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Question time - your time and attendance questions answered

What are time & attendance systems?

Also known as Clocking In Systems, time and attendance systems are a fundamental and key component of all good HR solutions, used by companies of all sizes and sectors that wish to impartially record and monitor attendance of staff and employees at their place of work.

The information gathered can be used in a multitude of ways, an invaluable aid in the identification of trends and habits that can have a detrimental impact on your business. For example; short term absenteeism and poor employee punctuality. They also empower you to plan ahead of time for absences such as annual leave and long-term sickness etc.

Time and attendance systems can be automated to suit your workflow and if required, can allow a controlled level of employee self-service, enabling the information captured to be of benefit to both employee and employer alike.

Who are time & attendance systems for?

Time and attendance systems are for any company or organisation wishing to improve employee punctuality and absenteeism, and want the ability to pull this information from a database at the touch of a button. This data can be used to aid disciplinary meetings and appraisals, general absence planning and for payroll purposes. A businesses clocking in system is for front line managers and HR administrators to help assist with the day to day challenges of running a business and managing the people who make your business tick… your employees.

If you feel you’ve lost touch with the management of your largest business overhead, spending more on wages & salaries than you should be. A time and attendance system is a must-have item in your business armoury.

A a good clocking system will help you keep track of authorised and unauthorised absenteeism and reduces disagreements that run the risk of damaging employee relations.

Payroll administration errors that are inherent in the use of timesheets and inevitable mistakes resulting from “human error” in the manual calculation of hours worked, a time and attendance system will prove to be an invaluable business tool, that will always ensure your work rules are routinely applied and produce accurate results every time.

What is the right time & attendance system for my business?

This will by & large depend on the level of control required and the amount of valuable data you wish to extract from within your business. And how accurate and effortless you want payroll management to be.

Options range from low cost traditional punch card time clock machines, to our entry level and high end software driven pc linked time and attendance systems, that enable you to keep track of employee attendance, punctuality, holiday, sickness absences & trends etc. Though higher priced, the time you’ll also save on payroll management will see these more elaborate systems pay for themselves year after year.

In contrast, though cheaper to buy and a great improvement over timesheets, clocking-in card machines in the long run won’t give you the benefits or returns software driven systems offer.

Compared to the rest of the market, our pricing on our software driven time and attendance systems tends to be mid-ranged, with the quality and capability of higher priced systems. Higher price as you know, doesn’t necessarily mean better. But with our pricing structures, makes our systems even more affordable than you might think.

Software driven time and attendance systems also give you the benefit of being able to export time attendance data directly into a spreadsheet or payroll software, which again, helps eliminate manual errors. Here’s the good news… our powerful software makes our systems extremely easy to use, just one or two clicks on your keyboard and your payroll is done…putting more time back into your life – literally.

How can a clocking in systems improve & save my business money?

A good clocking system we believe as do our customers, is a key human resource tool for every business that has hourly paid employees. If you employ salaried staff, even though you may not use such a system routinely for payroll, it’s still an advantage to have attendance & absence data to hand for when you may need it. Core business issues pertaining to punctuality and absence trends are no less important whether for hourly paid or salaried workers.

If you don’t currently have a time and attendance system in place, money will surely be slipping through your fingers everyday. This can be money lost through manual calculation errors resulting in regular overpayments, or deliberate incorrect claims for overtime hours.  From our experience, timesheet records when initially run alongside a time and attendance system, show the manual self-written records to be completely inaccurate… almost like handing over an open cheque book.

Another benefit of a modern time and attendance system, is that it will enable you to keep within the multitude of employment and health & safety laws and regulations that all UK businesses are subject to. For example; working time regulations, lone workers and fire evacuation.

How can time and attendance systems benefit employees?

A time and attendance system should be inclusive. Employees if allowed, can access their own time and attendance and absence data. When staff & employees request information regarding the hours they’ve worked, or time they’ve taken off from work or holiday entitlement they have left etc., it can take time to locate. And lots of requests all at once can sometimes be inconvenient and time consuming exercise at that.

Some of this information can be made easily available to employees at the clocking terminal. Better still, you can give staff & employees a broader spectrum of information, by allowing password protected access to their own personal data via a self-service kiosk or pc.

Our online based (SaaS) cloud time and attendance option allows employees to see this information using a home computer or their mobile phone or tablet device. At work, employees can request holidays at the time and attendance clocking terminal or from any device / location using web browser.

Allowing this information to be freely available gives employees a sense of empowerment, and literally becomes self-serving. This of course increases the appeal of time & attendance systems, and when they are seen to benefit everyone are more widely accepted.

Can time and attendance systems improve employee morale?

The introduction of a clocking in system into the workplace can also help maintain a level playing field. When you introduce a time & attendance system, the rules will be applied in a fair non discriminatory manner to the benefit of all.

For example, a small percentage of businesses who will experience issues with employees who’s timekeeping or hours claimed is incorrect. The ‘special’ relationship the employer endeavours to preserve is not always reciprocated, unfortunately, can find themselves being taken advantage of.

Company owners and managers very often fail to consider the negative impact this can have on employees who do respect the rules. When they consistently see what appears to be a relaxation of the rules for certain individuals. Here, time and attendance systems can help restore and maintain accountability and confidence within the workplace, which will not only improve morale but productivity too.

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We've helped a multitude of businesses, organisations including government institutions... here's just a few of some well known names:

Cemex
Manchester Central
Western Power Distribution
NHS
Lafarge
Bristol City Council
HM Government of Gibraltar
Clarks Village
DHL
Kier
Hanson
Christie's
RAF Cosford
Alitalia
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“Facetime provides a time & attendance system that ‘measures-up’ at Clarks flagship shoe shop at Street, Somerset”

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