Apart from the fact that recording hours and leave for your team is actually a legal requirement there are other benefits to be gained from accurate time recording. From a HR/ holistic point of view accurate time recording actually promotes trust. As an employee knowing that your hours of work and your leave balances are accurately monitored goes a long way to promoting trust in the work environment which in turn has positive benefits from both a productivity and team culture point of view.

As an employer there are several reasons why it is increasingly important to create a competitive and agreeable work environment:

  • The rural labour pool is shrinking, the population is aging. There is a local and indeed an international shift away from working the land to urban employment. As a result the labour pool is now more competitive than it has ever been.
  • The “work force” is now better informed and therefore educated in respect to their actual rights and entitlements as a direct result of improvements in technology
  • The cycle of attracting, training and ultimately keeping staff comes at some considerable cost to any business. This cost is exacerbated the more competitive the labour market.

Educated job seekers looking to secure employment will likely be looking for the following:

  • Future potential – Is the role advertised likely to promote education, development and upskilling for those actively looking to climb the industry ladder?
  • Good remuneration – Often remuneration includes accommodation but what does the “cash in hand” portion look like from a salary point of view, is the accommodation portion realistic?
  • An amenable roster – An 11:3 roster = 78 RDO’s per season whilst a 12:2 = 54 RDO’s for the season, meanwhile town folk receive 104 RDO’s per annum. As an employee RDO’s are generally an important part of any employment package.
  • Acceptable hours of work – Calving and mating have unique requirements but how many hours of work will be required over the entire season and what does that look like when converted to an hourly rate of pay?

So why record hours of work?

  • Accurately recording time displays a willingness to accurately measure hours of work and various leave entitlements against the terms of the employment contract giving transparency to both the Employer and Employee.
  • Creates a culture of trust that all entitlements are measured correctly.
  • Data collected can be very helpful for reporting purposes.
  • Recording hours worked is a legal requirement

Options available to record time

Recording time is simple, however measuring leave and other components of time is quite complex. Paper timesheets on their own are insufficient however software products are available that have been specifically created for NZ Dairy farmers to deal with the following:

1.      how the team are tracking against minimum wage for each pay period

2.      the value of a day of annual leave when taken

3.      the value of a statutory day worked

4.      The actual number of annual leave days based on the roster scenario from the employment contract

5.      The salary converted to an hourly rate to measure points 2 and 3

Employers point of view:

  • Does the system measure annual leave entitlement based on the roster from the employment contract?
  • Does it take into account the hours of work agreed to in the Employment contract?
  • Can I locate all leave balances quickly and easily?
  • Is it easy to tweak time-sheet entries and their respective codes if they are incorrect?
  • Can I easily identify the number of hours each of the team are working for any time-frame I choose and compare hours worked from one team member to the next and/ or one farming location to the next?
  • Is there an obvious way to track how salaried members of the team are tracking against minimum wage for each pay period and are any top ups easy to locate for extended periods of time? For example: What was the value of the various types of top ups and adjustments for each member of the team for any chosen period?
  • What does the support structure consist of? Can I call someone if I get stuck and will it cost me?
  • What is the reporting like?
  • Is there the ability to store documents, notes, images and so on?
  • Is the product compliant?
  • Does it have Payroll capacity?

Employees point of view:

  • Is it easy to enter time?
  • Are there additional advantages in the APP for example can I see my Roster, Is there internal messaging, Can I pick up my Payslips on my phone.
  • Does it use much data: The team might be reluctant to use a product if data usage is an issue.

Legal requirements

  • Employers must keep wage and time, holidays and leave records that comply with the Employment Relations Act 2000 and the Holidays Act 2003. In particular, you must be able to show that you’ve correctly given your employees all minimum employment entitlements such as the minimum wage and various leave entitlements.
  • Keep wages and time records, and holiday and leave records for seven years (even if the employee has left).
  • Fines for not keeping accurate wage, time, holiday and leave records can run into the 10’s of thousands.
  • A product that copes with all the employment idiosyncrasies that are peculiar to Dairying in NZ will save administrative time and keep your records accurate.

If you would like to know more about Agrismart software, built for NZ Farmers then call us on 0800 110 172 for a chat.