It was so nice to see new and familiar faces at SAPPHIRE NOW earlier this month in Orlando, Florida. The Employee Central sessions were jammed packed. We all could have used more time to meet with a few extra people or attend another session. I wish I had more time to shop in Downtown Disney, but at least I have this to add to my admirable Star Wars™ memorabilia collection: (a must for answering the phone from solicitors).
Speaking of time, it seems to be the theme in the Q2 2015 release highlights for Employee Central as there are quite a few enhancements supporting Time and Attendance.
Time Account Payout
Time Account Payout is now available in Time and Attendance. It’s a nice option to offer – employees can opt to get paid for their time instead of taking time off. This new feature is customizable to support hourly and daily pay rates.
(Time Account Payout Screen)
Custom Work Schedules for Employees
It is now possible to assign an individual work schedule to an employee. This is a great feature for customers with various work schedules (e.g. due to many part time employees). Managers can go to the employment information section of Employee Central and simply create and assign an employee-specific work schedule with the easy to use interface. Once assigned, it is only available for that employee and can’t be used for others.
(Create Work Schedule Screens)
Flexible Determination of Absence Duration
Supporting global business requirements is one of the reasons why customers depend on Employee Central. With that said, there was a need to introduce a more flexible way to determine absence duration. Before this release, we offered just one standard absence duration calculation. In this release, we offer the ability to determine per time type how absences should be calculated.
For example, in Australia, according to the Long Service Leave, absence duration is calculated based on calendar days – e.g. employees requesting two weeks from Monday to Sunday of the following week. According to the rules this would equate to 14 days and that number should be deducted from the Long Service Leave account even though the employee is actually taking his typical working days of Monday through Friday off.
Chile requires working shifts to be calculated with 7 days off / 7 days on, but a different way to calculate vacation (Monday though Friday). With 1505, we now offer the flexibility for customer to determine these different absence durations.
Payroll Time Sheet – Assign Edit Functionality
Managers (or employees with permission) are now able to edit the time sheet on behalf of another employee. This feature allows the user with proper permissions to access another employee’s time sheet to support time recording. This helps users avoid lapses that may occur in situations where an employee is unable to complete his time sheet to meet a deadline. Role based permissions are built into this feature to handle the allowed target group and the user ID of last editor is stored together with the time sheet record for added security.
Additional configuration and custom field functionality to support employee user experience are added in Payroll Time Sheet. With configuration, customers can decide whether they want to allow editing of the time sheet for all employees or only a specific group of employees once it is submitted. They can choose whether they want to allow editing for submitted but not yet approved time sheets only or even for approved time sheets. These constraints are only relevant for employees. Managers / Time Admins can always edit the time sheet data. An additional configurable threshold sets a limit on how long in the past the editing is allowed by employees. A new approval is triggered when an approved time sheet is edited and submitted. The approver can compare the old and the new time sheet upon approval.
With custom fields, customers can now add additional information like Internal Order Number into the Payroll Time Sheet user interface.
(Payroll Time sheet showing assign edit functionality)
Every quarter we make updates and add more functionality to support legal compliance. In some cases the changes are unique to a country.
Employee Central customers with operations in India, Russia, Romania, Thailand and Mexico will see some updates in Employee Central to support legal compliance. Updates can be things like new fields added to support Labor contract number and Military actions as in the case of Russia, or deeper validation for National ID information in Romania. Globally in this release, we added the ability to input Alternate Languages for employees. These updates will be available automatically to customers via the Upgrade Center and Employee Central customers can simply choose to accept them or not.
So this sums up the release highlights for Employee Central in this quarter. My thanks to our development team for their hard work. If you are interested in knowing what else we released this quarter, please read Beate’s blog here