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How do you protect your business against claims of 'wage theft?'

“According to Citizens Advice, the trend in what it calls “wage theft” is particularly acute among casual workers such as cleaners and carers. It blames confusing working hours, poor administration and legal loopholes for the sharp rise in the number of people reporting that they are being underpaid. In some extreme cases, workers reported that they are not being paid at all.”

When I read this in the article; “Low-paid workers report sharp rise in ‘wage theft’ understandably I was shocked to say the least. Reading the article it does sadly highlight where some organisations have clearly fallen foul of deliberately under paying employees which is completely immoral.

However from a selfish perspective, it was the parts of the article that put this ‘wage theft’ down to errors in calculating the hours that employees had actually completed that caught my eye. If an employer is that way inclined that they are prepared to steal from their employees then that is one thing, however administration errors can be rectified and really need to be. This is reinforced in the article further when it states:

“As more people are in casual and insecure work, it’s particularly concerning that there’s an emerging trend of pay errors and wage theft that can further undermine people’s financial security,” said Guy. “It is really important that employers take care to make sure people are paid the hours they have worked.”

So how does this apply to us here at Thinking Software?

For those of you who haven’t read on of my previous articles, here at Thinking Software we provide a Workforce Management, Time & Attendance solution called Rota Horizon. It’s most obvious function is that assists organisations to understand exactly what hours it’s employees have been working and when.

While this alone highlights clear synergy with the discussed article, the solution is designed to empower both Employers & Employees so that both are clear on exactly what hours staff work. This in turn provides a more transparent method of working that should raise morale whilst remaining as efficient as possible operationally.

In order to achieve this Rota Horizon has a department rota that enables you to plan rotas on a weekly basis. From a management perspective this means you always know you have the correct resource devoted to the correct department. Then from an employee perspective they are aware exactly when they are working and have a full record of this so there is no excuses for errors with reference to pay.

In fact we have an additional module called the Self Service Module that gives employees access to their own web portal when they can view their work schedule, make holiday requests and make themselves available for additional hours to those they have already been rostered for.

Even better with reference to paying employees Rota Horizon has the ability to export hours to any form of Payroll software. In fact we have a seamless integration with Sage & Pegasus Payroll. So as long as people have clocked in and out as they should for their planned shifts, those hours will be exported to populate your payroll software by matching them against the correct pay rates. This makes working out things like holiday and overtime rates easy, something that when done manually leaves greater room for error and is extremely time consuming.

Even if employees don’t clock in & out at the correct times there are also specific rules you can apply that ensure that calculating what an employee is paid is made extremely easy. For example you can use rounding rules that say if an individual is 5 minutes late you can round their clock forward a further 5 minutes and they are deducted that time from their hourly wage. From the other perspective though if an employee works additional, exceeding their planned clock out time, you can allow them to earn overtime, or it will flag up as exception and you can make a manual adjustment so they can be paid for their efforts.

Finally, Rota Horizon has more than 400 reports made available for you to utilise. Within these reports you can produce a number that will simply highlight exactly what hours employees have completed in a payroll period which can be checked over very quickly to ensure that staff are being paid correctly. For example the Payroll Summary report will give a clear breakdown of exactly what hours an individual is being paid for at each pay rate. So this can include for example; standard, overtime, Sunday rate, Sunday overtime rate, paid holiday and paid illness all on one report.

In this scenario a solution like Rota Horizon has the potential to provide the transparency for both Employer and Employee so both parties are satisfied that payroll is being completed accurately. This should only have a positive impact on your organisation ensuring optimum productivity is maintained as employees are reassured that they will be paid correctly for their efforts.

So if you believe that your organisation could benefit from a Time & Attendance solution then please do call us on 0800 854 471. At this stage we appreciate that this may well be very much an exploratory conversation to learn more about the software which we very much welcome. Please also feel free to request a software web demonstration by clicking here and providing the details requested.

To read the article discussed please Click here.

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