Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Time and Labor and Day Light Savings

This was a very interesting piece of change for me - to understand how T&L handles the reported and payable time of time reporters working across the time when day light saving starts or ends. I was surprised to find that despite being on the latest tools version, T&L was not completely error proof handling DST changes. We have a large number of employees working in PST time zone and PST moved ahead by one hour (from GMT -8 to GMT -7) at 2:00 AM on 8th March, so what happens to employees who started work before 2:00 AM and ended work after 2:00 AM? For example sample the following punch timings:

In: 7th March 10:00:00 PM
Break: 8th March 1:00:00 AM
In: 8th March 1:30:00 AM
Out: 8th March 3:30:00 AM

Though it appears from the punch timings that the employee has worked for 5 hours and 30 mins, the actual hours worked is only 4.5 as at 2:00 AM the clocks gained an hour and became 3:00 AM. There are many implications of this scenario which every organisation that is using T&L has to be aware of:

1. A high severity exception (TLX10076) will be generated if any punches are done during the DST change window - in the case above, the window would be between 2:00:00 AM and 2:59:59 AM. Though this is very unlikely if your organisation uses TCDs - this can happen if any manual change is made to the timesheet.

2. For employees who are working across the DST change window - the difference between the last Out and the first In will not add up to the punch total on the timesheet. In the example above, the punch total on the timesheet will come as 4.5 hours. This is Peoplesoft doing the right timezone calculation and should not be taken as an issue.
This caused considerable confusion among the users where they even manually adjusted the timesheets in an effort to bring the reported time difference equal to the punch time total.

3. Payable time will be affected by this change. When the clocks move ahead by an hour - the payable time generated will be one hour lesser than the actual worked time and when the clocks move back, the payable time generated will be one hour more than the actual reported time (yeah Peoplesoft overpays your emplyees!). On 8th March, we found that all employees who worked during the DST change were paid one hour less.

So how do you prepare for the DST change?
  • Its advisable to have audit queries prepared before hand to identify all employees who worked across the DST change. Track the reported and payable time of these employees to ensure that there are no discrepancies.
  • Have a communication plan in place telling the users to not edit the timesheet on a DST change date/time if possible. Also let the users know that a high severity exception might be generated which is due to the DST change. There is nothing much an employee or a manager can do to resolve that exception so it's better to get the HR support team to do it.
  • Payable time will be affected by this change. This means that there are chances of overpaying or underpaying employees who worked across a DST change. I prefer to correct this in T&L itself before passing data to downstream systems. When the DST change happened on March 8th, we had employees who had payable time one hour less than the actual worked hours. This difference was offset by reporting 1 hour of Regular TRC on the elapsed timesheet.
In conclusion, I feel Time and Labor handles DST time changes pretty well. The most important thing is to monitor the system properly to identify the affected employees and ensure that their reported and payable time are as expected.


Unknown said...

Excellent one!! Thanks!

Jiju Vengal said...

Thank you Srimathi.