One of the most powerful features in Workforce.com is the earnings rule engine, which gives you the ability to create earnings rules which specify the conditions which your staff are paid according to.
This guide will outline just some of the many ways you can create rules in Workforce.com to pay your staff:
Best Practice for Creating Rules:
Each rule can be specific to a day, several days or every day
If you pay different rates on different days of the week, create different rules for different days. For example:
Monday to Friday
Create a separate rule for each scenario
Each rule should be designed to handle one scenario. If the same rate of pay can apply to a few different scenarios, it often makes sense to break these down into multiple rules. When more than one pay rule could apply, Workforce.com automatically applies the most specific rule.
For example, if Overtime x1.5 applies when an employee works past 7pm, or when they work more than 8 hours in a day, or if they work more than 38 hours in a week. Each scenario should be built as its own rule to ensure the most appropriate overtime rule applies based on the hours worked.
(optional) Use a numbering system to organize your rules
If you require a long list of rules, it can be easier to organize them with a numbering system at the beginning of each rule name.
For example, you could use:
A starting number based on employment type: E.g. 1 for Full Time, 2 Part Time, 3 Casual, and so forth.
The second number for day of the week, e.g. 1 for Weekdays, 2 for Saturday, 3 for Sunday, 4 for Public Holidays.
The third number refers to how specific the rule is. 1 will typically be your base rule (i.e ordinary hours). As the larger the number, the more specific the rule. For example, 2 may be Ordinary hours after 7pm, which is more specific than 1 as it can only apply after 7pm.
Note: There must be at least one rule on the account that applies to all staff and all days (Regular Hours). If you update this rule so it does not apply to all staff, a new rule will be created in its place.
When creating rules, you'll see there is the option to use multipliers or rates. We recommend using multipliers where possible. This is because multipliers tend to remain consistent across employee classifications and over time, whereas rates change more frequently (ie EOFY, birthdays, promotions). Multipliers typically won't require as much updating, and from a payroll perspective, it would mean fewer pay items would be required.
Test on a Staging Account
If you'd like to play around with rules without affecting your live account, you can do this at https://staging.workforce.com. Simply login with your usual credentials, and then you'll see a copy of your account with information as accurate as yesterday. When you're happy with your rules, you can then create these rules in your live account. Please note: changes made in Staging will not push through to the live account, and Staging will reset daily at 5am.
Creating and Updating rules via CSV
If you need to bulk manage rules, doing this via csv may be the easier and more efficient option.
Generally speaking, hours fall into two categories: ordinary or overtime.
Ordinary hours are an employee's normal and regular hours or work, which do not attract overtime rates. Work performed outside the ordinary hours is considered Overtime.
Earnings Rules, enterprise agreements and other registered agreements usually set out any:
maximum ordinary hours in a day, week, fortnight or month.
minimum ordinary hours in a day.
times of the day ordinary hours can be worked (eg. between 7am - 7pm).
When entering this information into Workforce.com as custom rules, best practice is to create generic rules for Ordinary hours that do not specify any times or hours, leaving that information to be configured in Overtime rules.
In the pictured example above, a set of rules have been created for Full Time employees. Apart from breaking down the rules by day and to apply 'Full Time' employees as per best practice, the only information on this rule is that it’s considered ordinary hours.
By building generic rules for our ordinary hours, we've created a foundation we can then build our overtime rules on top of.
In most employee contracts, there will be overtime that applies after a certain amount of hours in day/pay period, followed by another level of overtime after Y hours of overtime.
For example, "Hours worked in excess of the 38 hours per week are to be paid at time and a half for the first three hours and double time thereafter".
This means we need at least two rules:
Overtime after 38 ordinary hours, paid at 1.5x.
Overtime after 3 hours of overtime (1.5x), paid at 2.0x.
Overtime (1.5x) after 38 hours
To build the first overtime rule, ensure you have:
Select 'Overtime' as your rule type.
Conditions are set to apply after ordinary hours have elapsed, based on hours worked in a pay period, and hours in the pay period is set to 38.
Overtime (2.0x) after 3 hours of overtime (1.5x)
To create the second rule:
Select 'Overtime' as your rule type.
Set conditions to apply after overtime hours have elapsed, based on hours worked in a pay period of 38 hours, and after 3 hours of overtime.
In this specific example, we looked at overtime (1.5) after 38 hours and overtime (2.0) after 3 hours of overtime. However, you can change the conditions to suit your specific arrangement.
To create a custom allowance, head to Compliance > Customize Your Setup > Allowances > Manage.
2. Click on the green + New allowance button in the top right corner:
3. First, set a Name for the Allowance and link this to your Payroll & Accounting System.
4. Next, select what type of allowance it is - Manual or Automatic:
Manual allowances require detail on who it will apply to and the rate to be paid. This will only apply when you add it to the timesheet. A common example is the travel allowance where the distance traveled (i.e. kilometers) is manually entered on the timesheet
Automatic allowances apply whenever the conditions specified on the form are met, including factors such as the day, time and type of shift. For example, an employee can receive a laundry allowance for every shift they work.
5. Set whether you want all staff to be eligible for the allowance or whether this will only apply to specific staff with specific tags (ie, Part Time/ Casual, a specific grade of pay, etc).
6. Then, under ‘What rate is it paid at?’, select either the ‘multiplier’ option or the ‘specific cost’ option.
Both manual and automatic allowances require a rate to be specified, which can either be a specific cost (e.g. dollar amount) or multiplier (calculated with the employee's base hourly rate).
6. When you're finished, just click Create Allowance at the bottom to save.
7. If the allowance was automatic, it should apply to the corresponding timesheet automatically should the required conditions be met. If the allowance was manual, head to the necessary timesheet and select the allowance from the blue ‘+Add’ option next to ‘No Allowances Applying’. Then, select the allowance you’ve just created from the list, enter the required number of units and hit 'Save Allowances'.
A common stipulation in earnings rules and enterprise agreements is the minimum number of hours an employee can be asked to work in a day.
Using the example above, the employee either works three hours, or works less than three hours but is paid for the full three hours.
If you're using a Workforce.com Earnings Rule Template, this will likely be pre-configured for you. If you need to build this rule into your account, head to Compliance > Custom rules > + New Rule.
Under Conditions, you'll see the option 'Minimum Shift Length'. Tick this condition and specify the minimum hours required.
After creating this rule, eligible staff will receive payment for 3 hours on shifts that are less than 3 hours. For example, the employee below worked 3:30-5:30pm (two hours) and this is reflected in the start and finish times. However, they are paid as if they had worked 3:30pm-6:30pm (three hours).
Some earnings rules and agreements allow for an employee and an employer to agree for time off to be taken instead of being paid overtime pay. This is known as 'time in lieu', 'time off in lieu', or 'TOIL'.
When TOIL can apply and how it is calculated will depend on the earnings or agreement. This guide will go through how to create 'time for time' rules, where the period of time off that an employee is entitled to take is the same as the number of overtime hours worked.
TOIL Accrued - Time for time
When building the rules, enter the conditions that trigger TOIL accrual (e.g. after 38 hours in a week, or after 8 hours in a day). If overriding a template, the conditions will need to either be the same or more specific than the overtime rules currently applying to the staff member.
Tip: If systematic TOIL accrual is not desired, the best approach would be to set the rule to apply to 'Specific Shifts' with an Earnings tag that represents TOIL Accrued. Staff profiles and shifts on the timesheet would then need to be tagged to be calculated as TOIL Accrued.
The Earnings tag drop-down is only visible when enabled under Settings > All Settings > View all timesheet settings > Advanced.
Then, under outcomes, ensure the rate has been entered as '0' and 'Export this time as a TOIL or RDO accrual' has been ticked. This will ensure the hours are considered an accrual and will not be paid. Hours will be paid when TOIL is taken.
A 'TOIL Taken' leave type can be created at https://my.workforce.com/awards/leave. Generally, this leave would be considered 'ordinary' hours and cost at a 1.0 pay rate multiplier.
Integrate with Payroll
How to integrate TOIL recorded in Workforce.com with your payroll will depend on the system.
Overtime for Hours Outside of Schedule
One scenario where an employee may be entitled to overtime is when they work hours outside of their scheduled hours.
Using the example picture above, an employee who works beyond their scheduled hours is entitled to Overtime at 1.5x for the first three hours and Overtime 2.0x after that. Two rules need to be created under Compliance > Earnings Rules to cater for this.
First three hours beyond Schedule
Under Conditions, select 'After number of hours worked'. Specify here that the rule will kick in After ordinary hours have elapsed and Scheduled hours.
3+ hours beyond Schedule
For the second rule, under Conditions select 'After number of hours worked' again. This time, specify After overtime hours have been elapsed, Scheduled hours, and enter how many overtime hours need to have passed. For the above example, we'd enter 3.
Then, on timesheets, hours worked will be compared to the schedule. Hours outside the scheduled hours will be paid according to the rules above.
Overtime for Hours Outside of Contract:
One scenario where an employee may be entitled to overtime is when they work hours outside of the hours specified in their contract. These contracted hours typically include a start and finish time per day. These are set in the regular hours of work tab on an employee profile. See this article for more information.
Using the example picture above, an employee who works beyond their contracted times is entitled to the relevant overtime rate for the day the hours are worked.
First three hours beyond Hours in contract.
Under Conditions, select 'After number of hours worked'. Specify here that the rule will kick in After ordinary hours have elapsed and Contracted hours.
3+ hours beyond Schedule
For the second rule, under Conditions select 'After number of hours worked' again. This time, specify After overtime hours have been elapsed, Contracted hours, and enter how many overtime hours need to have passed. For the above example, we'd enter 3.
Then, on timesheets, hours worked will be compared to the regular hours entered into the employee's profile. Hours outside the regular hours will be paid according to the rules above.
Worked hours elapse the number of scheduled/scheduled hours
An additional scenario is where an employee works hours outside of a scheduled shift, but only receives overtime when total worked hours elapse the number of scheduled/scheduled hours.
Scheduled hours: 9am - 5pm (8 hours)
Worked hours: 8am - 5pm (9 hours)
Total OT = 1 hour
Scheduled hours: 9am - 5pm (8 hours)
Worked hours: 8am - 3pm (7 hours)
OT not applied as total hours worked is less than scheduled hours
To apply this setting, select 'Scheduled Hours' > 'Worked hours outside of scheduled times' on Condition 3.a:
Setting up rules to apply to specific public holidays
You can create rules that apply to specific public holidays only.
Please note that if you are on a Managed Template in Workforce.com, double-check if this condition has been built in with Workforce.com's support team.
1. Start to create your earnings rule using our earnings rules page
You will need to:
name your earnings rule;
pick who is entitled to the earnings rule; and
select if it is ordinary hours or overtime hours.
See this article for guidance on creating earnings rules.
2. Go to 'specific day(s)' under the conditions section of the earnings rules page
3. Select the public holiday option
4. Specify the public holiday by starting to type the name of the public holiday
You will need to create it with the exact wording specified in your Workforce.com accounts pre-built holidays. You can find the exact name to tag the public holiday under General Settings.
Make sure you are on the 'General' tab page under Settings.
Select Show Pre-Built Holidays to see a full list of public holidays specified for your Workforce.com account.
Start to type the specific public holiday name that you are creating an earnings rule for and select the green '+ Create' button.
4. Finish creating your earnings rule
5. Check the earnings rules summary page
On the earnings rules summary page, you should see Specific Public Holidays show up under the Applies On column.