Restrict unavailability on published rosters

Renée Mellish

18 December 2018    |   

A common pain point for managers occurs when staff submit unavailability after the roster has been completed and published. Having to go back to the roster, make changes and re-publish it can be annoying and confusing to staff. To help prevent this situation we’ve always had minimum days’ notice setting for unavailability: This setting works okay, however it doesn’t factor in if the roster has been published further in advance than the minimum number of days notice. Let’s say you have a minimum notice period of 14 days but you have published rosters 3 weeks out (21 days) then you wouldn’t want staff to submit unavailability as this would require the manager to go back and change the roster or tell staff that it won’t be accepted. Both of which take time. Instead, you would want them to request a shift cover. For this reason, we’ve improved the way the unavailability notice works, so that it also factors in roster publishing. How it works When an employee goes to submit unavailability, Tanda will check whether their roster has been published yet for that date. If it has, they won’t be able to submit unavailability until the day after that roster ends. The main thing to note here is that if the minimum days’ notice is greater than the last day of published rosters, this setting will be used instead. The reason for this is that we know many businesses have a policy around days notice (i.e you must give at least 14 days notice), which we felt was important to still respect regardless of the roster publishing. This is what an employee would see in their app if they went to apply for unavailability within the lockout: This update should reduce the number of manual changes a manager has to make after they publish their roster. This should also encourage staff to get their unavailability entered earlier which is also going to make rostering in advance easier for managers. The great news is if a manager does publish their roster and staff are no longer unavailable they can request a cover and a manager can easy approve the change without ever needing to go back and edit the roster.

A common pain point for managers occurs when staff submit unavailability after the roster has been completed and published. Having to go back to the roster, make changes and re-publish it can be annoying and confusing to staff.

To help prevent this situation we’ve always had minimum days’ notice setting for unavailability:

This setting works okay, however it doesn’t factor in if the roster has been published further in advance than the minimum number of days notice. Let’s say you have a minimum notice period of 14 days but you have published rosters 3 weeks out (21 days) then you wouldn’t want staff to submit unavailability as this would require the manager to go back and change the roster or tell staff that it won’t be accepted. Both of which take time. Instead, you would want them to request a shift cover.

For this reason, we’ve improved the way the unavailability notice works, so that it also factors in roster publishing.

How it works

When an employee goes to submit unavailability, Tanda will check whether their roster has been published yet for that date. If it has, they won’t be able to submit unavailability until the day after that roster ends.

The main thing to note here is that if the minimum days’ notice is greater than the last day of published rosters, this setting will be used instead. The reason for this is that we know many businesses have a policy around days notice (i.e you must give at least 14 days notice), which we felt was important to still respect regardless of the roster publishing.

This is what an employee would see in their app if they went to apply for unavailability within the lockout:

This update should reduce the number of manual changes a manager has to make after they publish their roster.

This should also encourage staff to get their unavailability entered earlier which is also going to make rostering in advance easier for managers.

The great news is if a manager does publish their roster and staff are no longer unavailable they can request a cover and a manager can easy approve the change without ever needing to go back and edit the roster.

Related Posts

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 rostering features allows you to get visual with pay rates

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.

Awards & Rostering    |   

Why you need better rostering for the new financial year

It’s now less than a month away from the end of the financial year, which means you’re quite likely incredibly busy. Whether you’re looking to hit your financial year KPIs, making some big changes to your business, or just managing your staff more effectively, it can be a stressful time for business owners and managers. Therefore, it’s important to give your managers and staff the right tools so you can get the most from your workforce in the new year. Rostering is one such tool, and is often referred to as one of the biggest pain points in managing a workforce. Poor rostering leads to any number of problems and issues in the workplace including; Store managers spending hours each week rostering, when they could be focused on larger priorities. Rostering on too many or too few staff, results in unnecessary increased wage costs or a reduced ability to service customer demand. Last minute roster changes from bad communication leads to the wrong number of staff, and can ultimately affect overall morale. Managers can’t cost their upcoming staffing costs with the complexity of the Australian industrial relations system. Bad compliance without an effective system, means you’re trusting all your store managers to be rostering within employment law requirements. Any of these problems occurring could be causing you unnecessarily high labour costs, a reduction in effective customer service, and a decrease in the productivity of your managers. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Rostering should form the foundation of your workforce management. It is your point of reference for staff resourcing, managing labour costs, and insightful reporting. Implementing modern and powerful rostering software is the easiest way to get on top of your workforce frustrations. What a great rostering system brings to your business A great rostering system should: 1. Cost your rosters including overtime, allowances, and leave. It’s very hard to meet labour budgets if you don’t know how much your roster is going to cost you. Great rostering systems should be able to cost your roster as you build it, so that you can make the best decisions in the moment to meet your budgets. Award conditions such as penalty rates, allowances, and leave can add extra unforeseen costs to your weekly roster, so it’s important that your system is able to account for these in the total roster cost. Businesses that can accurately forecast their labour costs are better able to optimise their labour spend, which leads to smarter workforce decisions. 2. Be easy and intuitive to use. There’s no point going through the process of updating your system, only to find out it’s more difficult than doing it manually. Rostering shouldn’t be a hassle, especially when you’ve got better things to focus on. A great rostering system should be intuitive and easy to use for your entire team. Features like auto-saving, filters for teams and locations, alternative roster views, make what used to be a time-consuming task, quick and effortless. Once you’ve built the roster, being able to quickly send it out to staff via SMS and email, as well as any last minute changes, keeps all your staff updated on what’s happening. 3. Use Predictive Workforce™ software to tell you how many staff are required. Correctly predicting the number of staff for any given day can feel like a miracle sometimes. However, great rostering software systems should be able to use predictive analytics to show exactly how many staff you need, at what time, every day. Integrating Point of Sale data, revenue, and other forms of service demand data into your rostering system is crucial to optimising your labour productivity. Having the correct number of staff leads to higher staff productivity, greater profitability, and an improved customer service experience. End of Financial Year is a great time to review your systems, reflect on what’s working, and what can be improved for the New Financial Year. Updating your rostering system starts you off on the right foot, free from paperwork and stressful staff management. This leads to better time and attendance tracking, wage calculation, and faster payroll processing. That way you can focus on running your business, not your rosters.

More Resources

About the author

Renée Mellish

Development: Renee is part of the software development team working as a UI/UX designer. She is responsible for designing Tanda in a way that provides the best possible experience for our users.

Share this article

Related Articles

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 […]

Product Updates

New rostering features allows you to get visual with pay rates

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 […]

Awards & Rostering

Why you need better rostering for the new financial year

It’s now less than a month away from the end of the financial year, which means you’re quite likely incredibly busy. Whether you’re looking to hit your financial year KPIs, making some big changes to your business, or just managing your staff more effectively, it can be a stressful time for business owners and managers. […]

More Resources

Subscribe to the Tanda Blog!

Stay updated with the latest insights on frontline work, industry news, business templates, and other free resources.

*Please fill this field
*Please fill this field