March 23, 2020
The Case for Timesheets When It Comes to COVID-19
Posted by Shannon Oswald
Employers complying with the new COVID-19 legislation should also be getting some disaster relief. But how? And when?
Most of the questions we get are from business owners asking us how it’ll really work, and how fast. They’re weary of reading and watching the news updates because things change daily. They want to know what to do.
Part of the answer lies in having bulletproof HR and payroll records during this time. That way you know exactly what the COVID-19 situation is costing you, and you can apply for tax credits and help.
Humor me — I hate timesheets too. The requirements to pay employees either extra sick time, or extra leave time, require that time off due to COVID-19 be reported and tracked.
You need to track the usual (if there is still such a thing) time off more rigorously and strategically.
- Pay out, and reduce your accrued liability
first, when possible.
- Have workers who are under-utilized at this time, and still healthy enough and available to work, take their time off.
- Accrued time off can also be paid out when an employee requests it in place of federal/state leave times or waiting times for those benefits.
- The days and weeks an employer pays will need to
be reported to the authorities in order to coordinate:
- Unemployment provided by the government
- Disability leave provided by the government
- Workers comp claims showing days worked coincide with days of infection
The new legislation applies to 1) employees who are sick or caring for a sick family member, or 2) who can’t work because they’re at home with a kid who isn’t in school and needs care. Based on that, we add other facets to time tracking.
- If you pay for COVID-19 sick time, versus “regular” sick time, you need to track it and get credit for it. Note that you need to track time if the employee is sick with COVID-19 and also track the time they are with a sick family member, which is treated differently and paid at different rates.
- If an employee takes a family-related leave of absence, you need to report it differently (from a maternity leave, for example) if it falls under a COVID-19 family leave and make sure you’re complying with the additional protections it offers the worker.
Do several things. Set up new payroll categories with your payroll platform or payroll service provider. It’s possible your HRIS system needs a good tweaking. Certainly, your HR team will need to get good at communications and documentation.
Have your HR and payroll teams work hand in hand! This will help you make sure you get the COVID-19 relief you need.
Shannon Oswald works in the HR Solutions Group at Armanino LLP. She holds a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management and a Senior HR Professional (SPHR) certification. She has a broad background in HR consulting, having worked in many different industries, including tech companies and start-ups. She spends her free time thinking about work and writing posts for Armanino newsletters.
Co Authors :
Jenn has more than 25 years of outsourced accounting and finance experience, with a particular expertise in startups and the advertising and creative production industries. She is passionate about seeing companies utilize the latest accounting technology to maximize their efficiency, productivity, and ultimately, success.
Before joining Armanino, Jenn founded and led Team Jenn Corp., a firm dedicated to the strategic financial management of startups and small businesses, offering a comprehensive back office solution with accounting, finance and HR solutions. Previous roles include stints at advertising giant Ogilvy and Mather, and in the cash management industry.
Jenn has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Pepperdine University and is a member of several professional associations including the National Society of Accountants, ProVisors and the Women’s Business Enterprise Network.