For employers navigating protection measures put in place during the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Department of Labor and the State of New York have provided guidelines and resources that offer support from a human resources and workforce management perspective.
In New York State, Governor Andrew Cuomo has guaranteed workers financial compensation by using a combination of benefits, which may include new employer-provided paid sick leave, paid family leave, disability benefits, and paid or personal time off (PTO). These benefits are not available to employees who are able to work through remote access or other means.
PTO and COVID-19
Many of today’s employers are now using a paid time off policy to bank hours for their employees to use when the need for time away from work arises. During normal business operations, employers often use PTO banks in lieu of employer-designated paid sick-, vacation- and personal-day policies.
PTO bank hours also accommodate unexpected employee absence due to jury duty, military duty, bereavement leave, short-term or long-term disability leave, workers’ compensation, sabbatical and community service leave, as well as family and medical leave.
During New York State’s current COVID-19 pause, if a business chooses to close temporarily due to COVID-19, non-exempt employees need to be paid only for actual hours worked. Among an employer’s options to compensate non-exempt workers during this time, employers can require them to use any available vacation time or PTO or allow employees to choose between taking unpaid days or using vacation or PTO.
To compensate exempt employees during a temporary closure due to COVID-19, employers can require them to use accrued vacation or PTO. If a business plans to use accrued PTO for any COVID-19-related absences whether they like it or not, it is safest to notify exempt employees in advance.
Employers need an efficient way to track PTO, even outside of times of crisis. Learn how in our Complete Guide to Time and Attendance, which covers everything employers, human resource managers and payroll specialists should know about time and attendance matters.
Timekeeping Systems to Track PTO Efficiently
When it comes to tracking employee time and attendance efficiently—including the relevance of PTO and COVID-19 for payroll concerns—what do employers look for in an employee scheduling tool?
Cloud-Based Service – A timekeeping service developed specifically for modern businesses would benefit from the Cloud and include customizable features for today’s flexible, mobile workforces. It would include a summary view of labor costs that facilitates efficient decision making.
Automated PTO Tracking – To work efficiently, employers and employees would have access to a quick view of time earned and used and be able to make requests for time off with ease.
Intuitive Time and Attendance Management – Employers want a system that identifies trends in employee attendance, easily sets violation notifications and automates time-off requests. This allows them to measure the overall financial impact of unscheduled absences and proactively mitigate poor results.
Simplified Payroll Processing – A Cloud-based system would eliminate any cumbersome procedures for timesheet processing and save time.
Mobile Friendliness - Employees want complete freedom to punch and manage time from wherever they are while providing supervisors with perfect visibility. Employers want to know all the details—where employees are when they clock in, who’s early, who’s late and who’s absent.
Learn More about Automated PTO Tracking
Complete Payroll specializes in payroll, timekeeping, HR, human capital management and other related business services. TimeSimplicity, our advanced employee scheduling solution, makes employee shift work planning easier and more cost effective so you can spend less time on scheduling.
TimeSimplicity integrates seamlessly with TimeWorksPlus, the leading cloud-based timekeeping service for small to medium organizations. Employee setup, punches, schedules and payroll information all are shared between the two platforms to ensure your workforce is properly managed and your bottom line is secure.
Founded in 1992 in a small, rural town in Upstate New York, today Complete Payroll is regarded as one of the top payroll processing firms in the United States, recognized as one of Western New York's Fastest Growing Companies and nominated as one of Western New York's Best Places to Work every year since 2014. With offices in Rochester, Buffalo and Perry, New York, we serve employers all over the United States. Call 1-888-237-5800 to learn more.