Workforce management software is simplifying payroll processes in hospitals, healthcare and aged care facilities where large diverse workforces are employed under a range of different awards and agreements.
Payroll teams have a huge responsibility to ensure their employees are paid on time and that payments are accurate and without discrepancies for hours they have worked.
No one likes to receive a pay slip with incorrect payments.
If an employee is under or overpaid, it’s the responsibility of payroll teams to fix.
This can be a major headache for payroll managers who also have to contend with an array of complex issues around EBA/award interpretation.
What is award interpretation?
The Fair Work Ombudsman has published a list of 122 awards that cover pay and conditions for most workers in Australia.
Some businesses may have more than one award, which can further complicate the payroll process.
Awards do not fall into a “one size fits all” definition. They are open to interpretation. One person’s reading of a specific award clause could very well differ from another’s.
This is why it is vital to formulate comprehensive guidelines around award interpretation that can be easily understood by all stakeholders.
Kelly Gebhardt says her main challenge as senior payroll officer at Uniting SA is sorting out issues that could arise over differing views on the finer details of an award.
Ms Gebhardt and her team endeavour to leave no room for error.
“We seek confirmation from our People and Culture team who normally seek advice from our third party legal team,” Ms Gebhardt says.
Awards also go through a review process every four years and are subject to changes stipulated by the Fair Work Commission.
Uniting SA’s payroll team and People and Culture manager stay informed about changes through regular Fair Work award email updates.
Out with manual timesheets and in with workforce management software
Ms Gebhardt says incorrect payments can be stressful for employees.
“If an employee is underpaid, they have to wait for an adjustment and if they are overpaid it can be quite stressful to receive an overpayment form,” she says.
All it takes is an incorrect manual calculation of a Timesheet to cause an incorrect payment for an employee.
An automated workforce management system with a database customised for every client will have a positive impact on efficiency levels in the payroll office. It will provide accurate calculation of Roster data and is fast and easy to use.
Allocate’s Award Rules Engine has a comprehensive set of rules that factor in payment Interpretation of the Award / Agreement and will simplify complex processes that can lead to incorrect payments. Payments will be calculated correctly without the need for any additional checking.
Alerts are another built in feature that give the user real time updates about roster changes and their outcome such as overtime or no sufficient break between shifts which could result in a change in employee payments.
Payroll managers want nothing more than to get it right all the time.
For them, it is a matter of keeping up with legislation and Award changes, empowering their teams and continuing to introduce innovations and improvements that lead to an efficient error free payroll.
Need to simplify your payroll?
Mario is Product Owner and Award Interpretation specialist at Allocate. He has more than 15 years experience in payroll solutions and 5 within the healthcare sector. His extensive knowledge around payroll challenges within the industry together with his problem solving skills are the reason why customers choose to work with him.