shift status, and more. We thought it might be worth an update on the downsides of fingerprint scanners and how using modern technology solves these problems. Check out the three biggest problems with fingerprint scanners below. [caption id=\"attachment_24419\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"640\"] Tanda uses facial recognition technology to ensure accurate clock ins and outs[/caption] They’re expensive The issue is that fingerprint scanners are expensive pieces of hardware. Just one reliable fingerprint sensor can set you back by several hundreds of dollars. Imagine what that means for those managing hundreds of staff across multiple locations. Installation is also costly and allows little flexibility. Because of these large upfront costs, and the fact that they do little else than record fingerprints, these scanners have become an impractical investment.  Conversely, Tanda’s Time Clock app can run on any tablet device. Most of our clients run the app on a tablet worth less than $200. They’re unreliable As anyone who has used one knows, even the best fingerprint scanners don’t work 100% of the time. To solve this problem, businesses usually keep a paper timesheet below the scanner. This is fine at face value, but what employers quickly realise is that if it doesn’t work 100% of the time, it doesn’t work at all. It becomes far too easy for an employee to be running 5 minutes late, use the paper timesheet, and say “sorry, the fingerprint scanner wasn’t working”. Using a time clock means 100% of clock ins are recorded, even if your internet is down and it goes offline. It will store all data and send it as soon as you get back online. Maintenance is difficult/costly Due to the nature of the hardware, it requires a trained technician whenever there is an issue. Often, it works out cheaper to replace than repair. This presents a new problem because the devices aren’t always readily available. Compare this to a timeclock which can be ‘repaired’ more easily, at no cost, and remotely, because you’re working with cloud software. When the hardware needs replacing, it’s cheap, easily accessible, and requires no downtime. There’s something wrong when you spend more time fixing, maintaining or administering the workforce software you bought instead of working on improving the business you bought it for. Using a modern solution like a timeclock solves the problems presented by legacy software. It’s less costly, more reliable, and far more efficient. It lets your managers spend less time on admin, and more time on the frontline, training staff and engaging customers. Empower your workforce and increase your chances of business success by shifting to cloud-based workforce software today.

Facial Recognition vs Fingerprint Scanners for Time & Attendance

21 February 2019

Awards & Rostering    |   

A spate of wage theft accusations has swept across Australia. It left in its wake damaged reputations and millions in back wages. From the small Barry Cafe in Northcote to cosmetics giant Lush, employment practices, especially involving overtime pay, have been called into question. Some smaller businesses have also come under fire, mainly in the hospitality industry, where experts say wage theft and exploitation are rife. In the mad scramble to resolve these accusations, two questions emerge. Why does wage theft happen, and how do we solve it? Complex Awards system blamed for wage theft In the aftermath of a street protest by the former employees of Barry Cafe in Northcote, owner Anne Petroulias said a lack of understanding about the awards system led to underpayment. She admitted they were unaware of the wage rates, and thought weekend penalty rates could be traded off for staff meals. “My brother looked on Google and got the wage rates. I know we did wrong and we want to rectify anything.” Could it be that the complex award system is the root cause? Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Greg Bicknell thinks it is a major factor. “The award system is quite complex for small businesses to use,” he said.  Recent Fair Work investigations seem to support this. A cafe in Darwin underpaid three employees $4,988 in total. They apparently misinterpreted the classification descriptions under the award. It’s not just small businesses, however, as even the popular cosmetics store Lush wasn’t immune. Last month, they committed to paying back $2 million to 5,000 workers. The massive breach, according to director Peta Granger, was the result of inefficiencies in its payroll system. This occurred during the 2010 transition to the system of Modern Awards. More recently, the Super Retail group declared they will pay $7.9 million in back wages to 4,500 staff members. According to Managing Director Peter Birtles, an internal review revealed employees were not paid under the correct award. They also approached time in lieu, overtime payments and allowances inconsistently.  \"This was a genuine mistake that we deeply regret,” he emphasized. Dire consequences for businesses The reality, however, is that ignorance of the Fair Work Act will not shield an employer from its consequences. Last May, employees of Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio and Vue de Monde began to sue for back payments after allegedly working for more than 50 hours a week, for just 38 hours of pay, due to the incorrect application of annualised salaries. The owners of the restaurants, celebrity chefs Darren Purchese and Shannon Bennett, risk damaging not just their own brand. They also risk their many affiliations, such as MasterChef Australia. Indeed, the price is not just financial. Businesses can quickly lose their reputation in the controversies. Recall that last year, another celebrity chef and MasterChef Australia judge George Calombaris apologised after his restaurant group was caught underpaying 160 staff members a total of up to $2.6 million. Unsurprisingly, Calombaris’ professional credibility as a judge was questioned, and the incident is likely to cast a long shadow on his career moving forward. And it’s not just the owner\'s personal brand at risk, because the businesses’ reputation as an employer is too. The spotlight on underpaying businesses revealed a slew of other unethical practices. The fixed pay at popular travel retailer Flight Centre, for instance, was revealed to be $4,000 below minimum wage. They made the rest of their legally mandated pay from commissions. Employees also complained of rare breaks and unpaid overtime, likely discouraging others to pursue a career with them. And without the best people, there is no way for a business to succeed. Read more: How to Serve 200 Customers Daily in an 8-seat Restaurant Beyond payment of back wages, governments are also now considering criminalising wage theft. Queensland’s Palaszczuk government began hearings last Thursday after being contacted by 169 people to detail cases of wage theft. Victoria\'s Labor Government has also promised to introduce laws targeting employers who underpay their workers, with hefty penalties of up to 10 years in jail. Using tech to comply with Modern Awards While Fair Work Commission president Iain Ross admits significant improvements can be made to make understanding awards easier, businesses need to comply with the current system and fast. There is no question that the complexity of modern awards costs a lot of time, money, and effort. According to the Australian Payroll Association’s 2018 Payroll Benchmarking Report, it costs an average of $36.30 to produce a single payslip for companies with less than 200 employees. In addition, some employers cannot keep up when superannuation and tax policies change. But times have changed. Employers are no longer limited to old, unwieldy methods of complying with various laws. Automation has been introduced to many companies around the world. Businesses subscribed to automation software are able to use an impartial system that monitors time and attendance, tracks employee rosters, and applies modern awards. One such software is Tanda, whose library of modern awards automates payroll and wage calculation with minimal effort from administrative staff. Investing in time and attendance software ensures that businesses do not make the same mistakes that are now costing others millions. The revolution has begun, and it is expected that many more will follow. In fact, research from Willis Towers Watson found that workplace automation is expected to surge in the next three years. Read more: The Digital Workforce Success Revolution: Why you need to shift to cloud-based HR today Empower staff, improve business The responsibility to pay staff correctly falls squarely on the shoulders of employers. This is true whether they’re running a large retail chain or a small neighborhood cafe. And indeed, companies can insure themselves against controversy down the line by investing in time and attendance software. However, that’s not the only reason to do it. A fair system builds trust among employees. It empowers them to do their best in their respective roles. It’s a win-win situation because it maximises the bottom line without defrauding the front line and ruining the brand. When done correctly, time and attendance automation means there would no longer be a need for staff to protest on the streets, or form digital unions to fight wage theft. Employers will automatically comply with all regulations, every time. Automation can spell success for your workforce, and ultimately, your business, in more ways than one. The recent spike in accusations has already drawn attention to the weakness in how companies compute wages; now it’s time to solve it. Want to see comprehensive workforce success technology in action? We’re ready to show you - request a demo here.

Taking Back Time: Solving the enduring wage theft problem in Australia

22 February 2019

Industry Insights    |   

Understanding your wage costs from a financial report is a bit like trying to piece back together a fruit smoothie that’s already been blended. Only a fraction of employers ever master their wage costs. Those who do are able to turn what’s viewed as a burden by their competitors into their best competitive advantage. A well trained and engaged workforce is a terrifyingly sharp weapon to take to your competition. The secret to it all is actually highly practical in application. It has been proven through decades of research that links highly engaged workforces to increases in topline revenue. We\'ve worked with some of the most successful companies in traditionally low margin industries. Here are three of the most potent strategies you can apply to turn your workforce into your weapon in 2019. (1) Start measuring the future, rather than just reporting the past Financial reports are good if you want to see what happened yesterday. But taking control of wage costs is a long-term game. This means managing all expenses that a company bears for the employment of a staff member. This includes everything from gross salaries and benefits to other legal employer contributions. If you want to improve your future wage cost position, you need to start in advance. Building a conceptual report of your future wage costs works well because changes to the way you manage your workforce can take a long time to flow through. That’s especially true when it comes to agreed rostered hours, employment types, and hiring strategies, which take time to materialise into long term savings. You know what Christmas trade was like for 2018, so what will it look like in 2019 with higher wage costs and new employees? What could you change throughout the year in terms of things like the types of employees you hire and their agreed hours? The difference can be significant. Scenario test your forecasts based on employment type, age, level and test the impact of unforeseen overtime. Software will greatly speed this process up. If you’re only reporting on how well you’ve done, start reporting into the future in 2019. Plan to be successful in the future so you can start moving towards your goals now. (2) Tie up loose ends with a sharp ‘day of operations’ plan A well-run shift feels good, it’s like a hot knife through butter. The perfect win-win-win for business, employee, and customer. For some businesses, this is a random occurrence, but businesses that invest in the success of their workforce replicate this effect on a daily basis. It sounds simple enough: you need the right people in the right place at the right times, and management that leads the charge from the front.   The reality is that planning and execution have many moving parts, which is why the day of operations plan holds key to your long term success. Staff levels should track your schedule, or day of operations plan, like clockwork. Any observed discrepancies should be viewed in light of demand being increased or decreased versus what was expected. At Tanda we we’ve quantified the ‘loose ends’ of a shift to be worth at least 1% of total payroll cost, based on clients who moved off manual timesheets. These represent just the small 1 to 5 minute variances here or there to what was planned, so with larger unexpected variances there can be a much larger than 1% difference between your plan and actual costs. Executing shifts with precision and recording times accurate to the minute is low hanging fruit in 2019.  You can do this by setting goals for the time between trading or production end, and the official shift end, to encourage staff to finish diligently. If the original plan results in success, sticking to the plan guarantees it. [caption id=\"attachment_470\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"940\"] Tanda\'s Live Wage Tracker lets you see wage costs in real-time and adjust staffing levels to drive profitability[/caption] (3) Return Managers to the Frontline If you want to sell more, make more, and ultimately do more in 2019, empower your managers to lead from the front. This is an opportunity that most businesses leave on the table. Frontline managers are your managers who lead shifts and teams, and they lead more employees than any other level of management. Remember, frontline staff have direct and measurable impacts on top line revenue and quality -- they are the doers of any company. Research shows that the most valuable thing a frontline manager can do is allocate time to lead from the front, yet frontline managers spend more time on administration than on more important things like coaching and training. In 2019, make the admin the exception. Analyse what keeps managers in their office and automate it,  so they can lead the charge from the front. Industrial engineers use the fancy term “task based observation”, but in practice finding out what to automate is as simple as analysing each piece of paper a manager touches and asking, “why?” [caption id=\"attachment_469\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"992\"] Tanda\'s Live Wage Tracker monitors your wage costs in real time as Tanda’s Award Engine calculates the exact cost of your wages for each minute of the day[/caption] Master your Wage Costs Mastering your wage costs only takes a few key changes to the way you do business. First, investing in the right software will empower you to accurately forecast the next 12 months and beyond based on both reported data and common scenarios. Workforce success platforms like Tanda eliminate the need to guess how different employment and overtime levels affect revenue. Second, planning ahead and having contingencies ensure that every shift runs well and no resources are wasted. Besides having a sharp “day of operations plan”, preparing for staffing difficulties is possible with features like shift swapping that dramatically reduce no-shows. Third, ensuring that managers have a connection with both the staff and the customers gives you an edge over the competition. A manager that is not stuck in the back office understands concerns from all ends, and makes better decisions as a result. Help your business grow by implementing these three strategies today! Curious to know more about a workforce management system that can help your business get better this 2019? Book your FREE demo with Tanda today.

3 Strategies to Master Your Wage Costs in 2019

22 February 2019

Industry Insights    |   

The last 10 years have been an exciting time for businesses. The growth and adoption of cloud technology have presented huge opportunities for business optimisation and increased profits. One of the most popular categories has been the adoption of Workforce Software. This type of software has been used to manage shifts, monitor staff, and ensure timely, accurate pay. This makes sense when we think about it. Employees are your most valuable business assets, but are also one of, if not your largest, cost centres. Naturally, businesses have attempted to optimise this cost by adding oversight and controls to their wage spending. But there are still lots of businesses who use paper to handle their rostering, timesheets and award interpretation. This was always to be expected as many businesses are hesitant to change what they know. Perhaps more surprising, however, is the persistence of old technology. They predate cloud technology and bearing many downsides that continue to hurt businesses. About a year and a half ago we wrote an article about why fingerprint scanners don’t work for time and attendance, and we preferred to use employee timeclocks. It turned out to be one of our most popular articles, presumably due to the number of people still using old technology and experiencing the frustrations that come with it. This week we released our completely new, rebuilt Time Clock App. It has a bunch of cool new features like facial detection, facial recognition, multiple breaks, predictive shift status, and more. We thought it might be worth an update on the downsides of fingerprint scanners and how using modern technology solves these problems. Check out the three biggest problems with fingerprint scanners below. [caption id=\"attachment_24419\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"640\"] Tanda uses facial recognition technology to ensure accurate clock ins and outs[/caption] They’re expensive The issue is that fingerprint scanners are expensive pieces of hardware. Just one reliable fingerprint sensor can set you back by several hundreds of dollars. Imagine what that means for those managing hundreds of staff across multiple locations. Installation is also costly and allows little flexibility. Because of these large upfront costs, and the fact that they do little else than record fingerprints, these scanners have become an impractical investment.  Conversely, Tanda’s Time Clock app can run on any tablet device. Most of our clients run the app on a tablet worth less than $200. They’re unreliable As anyone who has used one knows, even the best fingerprint scanners don’t work 100% of the time. To solve this problem, businesses usually keep a paper timesheet below the scanner. This is fine at face value, but what employers quickly realise is that if it doesn’t work 100% of the time, it doesn’t work at all. It becomes far too easy for an employee to be running 5 minutes late, use the paper timesheet, and say “sorry, the fingerprint scanner wasn’t working”. Using a time clock means 100% of clock ins are recorded, even if your internet is down and it goes offline. It will store all data and send it as soon as you get back online. Maintenance is difficult/costly Due to the nature of the hardware, it requires a trained technician whenever there is an issue. Often, it works out cheaper to replace than repair. This presents a new problem because the devices aren’t always readily available. Compare this to a timeclock which can be ‘repaired’ more easily, at no cost, and remotely, because you’re working with cloud software. When the hardware needs replacing, it’s cheap, easily accessible, and requires no downtime. There’s something wrong when you spend more time fixing, maintaining or administering the workforce software you bought instead of working on improving the business you bought it for. Using a modern solution like a timeclock solves the problems presented by legacy software. It’s less costly, more reliable, and far more efficient. It lets your managers spend less time on admin, and more time on the frontline, training staff and engaging customers. Empower your workforce and increase your chances of business success by shifting to cloud-based workforce software today.

Facial Recognition vs Fingerprint Scanners for Time & Attendance

21 February 2019

Most Popular

Awards & Rostering

Why Fingerprint Scanners don’t work for Time & Attendance

The ability to quickly identify and verify individuals has been a crucial skill in human society, since the start of civilisation. Where previously face-to-face recognition would have sufficed in tribes and small villages, thanks to today’s rapidly growing global population we require more tools to quickly identify who someone is. In the workplace the need to identify individuals is particularly important, as it’s often tied to staff attendance, payroll, and workplace security. Throughout the years various solutions have been used to verify staff attendance from paper timesheets, to the Bundy Clock, to fingerprint and biometric scanners. Despite the best efforts of some die-hard fans, the fingerprint scanner has reached its limit, being surpassed by the electronic time clock. With so many other solutions available at our fingertips, why are some people so desperately clinging to their fingerprint scanner? Surely we’ve all seen enough spy movies to know fingerprint scanners aren’t foolproof, let alone feasible in today’s day and age where most of the fun comes from trying to fool the system. And yet, it’s something that we still occasionally hear, “why don’t you have fingerprint scanners?” So to put the debate to rest once and for all, here are three reasons why fingerprint scanners don’t work. And before you start saying, ‘but what about this…” here are three great reasons why the electronic time clock has surpassed the fingerprint scanner. 3 Reasons why fingerprint scanners don’t work to track staff attendance 1. They’re Expensive No matter which way you look at it, fingerprint scanners are expensive equipment. Despite the fact that the technology has been around for years, the cost of the device still remains relatively high, potentially setting you back a few thousand dollars. In addition to the device, the cost of the integration between the scanner and corresponding system can be expensive to build. The scanners are delicate, and aren’t always built to handle the hundreds of fingerprints pressed onto them throughout their lifetime. Which brings me to my next point... 2. They’re Unreliable Unlike your favourite FBI crime-show encryption-grade biometric scanners, workplace fingerprint scanners are notoriously unreliable. In order to correctly identify and record an individual, fingerprint scanners require a clear image or impression of your fingerprint. Fingers that are dirty, greasy, cold or wet for example, often don’t register on the scanner, making it hard to both clock out, and verify the individual. Employers who prefer to use fingerprint scanners, do so because they think it’s easier than remembering a passcode. However should the fingerprint scanner fail to register the scan, some systems will request a passcode. Not only is this an additional hassle to staff who are trying simply to clock in or out, but it also opens the window to time theft through buddy clocking. 3. Maintenance is a pain As previously mentioned, fingerprint scanners are not cheap. They’re a costly purchase, and are even more expensive to repair or replace when they wear out. Repairing a broken scanner requires a specialised technician, and often costly parts. On the occasion that it is easier to replace than repair, users often run into more problems as they are not readily available at your local JB Hi-Fi or electronics outlet. On top of this, users often experience issues around the device’s durability, which lead to additional maintenance costs and ultimately a new device down the track. Introducing the 21st Century solution Electronic time clocks are the most robust, user-friendly, and affordable solution to record staff attendance. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), 11.2 million Australians owned a tablet device in 2015. It’s therefore no surprise that table based time clocks like Tanda are taking off in popularity amongst Australia’s workforce, thanks to their ease of use, and reliability. By utilising a tablet device, they provide an effective and consistent solution to time theft as well as streamlining your entire payroll process. 3 Reasons why electronic time clocks are the market leading solution: 1. Affordability Tablets in their various forms have started to become more commonplace in businesses of all sizes. This is thanks to more core business functions such as POS, inventory, and payment processing, becoming available on tablet devices. This technology is providing business owners with greater mobility to engage with customers, as well as streamlining core business activities in one device. Time Clock tablets are easily accessible, affordable and present a number of additional benefits to a business looking to improve their customer offering. 2. Robust and reliable. Thanks to the prevalence of tablet usage, most people are familiar with how to use a tablet and how they should be treated. Tablets are touch-screen based and as such built to handle lots of little fingers pushing and tapping the screen. Tanda’s Time Clock verifies staff attendance through photos and PIN code verification. Which means that unlike a fingerprint scanner, it doesn’t matter if staff have dirty or wet fingers, they’ll still be able to clock out the first time around. The timestamp and photo verification also make it quick and easy for managers and business owners to quickly check that the right person has clocked in and out for the correct shift. 3. Cloud-based for more options Using a cloud-based Time Clock solution like Tanda provides users with more options, which enable rather than restrict the user. Software maintenance and upgrades are not required, as they’re done automatically in the system. Devices are easy to replace and interchangeable, and should the system connection be disrupted, all clock in data is stored locally and uploaded to the cloud later. In addition to this, as a backup, users can access the Time Clock app through a browser on a desktop. Using a cloud solution to track staff attendance provides unparalleled opportunities to streamline additional business administration tasks, as well as providing greater insight into labour costs, staff punctuality and staff engagement. Workplaces are busy places, and managers have much better things to spend their time on than trying to get the fingerprint scanner to work. Using electronic Time Clocks to track employee attendance allows staff to clock in quickly and efficiently, so that they can get out of the backroom and working in your business. Because at the end of the day, you need a system that is affordable, reliable, and accessible, so that you can get on with paying staff and focusing on your business.

Product Updates

New Tanda Time Clock

Today we\'re excited to announce the upcoming release of a newly redesigned Tanda Employee Time Clock. Addressing the problem of recording accurate employee Time and Attendance is core to ensuring we service you, our customers. This is why, on the 29th of January 2019, an update to both iOS and Android will be released on the respective app stores. Any update from the app stores from the 29th of January onwards will download this new Time Clock. The new Time Clock features a bunch of improvements that are expanded upon below: A new redesign Clock breaks with break buttons Portrait & Landscape Orientation Smart shift status Facial detection Easier device reporting To get this new Time Clock now - download the Beta on both Android and iOS. Redesign New colours, new design and some obvious layout changes have been perfected and refined for this new Time Clock. A zappy keypad now sits on a deep navy background that ripples blue waves to the rounded edge of each button. Successful entry opens a vibrant and compact user interface that pops with judicious colours. A thin-blue timer encapsulates the \'close\' button and indicates when the Time Clock screen times out - gleefully sliding all contents away. Employee\'s information is smartly displayed within the shift card and clocked times are swiftly populated upon each action. This is the Time Clock of the future. Get Beta versions now. Clock Breaks with Break Buttons The Time Clock will automatically show/hide break buttons based on the Settings enabled in your My Tanda account. If your My Tanda account doesn\'t allow staff to clock breaks - your Time Clock will display just \'Clock in\' and \'Clock out\' buttons automatically. Read more on Displaying Break Buttons or our blog post on the release of multi-breaks. See it in action below: Portrait & Landscape Orientation Dock your tablet in whatever orientation suits. The new Time Clock will dock and send photos in portrait, landscape and even upside-down (charging ports are sometimes in funky spots). All features will work as expected. Smart Shift Status Knowing what stage of a shift you\'re in helps Timesheet reporting and accuracy. That\'s why we\'ve made the Time Clock smarter in detecting a shift status (whether it\'s started, on a break, near completion) to automatically render the correct button action. This will go a long way in answering common questions staff have: what button should I press? was I on a break or already clocked in? how long was the break I just took? and providing instant clarity during a shift. Facial Detection Making sure the correct staff are at work at the correct time is important for your business. Equally important is making sure the correct staff are clocking in. As an introduction for much cooler things to come, both iOS and Android support facial detection on the Time Clock. Device Reporting We want our customers to successfully manage their business, not their Tanda accounts. That\'s why we\'ve made reporting device information about your Time Clock as simple and as fast as  possible to Tanda Support and technical staff to help us assist you debug any issues. Read more about how to Send Device Info to Tanda. The Wrap This new Time Clock will provide quicker clarity to employees throughout their shift and help support the entire shift cycle. Users on Android 5.0+ and iOS Devices 9.0+ can download the Beta version right now and get clocking in. The Time Clock will be released in full for everyone on January 29th 2019 - to prepare for this release. Ensure you have: Your 8 digit setup code or login details prepared All pending clock ins sent prior to updating Read the FAQ If you have any questions, please contact support@tanda.co.

Events & Media Industry Insights

Domino’s and Tanda: Building the Workforces of the Future

Brisbane-based company Tanda has today announced a business partnership with Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Limited (Domino’s), to automate and optimise the company’s payroll process. The partnership will assist Domino’s in empowering its franchisees with the right technology and tools to efficiently manage rostering and payroll as a competitive edge. Tanda Director Tasmin Trezise said he is excited about the partnership. “Tanda is proud to be working collaboratively with Domino’s to build the future of workforce management, and this represents an exciting step towards using technology to shape enterprise workplaces,” said Mr Trezise. “Domino’s is an agile and forward-thinking company who are leading the way in terms of innovation, whether this is through their drone delivery services or re-imagining their labour supply chain management.” The partnership between Tanda and Domino’s will see a roll out of the software to over 700 Domino’s stores across Australia and New Zealand. Domino’s Australia and New Zealand CEO Nick Knight said the Company was looking forward to making franchisee’s lives easier with the efficient time and attendance program. “We are always looking to use the latest innovative technology in everything that we do as a Company – this from delivery to customers and for systems and processes with franchisees,” said Mr Knight. “Rolling out Tanda in stores across Australia and New Zealand will allow our franchisees to efficiently roster and record team member’s attendance so we look forward to reaping the benefits of the innovative program.” Trezise explained that Domino’s franchisees would soon see incredible benefits after the working relationship with Tanda begins. “This partnership will empower Domino’s franchisees with a greater understanding and insight into their labour costs so they are able to make smarter and more informed business decisions whilst having comfort that their payroll complies with current awards and enterprise agreements. “The fact that Domino’s and other Australian businesses are using new technology like Tanda is a testament to Australia’s growing success as an innovative nation.” Domino’s partnership with Tanda began in the Company’s dedicated innovation space, the DLAB, which was designed to encourage out of the box thinking. From local corner cafes to global workforces, Tanda is revolutionising the world of rostering and payroll one shift at a time. About Tanda Tanda is a scalable workforce management SaaS, that is helping businesses to unlock efficiency and productivity gains through more effective labour force management. For more information, visit www.tanda.co About Domino’s Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Limited is the master franchisor for the Domino’s brand in Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Japan and Germany. Across these seven markets, DPE and its franchisees operate over 2,000 stores. For more information on Domino’s, please visit www.dominos.com.au For further information, media enquiries or images contact: Bridget Mahon Marketing Communications Officer Email: bridget@tanda.co

Editor's Picks

Awards & Rostering    |   

Time Theft: Top 3 ways employees steal time and how to stop it

The loss of productivity and profits due to time theft has been an enduring problem for many employers across industries. It can come in many forms, from clocking out too early to slacking off at work. While it can be hard to determine exactly how much it costs, a 2017 PollFish survey revealed that the U.S. economy loses approximately $373 million to time theft every year. This is true everywhere else, not just in the US. Paying unproductive employees for their time can make companies lose millions. Below are the top 3 ways employees steal time, and what you can do about it. 1. Buddy Punching The Problem: Buddy punching occurs when one employee clocks in or out for another as a favour. Employees do this to avoid being reprimanded. They often believe that this act is not inappropriate, as it only affects a few minutes of the total hours. But some employees use buddy punching to get paid for hours or even days they didn’t work. This is more prevalent in off-site locations where monitoring systems are lax. A 2008 Nucleus Research report showed that 19% of employees admit to buddy punching. The Solution: Confirming the identity of the person clocking in or out is the easiest way to solve buddy punching. Previously, employers opted for fingerprint clock in technology but this has become less popular with increasingly strict biometric privacy laws. In fact, a data privacy complaint was filed in Illinois against a biometric equipment provider. Because of this, photo-verified clock ins are the safest way to confirm an employee’s identity. A manager can monitor if a clock in matches the employee via cloud data, regardless of where they are working. Read more: Why Fingerprint Scanners Don’t Work for Time and Attendance 2. Time Clock Deception The Problem: Time clock deception, or timesheet falsification, happens when an employee inflates the hours they worked. A 2015 American Payroll Association (APA) study found that 43% of hourly employees surveyed admit to exaggerating the amount of time they work during their shifts. Further, a shocking 25% of employees surveyed report more hours than they actually worked more than 75% of the time. APA estimates that a business that pays out $1 million in annual payroll could be losing up to $70,000 each year due to timesheet falsification. The Solution: Manual forms of timesheet monitoring is the most susceptible to deception. Companies who allow employees to write down their own clock ins and outs will often have no way of knowing whether the information is accurate or not. Even 30 minutes of falsified timesheets can already cost money for businesses. The only solution is to invest in a program that accurately records clock ins and outs, and generates timesheets at the same time. Tanda’s workforce compliant timesheets even calculates precise shift costs using either a managed award or EBA. Read more: The Digital Workforce Success Revolution: Why you need to shift to cloud-based HR today 3. Extended Breaks The Problem: Employees can sometimes take breaks longer and more frequently than they’re supposed to. For many companies, a 30-minute break extension, or five 10-minute smoke breaks, may not seem much. When done large-scale however, it can have a real impact on productivity. Smoke breaks in particular accounted for the highest cost in lost productivity, according to a 2013 Ohio State University study. The study further suggested that U.S. businesses pay almost $6,000 per year extra for each employee who smokes. The Solution: Enabling employees to clock in or out for their breaks is one way to shift responsibility for their time to them. Because automated time clock solutions can be programmed to accommodate breaks, this will come at no extra cost, and will enable businesses to monitor employee breaks better. But because this affects compensation, employers should take care to abide by laws that apply to breaks. They should also ensure that they are not deducting pay illegally. Conveniently, Tanda’s system is able to flag anomalies in breaks, and makes sure the pay interpretation is always legally compliant, wherever you are in the world. Read more: Only a Matter of Time: Punctuality and attendance in multicultural workplaces To eliminate time theft, it is essential to create a work environment with the resources to monitor and prevent it. Investing in the right software will take care of many of the administrative issues that contribute to letting time theft slide by. After these systems are in place, it is also important to increase employee engagement by making sure your onboarding process is effective, and rewarding attendance the right way. These strategies will enrich the work experience and drive productivity to benefit both the employees and the business as a whole.

Industry Insights    |   

How this retailer increased profit by $8.9m from rostering more hours

There has been a lot of speculation on why we are losing retailers so fast. An interesting research piece from the US presented an alternative hypothesis that generalises the issue down to rostering for profit rather than rostering to control costs. For context – If you were given the choice of increasing revenue by 5% or reducing costs by 5% in order to create the most profitable outcome, what would choose? A “back of the hand” calculation would show that reducing costs increases profit more than the equivalent uptick in revenue. Accordingly, most retailers choose option two. This makes sense if you assume the two scenarios are independent of each other, but what if the cost was your employees? This is where the problems arise. For industries like retail, where staff have a direct impact on sales, it’s not as simple of a question as cutting costs to increase profit. In a study led by Professor Marshall Fisher from Wharton, he and his research team constructed a conceptual model from historical data to identify stores within a US-based retail chain that had the highest potential to benefit from increased labour spend. Importantly, the strategy was actually implemented at 168 retail sites over a 26-week period to validate the model, with the retailer electing to implement the strategy further. The result: A near $8.9 million increase in profit of the stores included. The labour cost challenge The challenge in allocating labour budgets lies in the tradeoff between the known immediate payroll cost and the less certain increase in sales that could be achieved with more staff on hand. The researchers point out that retail managers have a tendency to overweigh the decision to reduce the known payroll cost than the less certain increase in sales which could be achieved by allocating additional labour spend. The labour budget death spiral The study highlights the limitation of the most common retail strategy — setting labour budgets as a portion of sales. Fisher points out that this approach creates a circular problem by failing to take into account how store labour spend can positively impact sales, with the worst case leading to a spiraling effect of reduced sales forecasts reducing labour spend which reduces sales further and so on. Quantifying the impact of labour spend on revenue Creating labour budgets that are designed to maximise profit requires retailers to know on a store-by-store basis the correlation between labour-spend and sales. One way to do this is by looking at times when staffing levels deviate from the original schedule. If ten staff were scheduled on a particular day, but on that day only eight turned up, did sales also decrease by the same portion? If not, by how much? If the answer to the above is that sales didn’t decrease at all, the store is likely overstaffed. If there is a measurable impact, the inverse scenario is likely true and the store may be losing sales by being understaffed. This is the same approach used in the study, which found the relationship between random staffing deviations and impacts on sales was statistically significant. Results showed an increase in labour spend pointed to increased sales at varying degrees, depending on known store attributes. Implementing the strategy for profit The study identified stores in a US retail chain which had the highest market potential, making them good candidates for an increased labour spend. The market potential factored in attributes like average basket value and proximity to competitors, which would create scenarios that allow workers to have the highest impact on converting sales. In the study, 168 stores were selected this way, then allocated a 10% increased labour budget over a 26-week period, of which 75% of the increase was actually consumed in practice by the stores. The outcome was a 4.5% increase in revenue at the impacted stores and resulting in a near $8.9 million profit increase. Learning from the strategy The study shows empirically why the common practice of setting labour budgets as a fixed proportion of forecasted revenue is often self-defeating when applied in a retail setting. An opportunity exists to all retailers to leverage this same profit-centric model for defining labour budgets. The data required is available to all retailers however, it may just be a matter of leveraging that information with the right systems. An integrated forecasting strategy that integrates foot traffic, sales, and employee scheduling data is a practical opportunity afforded to retailers of any size to optimise their labour resource allocations. The interesting part is, Fisher’s research is readily available to all retailers who are looking to drift away from the traditional method of fixing labor budget rosters. The next step is to get this method of labour resource allocation battle tested in the Australian markets. Stay tuned. Up next: What is the Contingent Workforce and how can you leverage it in your business?

Industry Insights    |   

What you need to know about the Casual Conversion Clause

On 1 October 2018, the Fair Work Commission announced that a new casual conversion clause will be included in 80+ modern awards across Australia. What does it mean? Casual conversion is a right given to regular casual staff to request for full-time or part-time employment status, given certain prerequisites. In the awards, a ‘regular casual employee’ is: “A casual employee who has, in the preceding period of 12 months, worked a pattern of hours on an ongoing basis which, without significant adjustment, the employee could continue to perform as a full-time employee or part-time employee under the provisions of this award.” Businesses whose awards fall under mandate are required to advise their casual employees of this clause. This does not require employers to offer conversion to their eligible employees; rather, the clause entitles all eligible employees the right to request for conversion. Who can apply? The clause allows casual workers to apply for conversion if: They have  been working for the business for twelve (12) months; and Their work pattern is an ongoing number of hours over the past year, which can be continued without adjustment upon conversion to full-time or part-time. Employers must provide casual employees with a copy of the casual conversion clause within their first year of initial engagement with the business. Casual employees who are eligible to apply should request their employers in writing. Can applications be rejected? Yes, applications can be rejected. Reasonable grounds include: A significant adjustment of work hours for the employee in order to accommodate their full-time or part-time employment status; The employee worked for short periods and/or irregular shifts or hours; and The position of the casual employee will cease to exist in the foreseeable future. Rejection of applications can be done, given that both employee and employer have discussed the decision. Should employers not convert a casual employee, a written refusal must be provided, indicating the reasonable grounds of rejection. Read more: What is the Contingent Workforce and how can you leverage it in your business? What awards are covered? The introduction of the clause covers 80+ modern awards, including: Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010; Food, Beverage and Tobacco Manufacturing Award 2010; Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2010; Building & Construction General On-site Award 2010; Concrete Products Award 2010; Electrical, Electronic & Communications Contracting Award 2010; Graphic Arts, Printing and Publishing Award 2010; Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award 2010; Textile, Clothing, Footwear and Associated Industries Award 2010; and Vehicle Manufacturing, Repair, Services and Retail Award 2010 To check if your business is included, click here. What should your business do next? It’s important to keep in mind that Fair Work’s decision does not require businesses to convert casual employees in all cases where a casual employee makes a request for conversion to their employer.  For this reason, it’s important to understand the criteria for casual conversion and understand what your obligations are when employees meet these requirements. If you or your business falls under the new clause, here are the steps you can take to stay compliant: Check your modern award or enterprise agreement. Awards with existing clauses for casual conversion may have different requirements. Check your award for the exact rules in your industry. Create a casual conversion letter. You can also download a copy here. Notify your employees. Make sure you give your casual staff (employed as of 1 October 2018) a copy of the final letter. Record the outcome of the casual conversion offer. Whether they accept or reject the offer, keep copies of their written responses for future reference. If you are unsure how the casual conversion clause affects your business, call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or visit www.fairwork.gov.au To make sure you stay updated with the latest news on awards, employment, and compliance, subscribe to our newsletter today.

Industry Insights

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3 Strategies to Master Your Wage Costs in 2019

Understanding your wage costs from a financial report is a bit like trying to piece back together a fruit smoothie that’s already been blended. Only a fraction of employers ever master their wage costs. Those who do are able to turn what’s viewed as a burden by their competitors into their best competitive advantage. A […]

Facial Recognition vs Fingerprint Scanners for Time & Attendance

The last 10 years have been an exciting time for businesses. The growth and adoption of cloud technology have presented huge opportunities for business optimisation and increased profits. One of the most popular categories has been the adoption of Workforce Software. This type of software has been used to manage shifts, monitor staff, and ensure […]

Awards & Rostering

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Taking Back Time: Solving the enduring wage theft problem in Australia

A spate of wage theft accusations has swept across Australia. It left in its wake damaged reputations and millions in back wages. From the small Barry Cafe in Northcote to cosmetics giant Lush, employment practices, especially involving overtime pay, have been called into question. Some smaller businesses have also come under fire, mainly in the […]

Time Theft: Top 3 ways employees steal time and how to stop it

The loss of productivity and profits due to time theft has been an enduring problem for many employers across industries. It can come in many forms, from clocking out too early to slacking off at work. While it can be hard to determine exactly how much it costs, a 2017 PollFish survey revealed that the […]

Product Updates

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Doshii-Tanda integration frees up business owners to focus on people and growth

Tanda is excited to announce an integration with innovative API integration company, Doshii. Doshii’s API, which connects apps with POS in real-time, allows Tanda customers to harness their data through a single integration and gain immediate insights so they can manage their businesses better. Tanda’s cloud-based workforce success software offers strong employee onboarding, payroll, and […]

Introducing Smart Templates

Creating rosters using templates is great because in one click you have an entire roster worth of shifts. But even with templates, there are still a bunch of edits that you have to make after it is applied, for example: swapping out staff who are now on leave or unavailable, assigning staff to vacant shifts, […]

Events & Media

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Tanda partners with Aurion for Workforce Success

QLD, Australia — Tanda is proud to announce Aurion People & Payroll Solutions as the Platinum Sponsor of the 2019 Workforce Success Conference to be held this 26th July. The annual event organised by Tanda is entering its second year, following the inaugural conference in 2018. The previous conference, held on the Gold Coast, attracted over 280 business owners, managers, […]

What actually happens at a Tanda Hackathon?

Every year we run a Tanda hackathon. Actually, that’s a lie — this year we’ve already done one in Manila, but we’re now gearing up for our Brisbane one, which should be even bigger. Anyway, an integral part of organising a hackathon is people asking you what actually happens at one. In this post, I will answer that […]

Clients & Partners

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Little Pancake Company’s Sweet and Savory Recipe for Success

Small pancakes run on big team effort at Little Pancake Company, a new family-run business at the Coles end of Casey Central Shopping Centre in Victoria. Rick, Wendy and their staff specialise in poffertjes, a traditional Dutch sweet treat. The Dutch often serve poffertjes with powdered sugar, butter, and maple syrup. But their menu offers […]

Desktop-Based or Cloud-Based Payroll Software?

In today’s rapidly-changing business world, the question is not whether or not you should get a payroll software solution for your business. Rather, it’s what type you should get. Before getting into too much detail, the first question you should ask is whether you should get a desktop-based or a cloud-based payroll software. And understanding […]

Editor's Picks

Awards & Rostering    |   

Time Theft: Top 3 ways employees steal time and how to stop it

The loss of productivity and profits due to time theft has been an enduring problem for many employers across industries. It can come in many forms, from clocking out too early to slacking off at work. While it can be hard to determine exactly how much it costs, a 2017 PollFish survey revealed that the U.S. economy loses approximately $373 million to time theft every year. This is true everywhere else, not just in the US. Paying unproductive employees for their time can make companies lose millions. Below are the top 3 ways employees steal time, and what you can do about it. 1. Buddy Punching The Problem: Buddy punching occurs when one employee clocks in or out for another as a favour. Employees do this to avoid being reprimanded. They often believe that this act is not inappropriate, as it only affects a few minutes of the total hours. But some employees use buddy punching to get paid for hours or even days they didn’t work. This is more prevalent in off-site locations where monitoring systems are lax. A 2008 Nucleus Research report showed that 19% of employees admit to buddy punching. The Solution: Confirming the identity of the person clocking in or out is the easiest way to solve buddy punching. Previously, employers opted for fingerprint clock in technology but this has become less popular with increasingly strict biometric privacy laws. In fact, a data privacy complaint was filed in Illinois against a biometric equipment provider. Because of this, photo-verified clock ins are the safest way to confirm an employee’s identity. A manager can monitor if a clock in matches the employee via cloud data, regardless of where they are working. Read more: Why Fingerprint Scanners Don’t Work for Time and Attendance 2. Time Clock Deception The Problem: Time clock deception, or timesheet falsification, happens when an employee inflates the hours they worked. A 2015 American Payroll Association (APA) study found that 43% of hourly employees surveyed admit to exaggerating the amount of time they work during their shifts. Further, a shocking 25% of employees surveyed report more hours than they actually worked more than 75% of the time. APA estimates that a business that pays out $1 million in annual payroll could be losing up to $70,000 each year due to timesheet falsification. The Solution: Manual forms of timesheet monitoring is the most susceptible to deception. Companies who allow employees to write down their own clock ins and outs will often have no way of knowing whether the information is accurate or not. Even 30 minutes of falsified timesheets can already cost money for businesses. The only solution is to invest in a program that accurately records clock ins and outs, and generates timesheets at the same time. Tanda’s workforce compliant timesheets even calculates precise shift costs using either a managed award or EBA. Read more: The Digital Workforce Success Revolution: Why you need to shift to cloud-based HR today 3. Extended Breaks The Problem: Employees can sometimes take breaks longer and more frequently than they’re supposed to. For many companies, a 30-minute break extension, or five 10-minute smoke breaks, may not seem much. When done large-scale however, it can have a real impact on productivity. Smoke breaks in particular accounted for the highest cost in lost productivity, according to a 2013 Ohio State University study. The study further suggested that U.S. businesses pay almost $6,000 per year extra for each employee who smokes. The Solution: Enabling employees to clock in or out for their breaks is one way to shift responsibility for their time to them. Because automated time clock solutions can be programmed to accommodate breaks, this will come at no extra cost, and will enable businesses to monitor employee breaks better. But because this affects compensation, employers should take care to abide by laws that apply to breaks. They should also ensure that they are not deducting pay illegally. Conveniently, Tanda’s system is able to flag anomalies in breaks, and makes sure the pay interpretation is always legally compliant, wherever you are in the world. Read more: Only a Matter of Time: Punctuality and attendance in multicultural workplaces To eliminate time theft, it is essential to create a work environment with the resources to monitor and prevent it. Investing in the right software will take care of many of the administrative issues that contribute to letting time theft slide by. After these systems are in place, it is also important to increase employee engagement by making sure your onboarding process is effective, and rewarding attendance the right way. These strategies will enrich the work experience and drive productivity to benefit both the employees and the business as a whole.

Industry Insights    |   

How this retailer increased profit by $8.9m from rostering more hours

There has been a lot of speculation on why we are losing retailers so fast. An interesting research piece from the US presented an alternative hypothesis that generalises the issue down to rostering for profit rather than rostering to control costs. For context – If you were given the choice of increasing revenue by 5% or reducing costs by 5% in order to create the most profitable outcome, what would choose? A “back of the hand” calculation would show that reducing costs increases profit more than the equivalent uptick in revenue. Accordingly, most retailers choose option two. This makes sense if you assume the two scenarios are independent of each other, but what if the cost was your employees? This is where the problems arise. For industries like retail, where staff have a direct impact on sales, it’s not as simple of a question as cutting costs to increase profit. In a study led by Professor Marshall Fisher from Wharton, he and his research team constructed a conceptual model from historical data to identify stores within a US-based retail chain that had the highest potential to benefit from increased labour spend. Importantly, the strategy was actually implemented at 168 retail sites over a 26-week period to validate the model, with the retailer electing to implement the strategy further. The result: A near $8.9 million increase in profit of the stores included. The labour cost challenge The challenge in allocating labour budgets lies in the tradeoff between the known immediate payroll cost and the less certain increase in sales that could be achieved with more staff on hand. The researchers point out that retail managers have a tendency to overweigh the decision to reduce the known payroll cost than the less certain increase in sales which could be achieved by allocating additional labour spend. The labour budget death spiral The study highlights the limitation of the most common retail strategy — setting labour budgets as a portion of sales. Fisher points out that this approach creates a circular problem by failing to take into account how store labour spend can positively impact sales, with the worst case leading to a spiraling effect of reduced sales forecasts reducing labour spend which reduces sales further and so on. Quantifying the impact of labour spend on revenue Creating labour budgets that are designed to maximise profit requires retailers to know on a store-by-store basis the correlation between labour-spend and sales. One way to do this is by looking at times when staffing levels deviate from the original schedule. If ten staff were scheduled on a particular day, but on that day only eight turned up, did sales also decrease by the same portion? If not, by how much? If the answer to the above is that sales didn’t decrease at all, the store is likely overstaffed. If there is a measurable impact, the inverse scenario is likely true and the store may be losing sales by being understaffed. This is the same approach used in the study, which found the relationship between random staffing deviations and impacts on sales was statistically significant. Results showed an increase in labour spend pointed to increased sales at varying degrees, depending on known store attributes. Implementing the strategy for profit The study identified stores in a US retail chain which had the highest market potential, making them good candidates for an increased labour spend. The market potential factored in attributes like average basket value and proximity to competitors, which would create scenarios that allow workers to have the highest impact on converting sales. In the study, 168 stores were selected this way, then allocated a 10% increased labour budget over a 26-week period, of which 75% of the increase was actually consumed in practice by the stores. The outcome was a 4.5% increase in revenue at the impacted stores and resulting in a near $8.9 million profit increase. Learning from the strategy The study shows empirically why the common practice of setting labour budgets as a fixed proportion of forecasted revenue is often self-defeating when applied in a retail setting. An opportunity exists to all retailers to leverage this same profit-centric model for defining labour budgets. The data required is available to all retailers however, it may just be a matter of leveraging that information with the right systems. An integrated forecasting strategy that integrates foot traffic, sales, and employee scheduling data is a practical opportunity afforded to retailers of any size to optimise their labour resource allocations. The interesting part is, Fisher’s research is readily available to all retailers who are looking to drift away from the traditional method of fixing labor budget rosters. The next step is to get this method of labour resource allocation battle tested in the Australian markets. Stay tuned. Up next: What is the Contingent Workforce and how can you leverage it in your business?

Industry Insights    |   

What you need to know about the Casual Conversion Clause

On 1 October 2018, the Fair Work Commission announced that a new casual conversion clause will be included in 80+ modern awards across Australia. What does it mean? Casual conversion is a right given to regular casual staff to request for full-time or part-time employment status, given certain prerequisites. In the awards, a ‘regular casual employee’ is: “A casual employee who has, in the preceding period of 12 months, worked a pattern of hours on an ongoing basis which, without significant adjustment, the employee could continue to perform as a full-time employee or part-time employee under the provisions of this award.” Businesses whose awards fall under mandate are required to advise their casual employees of this clause. This does not require employers to offer conversion to their eligible employees; rather, the clause entitles all eligible employees the right to request for conversion. Who can apply? The clause allows casual workers to apply for conversion if: They have  been working for the business for twelve (12) months; and Their work pattern is an ongoing number of hours over the past year, which can be continued without adjustment upon conversion to full-time or part-time. Employers must provide casual employees with a copy of the casual conversion clause within their first year of initial engagement with the business. Casual employees who are eligible to apply should request their employers in writing. Can applications be rejected? Yes, applications can be rejected. Reasonable grounds include: A significant adjustment of work hours for the employee in order to accommodate their full-time or part-time employment status; The employee worked for short periods and/or irregular shifts or hours; and The position of the casual employee will cease to exist in the foreseeable future. Rejection of applications can be done, given that both employee and employer have discussed the decision. Should employers not convert a casual employee, a written refusal must be provided, indicating the reasonable grounds of rejection. Read more: What is the Contingent Workforce and how can you leverage it in your business? What awards are covered? The introduction of the clause covers 80+ modern awards, including: Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010; Food, Beverage and Tobacco Manufacturing Award 2010; Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2010; Building & Construction General On-site Award 2010; Concrete Products Award 2010; Electrical, Electronic & Communications Contracting Award 2010; Graphic Arts, Printing and Publishing Award 2010; Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award 2010; Textile, Clothing, Footwear and Associated Industries Award 2010; and Vehicle Manufacturing, Repair, Services and Retail Award 2010 To check if your business is included, click here. What should your business do next? It’s important to keep in mind that Fair Work’s decision does not require businesses to convert casual employees in all cases where a casual employee makes a request for conversion to their employer.  For this reason, it’s important to understand the criteria for casual conversion and understand what your obligations are when employees meet these requirements. If you or your business falls under the new clause, here are the steps you can take to stay compliant: Check your modern award or enterprise agreement. Awards with existing clauses for casual conversion may have different requirements. Check your award for the exact rules in your industry. Create a casual conversion letter. You can also download a copy here. Notify your employees. Make sure you give your casual staff (employed as of 1 October 2018) a copy of the final letter. Record the outcome of the casual conversion offer. Whether they accept or reject the offer, keep copies of their written responses for future reference. If you are unsure how the casual conversion clause affects your business, call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or visit www.fairwork.gov.au To make sure you stay updated with the latest news on awards, employment, and compliance, subscribe to our newsletter today.

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