Employee Time Systems Advance with the March of Time

Posted by in Compensation & Benefits | Comments Off on Employee Time Systems Advance with the March of Time

Employee time clocks or systems continue to serve the same purpose as the first one, invented in 1888: to record accurately the working time of all hourly employees. These systems protect both the employer (from not paying for time not worked or fraudulent manipulation of the clock) and employees (being paid for all their legitimate, productive time on the job). Time marches on, however. While the earliest mechanical time clocks could do nothing more than stamp the day and time, the most advanced systems available today not only collect data, but also link the time recordings directly with payroll software, so wages are automatically calculated. For employers with many hourly workers, but a limited office staff, this feature of modern systems is a big time- and money-saver.

Employee time systems have been swipe-card-based for a number of years, similar to using a credit card at a store. Even that technology is showing its age, as the magnetic strips become worn and start to record inaccurate data. The newer technology is biometric, where employees’ fingerprints, faces or eyes are scanned as nearly foolproof identification. Biometric systems are more likely to be found today where the security of the facility and industrial secrets are the prime concerns. Recording employee time is a secondary function.

With such a great variety of choices, employers must do a bit of research to determine what employee time system serves their needs. Companies with mostly salaried staff may not need more than computer software that requires employees to “clock in” in the morning and “clock out” at the end of the workday at their PC. Employers with a preponderance of hourly workers, however, are more likely to need a robust employee time system that records work, breaks, and even vacations, sick days and personal leave, in more detail.

Employee time systems have also been an “opportunity” for some employees to try to bypass the system to their advantage. Many of these ruses are as old as time clocks, such as one employee clocking in or out another employee to hide his or her absence or late arrival. That is why it is important for employee handbooks to include a complete description of the employee time system used. Not only must employees know the mechanics of using the system correctly, but also must be thoroughly aware of the policies and regulations of its use, so there are no ambiguities about what is a violation of the system and the penalties they could suffer.

Password Reset
Please enter your e-mail address. You will receive a new password via e-mail.