Insider Scoop About Workplace Rounding Rules

Time and Attendance 411-Why do we round anyway?

In the workplace, rounding time entries refers to adjusting an entry to an easier to manage number.  All with keeping the “essence” of the time entry as close to the actual punch.  How does rounding come into play with automating your time and attendance system?   Let us count the ways…30 years ago, when we all used paper time cards, employers had to assign someone the manual task of adding each time card.  Humans, being what we are, did not really like adding them up.  It is an error prone and timely exercise, especially if you have a large workforce.  This task became much easier when time cards could be rounded to the next quarter of the hour.

When automated time entry systems came along and we really didn’t need to manually round, making it easier to add time entries up since the time and attendance system rules automatically did that for us. With rounding rules, we are giving people a range of time to clock in to work.

For example, you can round to the nearest 15 minutes or the nearest 6 minutes-tenth of an hour.  This must be done the same way when employees clock in and when they clock out.  You CANNOT always round down.  This would be a violation of the law.  Rounding up, however, is perfectly legal by the FLSA if it is done equitably.  Here are a few helpful links:

US Government Publishing Office

US Department of Labor

Top Three Ways Using Rounding Rules Benefits the Workforce:

  1. Time clocks can be expensive and they take up space. If employers don’t want to invest in a lot of hardware, rounding can help with employee traffic. For example, if several people need to clock in at the same time, rounding gives employees a little buffer. Rounding is helpful as it gives employees a little leeway when it comes to clocking in and still be “on time” without getting in trouble for being early and causing OT.
  2. Rounded time entry punches are easier to look at on timesheets. With automated time and attendance, we don’t have to do the math manually.  Reviewing and approving rounded time punches becomes a faster and easier process.
  3. Remember Richard Pryor in the movie Superman III? He found that there were all these fractions of a penny that were never paid to people and then had that added to his paycheck.  With rounding the numbers are more likely to come out whole, but not guaranteed!

As you can see, when applied correctly, rounding rules can assist employers, and positively affect the workflow from employees to management and beyond.

Just starting your time-tracking journey?  Interested in automating your time and attendance systems?  Contact Sierra today-we have over 30 years of time and attendance, ERP integrations and workforce management solutions experience.  We’re happy to show you how to start saving your company time and money!