Scheduling software

New ways of working post lockdown: staff rotas

 

It is looking increasingly likely that social distancing and other protective measures are set to be the new normal for some time to come – in the workplace as well as public spaces. As a result, many employers are facing difficult decisions about keeping their business up and running while ensuring staff stay safe.

One of the changes that many are considering is staggering staff attendance so the two-metre rule can be maintained – which in most cases means setting up a staff rota. For first-timers, this can be a daunting task.

With the help of purpose-built rota software, however, even the most complex working arrangements can be managed quickly and easily, leaving managers more time to deal with other tasks.

A rota is all about balance…

Setting a rota is essentially a balance between the cover you need and employee availability. It sounds simple – but when you throw in issues such as holiday entitlement, part-timers, unexpected absences, different pay grades, TUPE terms, public holidays, TOIL, flexitime and so on, it is far from straightforward.

Our scheduling software allows users to deal with all these situations and more at the touch of a button. It also allows employees’ regular hours to be stored on a rolling rota so there is no need to keep re-inputting data. And when there are gaps to be filled, the software can filter employees via criteria that determine their rate of pay, such as training, qualifications and seniority, so you can be sure of staying within budget.

Sharing shift info? There’s an app for that

Sharing shift information quickly and reliably is a key element of a smooth running rota. With our smartphone apps, shift details can be sent direct to employees’ phones as soon as the rota is set. They can also use the app to confirm their shifts and other related tasks, such as managing leave and expenses.

We can even supply smartphone or tablet-based clocking apps to keep an accurate record of attendance if required.

Find out more…

For more information about our rota software, or any other attendance management solutions, speak to one of our team.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Flexible working, Rota software, Scheduling software, Smartphone app, 0 comments

Reconciling the risk and reward of cleaners’ flexible hours

male cleaner working in an office corridor

If you offer your cleaners the option of choosing when they work at client sites you will know that this involves both risk and reward. Employees who have greater freedom to fit their work commitments around their personal lives are likely to reward you by being more reliable, loyal and motivated. On the other hand, you run a bigger risk of work not being delivered within the hours specified in your client contract – which means spending more of your time monitoring when and where work has been delivered. There is a way to reconcile these two apparently conflicting aspects of flexible working, however: easyLog’s +Sb staff scheduling software.

At easyLog we have a growing group of cleaning company customers using our staff scheduling systems. Listening to them, we have added functionality that delivers ease of use with the detailed monitoring and reporting efficiencies they require – and at a sensible price that they have been unable to find elsewhere. Starting from £60 plus VAT per month for up to 25 cleaners, our +Sb scheduling solution provides a phone-based attendance recording app for each cleaner, scheduling functionality, pay analysis and reporting software on a managed cloud platform with daily backup, on-line training and telephone support – a complete solution, all developed and provided within the UK.

So, how does this all work?

Cleaners download an app from the Play or Apple stores and enter a code that automatically sets up their phones to link with the scheduling and reporting software that you use. They then go to a site, open the app and scan a QR code that you have printed and placed at each location to uniquely identify it. QR codes are generated for free on the internet. The employee does the same again when they leave the client’s site. These attendance records are automatically transferred into the software and compared in real time against the schedule of work on the staff rota. You can define if you require on-screen alerts or emails generated if a cleaner has not arrived. Similarly, the cleaner has a panic button on the app to create an alert if they have a problem.

Greater efficiency and control

If the cleaner has worked for the agreed period within the defined time bands then there is no further action to take – those hours will be passed into the Pay Report and analysed to the correct pay rate. An Authorisation routine highlights per cleaner any hours where the required cleaning period has not been met. Settings in the software allow the user to define any permitted leeway if attendance is shorter than the period defined, for example no tolerance or up to five minutes. The parameters can also draw attention to where extra time has been spent at the site thereby flagging the possibility of additional client charges and payment for the employee.

Analysed pay reports can then be produced across any period with hours broken down by the different pay bands that may apply for working during weekdays, weekends, bank holidays and so on. There is then the option to export the finished report into a third party payroll product, such as Sage, creating yet more efficiency in the process of producing employee payslips.

Explore further

If you would like to know more about what the easyLog+Sb solution could do for your cleaning business, please call us on 01892 834406, send us an email or visit the cleaning management software section of our website. You can also watch a video about managing flexishifts with our software.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Cleaning management, Flexible working, Latest news, Mobile worker tracking, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Smartphone app, Time and attendance, Timesheets, 0 comments

Six steps to CQC-proofing your staff rota

smiling female carer with a resident

Setting the rota can be one of the most stressful and time-consuming managerial tasks, not least because ensuring a care home has adequate carers in place at all times is something that CQC inspectors will be looking at closely.

Suitable staff scheduling software can take a lot of the strain when it comes to creating a rota. Here are some of the many ways specialist solutions can help.

1. Ensuring cover is always available

One of the time-saving features of our scheduling software that customers depend on most is the ability to store employees’ regular hours on a rolling rota. There is no need to keep re-inputting data, the rota can be prepared as many weeks in advance as required and managers can see at a glance where shifts need to be filled. At the same time, staff can be confident of getting the shifts they want. When absences inevitably occur, the software can be used to find suitable cover quickly and easily, even at short notice. Employees can be filtered via criteria that determine their rate of pay, such as training, qualifications and seniority, so you can be sure of always having staffing levels that meet regulatory requirements without burning your budget.

When it comes to managing leave, easylog rota software can automatically check that the required cover is still available for a proposed period of absence.

2. Giving staff plenty of warning about their shifts

A reliable and timely method of informing staff about their shifts is essential for smooth continuity of care. By using our employee smartphone apps,  shift details can be sent from the main rota software direct to carers’ phones at the touch of a button as soon as the rota is set. Your carers can confirm the shift immediately, saving time and reducing the possibility of errors as shifts will always be available to view on the phone. Staff can also use the app for other routine tasks, such as managing leave and expenses and checking clockings against shifts, making associated admin faster and more efficient.

3. Comparing clockings with shifts

An integrated clocking system makes calculating pay simpler and more accurate and, more importantly from the CQC’s point of view, allows managers to show that no periods have been left uncovered. Our software can be used with any of our attendance options, from mobile phones and iPads to biometric handscanners, fingerprint readers and facial recognition devices.  We even have specialist electronic devices for monitoring night checks so you have a reliable record that routine but essential care tasks have been recorded.  To find the best match for your care home, just contact one of our team.

4. Providing adequate records

A further benefit of using specialist scheduling software is that a full record of the rota is available for CQC to inspect and can be retained for the statutory period without keeping multiple paper files. As well as saving space, this means records can be searched quickly and easily and electronic reports  generated as required.

5. Being able to show clients are receiving the right staff allocation

Supported living providers can prove care has been provided by allocating staff on the rota to individual or multiple service users. They can also show the local authority that the care it is paying for has been delivered through easily-generated reports and invoice clients directly from the software.

6. Using reports to improve service provision

The opportunity to produce reports is one of the key management benefits of a software-based rota. For example, shift and absence records can be used as an accurate input to staff supervisions and any problems can be pinpointed and acted upon – something that CQC inspectors like to see as evidence that fit and proper management is in place.

To find out more about our rota software and clocking options, or any other products, please request a call-back or contact us.

Posted by administrator in Care home management, CQC Inspections, Domiciliary care and supported living, Nursing home management, Rota software, Scheduling software, Time and attendance, Timesheets, 2 comments

Manage holiday cover without losing your cool this summer

For most of us, summer is about sunshine, days out and getting away from it all for a week or two. But for employers it means more gaps in the rota to be filled and fewer staff willing and able to cover, plus additional complications when it comes to calculating pay. This is especially true of smaller employers and those in seasonal trades, who often find the holiday season the most stressful and exhausting time of the year.

Of course, scheduling software cannot take all the pressure out of summer staffing issues but chosen and used appropriately it can make life much simpler.

Dealing with the staff rota

The most pressing matter at holiday time has got to be ensuring you have enough people available at all times to keep your operation running smoothly. This is particularly challenging if your staffing requirements are variable at the best of times. But suitable rota software can really help – not only by alerting managers to potential gaps in the rota and providing suggestions for filling them but also allowing adjustments to be made quickly and easy, until the last minute if required.

easyLog rota software has in-built and optional features that take a lot of the stress out of managing holiday absences, no matter how complex your staffing levels. These include automatically checking that the necessary cover is available to meet your pre-defined staffing profile as soon as a leave request is submitted. Employees can also check their leave status and submit holiday requests directly to the software via their smartphones, freeing up admin time spent handling enquiries.

Calculating holiday pay

It is not just the rota that gets complicated in the holiday season – working out correct pay rates can cause a bit of a headache too. Among the issues you may need to take into account when calculating holiday pay are:

  • Staff who work variable roles, rates and/or shifts
  • Adjustments for overnights
  • Bank Holiday rates
  • Regular overtime – compulsory and voluntary
  • Routine out of hours work and on call shifts

easylog software can manage multiple pay rates, so calculating the correct rate of pay is simple. A Shift Analysis report, for example, automatically calculates an employee’s average pay per hour across any period. This can be used to determine the average hourly rate of the hours worked by casual and bank staff, for instance, and so the applicable pay rate for when they are on leave.

Managing leave requests

At this time of year, leave requests tend to come in thick and fast, often at short notice. And so time spent dealing with them also increases.

easylog rota software has a detailed holiday report that shows at a glance how much leave staff have already taken and what they have remaining. This is displayed in simple percentage terms, with a large negative percentage indicating they have a lot of holiday entitlement still to take and vice versa.

Employees can also use our rota app to check their holiday entitlement and book time off direct from their phones. The request goes directly to the main easylog rota software so admins can see at a glance if there will be cover available.

For more information on our rota and payroll reporting software and smartphone apps, please contact us or request a callback.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Care home management, Cleaning management, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Holiday pay, Nursing home management, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Smartphone app, Timesheets, 0 comments

Soft landing for smaller businesses on the cloud

It is often said that the internet is a great equaliser and, for smaller companies, we are finding that very much to be the case. Thanks to the web high tech solutions are no longer the preserve of big companies with generous investment budgets – nowadays even micro companies operating on a shoestring can take advantage of sophisticated time and cost-saving technology.

One of the fastest growing options for our smaller customers is cloud-based services. The opportunity to run software via the internet, rather than on expensive real-world hardware, has made our staff scheduling and attendance management systems available to a whole new raft of customers who until fairly recently would not have considered it.

Replacing traditional hardware with smartphones

In particular, we are finding that cloud-based systems are proving popular with smaller companies that want to dispense with traditional hardware and connect to easyLog services from the outside world using smartphones instead.

The benefits are threefold:

  • There is no need to invest in infrastructure other than smartphones, which employers and staff usually already own
  • There is no software “footprint” – it does not have to be loaded onto a central desktop or laptop computer, although it can be if required
  • Browser-based services can be accessed anywhere, at any time – ideal for busy bosses who are constantly on the move

If you would like to find out more about our cloud-based services and how they can make your staff management more efficient, contact us or request a call back.

Posted by administrator in Clocking and employee attendance, Flexible working, Invoicing staff time, Mobile worker tracking, Rota software, Scheduling software, Smartphone app, Time and attendance, Timesheets, 0 comments

Can employees fool an app to falsify their attendance records?

In the second of our series of blogs about asking employees to record their attendance using an app on their smartphone, we consider what security features to look for to prevent the possibility of staff dishonestly covering up lateness.

It’s an interesting observation that employers implement time and attendance systems principally to deliver two results: first, administrative time savings through automated calculation of timesheets and pay analysis and second, to improve the accuracy of recording their employee’s attendance.

On that latter point, the ultimate guarantee to prevent an employee fraudulently falsifying their hours is to use a biometric reader that recognises an individual by a unique part of their body, such as fingerprint, face or hand. However, many of our clients have small numbers of staff working irregularly at a number of sites where it would be uneconomic to justify the capital cost of such equipment at each location. In these situations, the low-cost alternative is to ask the employees to use their own or company-issued smartphone to record their attendance at each site. But without biometric safeguards, how can you be certain that the time clocking was generated by the registered user of the phone? That’s where easyLog has consulted with its growing number of users and delivered a solution that gives the employer confidence that any attendance record has been generated by the identified person.

So how does our app prevent clocking fraud?

Firstly, the app is used with QR codes, the latest generation of barcode representation. Generated from free-to-use websites, they can be printed and assigned to each location to uniquely identify the specific site. When the app is used it accesses the camera of the smartphone and the employee simply moves their phone over the code until an image is captured to record the date, time and location. The app also records the GPS reference at the point the attendance record was made. This is significant if an employee should have thoughts that they could photocopy the QR code – and then record their attendance from the comfort of their bed for example – as it will automatically be brought to the attention of their employer!

Within the easyLog software, each location is defined with a unique reference (used by the QR code) and also has their GPS latitude and longitude coordinates entered against it. So if the QR code is scanned from somewhere different to its defined location, the easyLog software will know and flag accordingly with a link to Google Maps to identify the actual location of the errant clocking.

Software that can’t be fooled

Secondly, the app records the date and time that the attendance record is sent to the back-office timesheet management software application. This may not seem immediately significant but if the employee has changed the time on their smartphone – moving it backwards to avoid being flagged as late or forwards to falsely claim overtime – then this will be detected by the easyLog software.

Thirdly, when downloaded the app automatically creates a unique ID reference for the individual smartphone. Again, in an online world familiar with website cookies, this may seem like normal practice. However, it provides another preventive measure against the dishonest employee who may be tempted to help a colleague who is running late.

As mentioned earlier, each employee is given a unique number to identify that it is them using the app each time – and they enter this in the app when they first use it. So what if they change that number to use their smartphone to clock in on behalf of a colleague? The software automatically identifies the phone used for each attendance record from the unique ID reference so if it finds clockings from two different employees but with the same ID then it will be raised with their manager to take appropriate action.

Peace of mind for employers

We hope the anti-fraud measures that we’ve included in the app won’t actually require use but unfortunately rogue staff do exist. Most importantly perhaps, easyLog can give the employer the peace of mind that their workforce is recording their attendance accurately, easily and with certainty – and at a price that is economic for any size of organisation.

If you would like to know more about these features, other apps in our range and the time and attendance and staff scheduling modules with which they integrate, please call on 01892 834406 or send us an email.

Posted by administrator in Apple iPhone, Business support, Cleaning management, Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Invoicing staff time, Mobile worker tracking, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Smartphone app, Time and attendance, Timesheets, 0 comments

What’s important in choosing an attendance recording app for your staff?

In the first of two blogs about using a smartphone app for employees to record their attendance, we explore the key issues that experience has taught us you should look for.

There are three important questions to ask when introducing attendance recording via a smartphone app to your workforce:

  • Is the App easy to use for the employees?
  • Is the App easy to download with the connection to my time and attendance software already set up?
  • Is it secure and not open to fraud by the employee?

Users of our Log-In App know that they can confidently say “Yes” to all the above. easyLog has created not only a simple to install and use app for the employee, but a solution that gives the employer confidence that any attendance record has been generated by the identified person. This latter point we’ll cover in a subsequent blog but in this one we’ll address those first two questions.

Automatically updates back-office software

The Log-In App is downloaded free of charge for the employee from the Apple, Microsoft and Google stores. easyLog supplies a five-digit Customer Code number to each organisation that the employee is prompted to enter when first opening the app. This automatically sets up the parameters in the app to link it with the web browser-based back office software that collates and reports on the time and attendance records received from the smartphones.

Next the user is asked to enter their own unique ID number given to them by their employer. This is saved in the App and means it will not need to be remembered again at the point of use.

And that’s it. When the employee uses the app they are presented with large, clear buttons that they touch to record if they are arriving or leaving a site. There are other user-settable options also to enable the additional clocking in or out from a break and a panic alert feature that will automatically send an email to defined individuals on pressing.

If you would like to know more about these features, other apps in our range and the time and attendance and staff scheduling modules with which they integrate, please call on 01892 834406 or send us an email.

Posted by administrator in Apple iPhone, Clocking and employee attendance, Flexible working, Invoicing staff time, Mobile worker tracking, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Smartphone app, Timesheets, 0 comments

easyLog could have flown in to avoid Ryanair rota disaster

It has been a very public and ultimately expensive PR disaster for Ryanair over the last few days. And the fall out seems certain to continue for a few weeks yet. Social media is already awash with stories of angry customers left stranded by cancellations at short notice, ruined wedding weekends, football fans missing their team’s matches and, of course, much talk of compensation claims.

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has blamed the cancellation of around 50 flights a day over a six week period to a rota mistake that allowed too many pilots holiday leave at the same time. Now we know Ryanair is not an easyLog customer but Mr O’Leary’s blushes (now that’s a condition you don’t often associate with the confrontational airline chief) would have been spared if his company had adopted our staff scheduling software.

Rota software helps ensure adequate holiday cover is in place

Two key features provide assurance to easyLog users that adequate coverage is in place at the point of staff requesting holiday leave. First, a staff coverage profile defined by the user automatically checks that the required headcount is still available if the leave is granted. Second, a detailed holiday report displays in simple percentage terms where each employee stands in relation to their annual holiday entitlement at any time: a large negative percentage reveals they have a lot of holiday still to take while the reverse shows they are ahead of their pro-rata allowance for the year.

Peace of mind for busy employers

Although you may not be running a large airline, we’re sure that having the peace of mind that you have adequate staff coverage during holiday periods and prompt reminders if employees are not taking their holiday entitlement is important for your business.

If you’d like to understand a little more about how easyLog’s staff scheduling software could help with holiday and general absenteeism, calculating your pay analysis and monitoring your employees’ timekeeping, please call us on 01892 834406, request a callback or send us an e-mail. It would be good to have a chat Mr O’Leary..!

Posted by administrator in Business support, Holiday pay, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

Sleep-in shifts: Still not put to bed?

female carer sleeping on shift

Since 2014 the payment of sleep-in shifts at an hourly rate rather than in a single agreed payment has been an ongoing and unresolved issue despite the ruling of an Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) in that year. The tribunal found in favour of at least National Minimum Wage hourly payments by deeming that the care worker was required to be at a place of work at certain hours and was at the disposal of the employer during that period. Furthermore the employee would be subject to disciplinary action if they failed to arrive on time for their shift.

How do you calculate hours when a carer sleeps on shift?

In 2015 it seemed further clarity was provided through guidelines issued by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. These stated that “A worker who is found to be working, even though they are asleep, is entitled to the national minimum or NLW [National Living Wage] for the entire time they are at work.” But this apparent confirmation must be contrasted with National Minimum Wage legislation published in the same year, which said a worker can only be considered to be “available” when “awake for the purposes of working”.

In another tribunal as recently as this May, involving a carer working for the charity Mencap, the EAT decided in favour of hourly payments for an employee on a sleep-in shift caring for two vulnerable adults. However, ambiguity was given a further lifeline by the judge, who declined to provide a general rule but instead emphasised that each case should be determined on its own facts and considered in relation to different workers’ circumstances.

Care software that handles every sleep-in payment option

Sleep-in shifts are most commonly worked by staff in the learning difficulties care sector and, as a supplier of market leading employee scheduling, attendance recording and care management software, easyLog has many clients operating in this area. Irrespective of the cost implications of any definitive future sleep-in shifts ruling, easyLog clients know that they have at their disposal a functionally-rich solution that enables them to pay their staff efficiently and accurately at both single and hourly payment rates even within a single overnight shift.

What’s more the software can embrace pay schemes where carers are paid at different rates for working with more behaviourally-challenged service users and be paid at higher rates for working in more remote locations. All instantly calculated, clearly presented and exportable into a wide range of third party payroll software products such as Sage and Northgate.

Please contact us if you’d like more information on how easyLog’s software can future-proof your business.

Posted by administrator in Care home management, Minimum wage, Nursing home management, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Timesheets, 0 comments

Developing the most App-ropriate software tools for your business

Whatever industry you are in or service your provide, you are probably finding that smartphones and tablets are increasingly finding their way into your working life – and are becoming just as indispensable as they are for social and leisure activities. The numbers speak for themselves.

Back in 2010, just a fifth of UK mobile phone users had a smartphone, according to eMarketer. Today, that figure is around 80 per cent. The trajectory of tablets has been even more rapid, with more than half of the adult population using one regularly by 2015 – up from a third in two years.

Harnessing the popularity of smartphones and tablets

Although it’s impossible to predict the future of emerging technology trends, we could see early on that mobile devices were going to have a major impact on the management of everyday tasks – and so easyLog began developing convenient app versions of key products from the start.

Initially we focused on apps for Android devices to keep costs down for customers. But as more people began using Apple and Windows devices, we have been able to offer more apps for iOS and Windows Mobile – such as our highly successful multi-location geolocation and QR code staff clocking app, Locate and Clock.

The popularity of these time-saving and simple-to-use apps has inspired easyLog developers to create smartphone and/or tablet versions of several of our other flagship products and increase the functionality available of apps already in the marketplace.

Expanding our app functionality and product range

The Care Logger smartphone app, for example, which is designed for domiciliary care staff, will soon be released with the option for carers to view their rotas, clock-in and view call information. Meanwhile, managers will be able to use the same app to schedule and reschedule calls.

We also have a remote clocking app in the pipeline that is appropriate for a wide range of business sectors. As always we are guided by making routine and complex tasks as quick and easy to perform for everyone involved, saving employers time and money. The move to mobile has really been something of a revolution for us and our customers and we don’t see any sign of it slowing down yet.

For more information on easyLog’s extensive range of products and latest apps, check our website or speak to one of our team.

Posted by administrator in Care home management, Cleaning management, Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Mobile worker tracking, Nursing home management, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

Meeting the demands of multiple charge rates

keyboard and coffee mug denoting office work

With cash-strapped councils scrutinising ways to save money, care contract negotiations have become an even greater battleground where, among other things, service providers are being pushed to be more flexible in their charge structures. That means implementing multiple charging bands, which in turn means increasingly complex invoice calculations for managers – and more headaches.

To meet the financial demands of the care commissioners, evidence suggests care providers are being asked to accept a number of different charge rates for bands of hours in the day or group of days during the week over which they are providing care services. This means they can find themselves applying multiple rates for morning, afternoon and night care provision and, in some cases, additional rates for Saturday and Sunday.

The result is an administrative nightmare, with potential for miscalculations, loss of revenue and delayed payments affecting cash flow – unless you have suitable software in place.

Multiple charge rates are dealt with in seconds

For less than the cost of a tank of petrol a month, easyLog’s Home Care Studio software takes the hard labour out of your service’s admin and record keeping. Multiple charge rates can be defined and applied in seconds, along with multiple pay rates per employee if required. So you can be confident that funder invoices together with payroll are calculated accurately and efficiently.

And with other functionality including care planning and risk assessments records, personnel management incorporating comprehensive training and supervisions facilities and a variety of electronic visit recording options, there’s never been a more relevant time to explore what easyLog could offer your business.

To find out more about our specialist software for community care providers, visit our dedicated domiciliary care website or request a callback from one of our team.

Posted by administrator in Care home management, Domiciliary care and supported living, Invoicing staff time, Nursing home management, Payroll analysis, Scheduling software, 0 comments

Clocks going back – will your software pay your night staff correctly?

That’s an interesting point given that British Summertime officially ends this Sunday at 2am with the clocks going back by one hour.

So if you pay night staff by the hour will you be paying one hour more for anyone working the night shift starting this Saturday? And correspondingly of course do you pay one less hour when the clocks go forward in March and British Summertime starts?

Some organisations appear to rely on the supposition that an employee working on the night shift when Summertime ends will also be working on the night shift when Summertime starts and therefore a natural order and balance to these things exists. But that is rather wishful thinking to my mind. Across those two days within any year an employee could be on a different shift, be off sick, have left or be on holiday. And if they’re on holiday and you pay that by the hour then what calculation do you use then to ensure the correct remuneration?

Surprisingly I find some organisations blissfully unaware of the point I am making; and when I bring it to their attention there seems to be an immediate fallback position of the ‘natural balance’ rule I mentioned earlier!

Aware of this conundrum or not, it really doesn’t matter if you are an easyLog customer using our staff scheduling software  as you can resolve the issue either way. A simple tick box parameter allows you to specify if you wish to pay to the exact hours worked or to the normal scheduled shift. And that will take care of any holiday hours calculations and payments as well.

If you are a current customer that would like some help with implementing this feature please call our support desk on 0333 343 1004. If you don’t currently use our scheduling software but this article has got you interested in exploring what other clever and efficient things it could do for your organisation then call us on 01892 834406 and speak to one of our team.

Posted by administrator in British summertime hours, Business support, Care home management, Cleaning management, Clocking and employee attendance, Flexible working, Holiday pay, Invoicing staff time, Minimum wage, Mobile worker tracking, Nursing home management, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Timesheets, 0 comments

10 ways Home Care Studio can make work – and life – simpler

When you’re choosing a home care system, the chances are you’ll have a long list of boxes that need to be ticked. But we know from talking to our customers that often it’s the less obvious features that prove most valuable in terms of saving time and making delivering quality care that little bit easier.

The following functions of our Home Care Studio software may not be top of your checklist – but we think that once you’ve tried them you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them.

  1. Reviewing care plans on the move – on a phone

Our Care-Logger app enables carers to carry out evaluations and assessments as well as view care plans and tasks associated with client visits wherever they are via their smartphone – even when there is no internet connection. It can also be used to view and manage rotas and as a clocking device for ultimate flexibility and convenience.

  1. Set an ideal rota

We know most providers like to send a familiar carer face to their service users – and that most carers want some certainty over their rota. So that’s where the ideal rota comes in. A powerful and flexible function that allows you to define carers’ regular visit routes and then use this as the basis for the weekly rota.

  1. Log client visits by mobile phone

When time is money, an accurate and cost-effective visit tracking system is essential. One that is proving particularly popular with our home care customers is visit logging by smartphone. Using QR codes (smart barcodes), NFC tags or GPS global positioning technology, all are simple to use, highly efficient and surprisingly inexpensive.

  1. Update records on the go

With our specially-designed care-Logger app, carers can make visit notes directly into client records using their phones – no uploading or transcribing required. And to save even more time and bother, you can easily set up existing assessments in Home Care Studio.

  1. It’s not just about home care…

Our Home Care Studio software has flexibility built in – which means it’s equally suitable for supported living and agency care providers. This is particularly useful for customers who have multi-faceted care businesses.

  1. Personalise your invoices

You can customise your company invoicing by adding your own logo and adjusting the layout, creating a consistent, professional look and feel across your paperwork.

  1. Easy access to policies and procedures

Our policies and procedures section means staff can quickly and easily find important information when they need it, saving time and helping to ensure best practice is adhered to at all times.

  1. CM2000 interface

Because we know that, in the real world, larger care organisations especially use a variety of management tools, we have made our software compatible with other leading providers, such as Care Management 2000 for smooth transitions between systems.

  1. Client contributions made easy

Our invoicing section takes into account different payment structures, including client contributions, saving time and reducing billing-related headaches.

  1. Reports with everything

Whatever kind of report you want and however you want it presented, you’ve got it. You can even access a mileage report from Google Maps if you want.

If you want to know more about our domiciliary care and supported living system or any of the points above, request a callback from one of our team or contact us by phone or e-mail.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Care record management, Care recording, Domiciliary care and supported living, Mobile worker tracking, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

5 ways our rota software can help you be more efficient

using our rota app on the move

You already know that a computerised electronic rota is quicker, easier and far more reliable than an old-style paper-based system – otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. But you might not be aware that there are a number of spin-off benefits to our staff scheduling software that have a positive effect on other areas of your business. Here are just a few.

Take your office with you 24/7

Life, and work, doesn’t stop just because you are away from your desk. So we have developed versions of our software that enable you to access your staff rotas and other management tools, wherever you are and whenever you want. Our multi-platform, browser-based web solutions provide a cut-down version of our staff scheduling, attendance and other software for any type of mobile device, including smartphones. And for those who require full functionality while working on the move, we have powerful Android-based rota and timesheet solutions designed specifically for tablet computers.

Allocate staff according to budget

Staffing is probably one of your biggest costs, so you don’t want to waste precious resources by having the wrong balance of employees on your rota. With our staff scheduling software, you can set your budget and create a rota accordingly, so you are always on top of staffing levels – and costs.

Store a rolling rota

Save valuable time by storing employees’ regular hours on a rolling rota for as many weeks as you like. There’s no need to keep re-inputting data and staff can be sure they get the shifts they want.

Choose your clocking device…

Our software supports virtually all attendance devices and media, so all you have to do is find the right clocking technology for your business. From mobile phones and tablets to NFC, handscanners and biometric, our expert team can guide you through all the options and help you identify your perfect match.

…and payroll system

However simple or complex your clocking system and pay rates, our software has the functionality to import the data into your payroll application. Most major payroll systems are supported, including Sage, IRIS and Access.

To find out more about our staff scheduling software or any of the points above, request a callback from one of our team or contact us via phone or e-mail.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Cleaning management, Flexible working, Mobile worker tracking, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Timesheets, 0 comments

Reduce the impact of Brexit on your care home

The Prime Minister has said that Brexit means Brexit – but we are still a long way from knowing how leaving the EU will play out. For businesses in the care sector, such as individual care homes and groups, there are particular areas of concern. These are a few of the challenges the industry is set to face.

Falling house prices

UK property prices have fallen by almost one per cent – or £2,467 – in the month since the referendum, according to Rightmove. And this is normally the most buoyant time of year. It may not sound much but with uncertainty over what Brexit will actually mean likely to continue for at least a couple of years, there is going to be less money available to clients who fund care by selling their home.

Recruitment issues

It seems inevitable that some kind of restriction is going to be imposed on the movement of workers from Europe – and beyond, if an Australian-style points system is adopted. Such a system “is unlikely to be favourable to relatively low-skilled workers in the care sector,” according to former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley (now Lord Lansley), who has urged the industry to make sure its voice is heard in the coming negotiations.

Higher staff turnover

Changing attitudes to immigration may mean that many care workers either choose or are required to leave their jobs in the UK. This will exacerbate an already difficult human resources issue for care providers struggling to maintain a low turnover of staff.

Prospect of recession

We know that the initial stage of Britain’s exit from the EU will take at least two years – the time limit for enacting Article 50. Although we will learn more about the implications over time, uncertainty over the details and economic impact will cause many businesses to put their growth plans on hold – temporarily at least – potentially triggering recession.

What can care homes do to prepare?

There are no easy answers but clearly it is a time to ensure your resources are managed as effectively as possible. This means making the best use of all the features of your care home management system, from staff scheduling and rota management to efficient record keeping and payroll analysis.

For individual advice on getting the most out of your easyLog system, please contact one of our team – we will be happy to help.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Care home management, Nursing home management, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

Mike Ashley’s Parliamentary embarrassment – easyLog to the rescue!

When Sports Direct’s boss Mike Ashley was recently grilled for three hours by MPs about his company’s employment practices, it emerged that staff were automatically (and “unfairly”) deducted fifteen minutes of pay if they were even a minute late. More crucially, Ashley also had to admit that some employees at his Shirebrook warehouse were, in effect, being paid less than the statutory minimum wage.

Forgive a little smugness on easyLog’s behalf when we read reports of Mike Ashley’s embarrassment in front of the Parliamentary committee. But had Sports Direct been using easyLog’s +S staff scheduling software, these errant practices would have been prevented by some standard features in our rota module. For example, a Shift Analysis report automatically calculates the average pay per hour of any employee across any period, which would have highlighted the shortfall on payment of the Minimum Wage rate. Many easyLog clients also use this report to remunerate holiday accrued payments correctly to their casual and bank staff based on the average hourly rate of the hours worked at the applicable pay rate on the days they worked.

Additionally, our +S software allows lateness to be handled with practicality and a degree of subtlety perhaps unfamiliar to Sports Direct management. Any incident of lateness is highlighted in an Authorisation screen allowing a manager to decide on a case-by-case basis if an individual employee should be penalised and, if so, by how many minutes.

Unlike Mike Ashley, we’re sure that you’re not planning to have to answer to a Parliamentary committee about your employment practices. But having the peace of mind that your staff are being paid for their work and holiday leave correctly, and that this is being achieved with a minimum of manual intervention, are surely important issues for your business. If you’d like to understand a little more about how easyLog’s staff scheduling software could help with calculating your pay analysis and monitoring your employees’ timekeeping, please call us on 01892 834406, request a callback or send us an e-mail.  Mike Ashley we await your call…!

Posted by administrator in Business support, Clocking and employee attendance, Flexible working, Holiday pay, Latest news, Minimum wage, Rota software, Scheduling software, Timesheets, 0 comments

Are you and your staff ready for Brexit?

If there’s one thing we can be sure about following the Brexit vote, it is uncertainty. None of us knows for sure what the coming months and years will bring, despite all the claims and counter claims. But when it comes to the European working time directive, it seems fair to say there will be no change soon because the UK already has an opt-out of the 48-hour week.

While this means there is no urgent need to rethink your staff scheduling system, it’s a good time to make sure you are prepared for any changes when they do come.

Having the right staff management system in place will help you ensure you have the optimum number of staff on your rota to keep your business running smoothly while controlling contracted hours, so you can keep costs down and service levels up.

Add to that the benefit of detailed budgeting, invoicing and payroll reports that can be tailored to your needs and you have all you need to keep a check on your staffing expenditure.

With an easyLog system, you also get a range of extra management tools that help streamline virtually all aspects of staffing, from training to HR and personal record keeping.

Visit our website to find out more.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Care home management, Cleaning management, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Invoicing staff time, Latest news, Nursing home management, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Timesheets, 0 comments

Cloud options for every hosting scenario and budget

clouds on tablet PC to represent cloud server option

At easyLog, one of our defining principles is to help our customers benefit from the latest technology, whatever their size and way of working. As a result of a number of industry developments, including a significant reduction in the price of cloud server options and an increase in broadband speeds nationally, we are now pleased to be able to offer an expanded range of cloud-based facilities.

This means we have options to suit every type of hosting and server set-up and can provide high quality cloud services for almost every budget – in keeping with our principles.

Broadly, there are three main hosting models:

  • We can install easyLog software on your self- or externally-managed cloud server
  • We can manage your easyLog software and related functions on your cloud server
  • We can provide a full hosting and management service through our own servers

To discuss the different options and their relative benefits to your organisation, please contact one of our team or request a callback.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Care home management, Care record management, Cleaning management, Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Latest news, Mobile worker tracking, Nursing home management, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

Chromebook: the low-cost option for creating staff rotas on the move

easyLog has expanded its range of value-for-money staff scheduling management systems by developing a rota app for Chromebook – the budget-friendly laptop running Google’s lightweight operating system (Chrome OS).

The app is available on the Chrome Web Store and is free to anyone already using easyLog scheduling software who has a Chromebook.

The new rota app for Chromebook makes staff scheduling on the move even more accessible to a wide variety of our customers because Chromebooks are usually considerably cheaper than a traditional laptop.

Users can access and amend the staff rota system in real time, without returning to the office, and there’s no need for paper copies or follow-up administration, making it a very efficient way to deal with sickness absences and other last-minute staff changes.

For more information about our rota software, visit our staff scheduling pages.

Posted by administrator in Latest news, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

How to keep your home care staff happy by giving them the shifts they want – and you need

Setting a rota on a tablet computer

If you run a care agency, planning the rota is probably one of your least favourite jobs – it’s complicated, time consuming and often impossible to please every member of staff, no matter how hard you try. But creating an efficient and cost-effective staff rota does not have to be a headache-inducing chore.

easyLog’s home care software has been designed specially to help you plan a rota with your staff in mind. Our advanced rota facilities can ensure that staff are given adequate hours while guaranteeing that work is allocated in employee-friendly blocks. You can use the software to make sure that carers are not called back for a short evening shift after a long morning session, for instance, or even choose to avoid split shifts altogether.

And if you need to make last minute changes to the rota or schedule extra shifts for those that want them, that’s not a problem either. Our smartphone-based care and rota software provides up-to-date information ensuring all the information you need is always to hand, wherever and whenever you need it. Plus it has the advantage of keeping paperwork to a minimum.

Find out more about our specialist care home software here.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

Set your rota for the new living wage

staff scheduling with the easyLog rota app

It’s not long until April and the introduction of the National Living Wage, when virtually all employees aged 25 and over will be entitled to at least £7.20 per hour. For employers working to a tight budget, that means either gritting your teeth and upping the wages bill or juggling your rotas to keep staffing costs down.

Whichever you choose, controlling wage costs by selecting the right staff for the most appropriate job function has never been more important – and neither has having flexible and efficient rota management software.

easyLog’s scheduling system can take the hard work out of organising your rota with a helpful budgeting facility. This enables you to set your rota quickly and easily by filtering workers via factors that determine their rate of pay, such as training, qualifications and seniority.

You can read more about setting a rota to a budget with our staff scheduling software in our flexible working hours case study.

The government recommends taking these four steps to ensure you are ready for the National Living Wage:

  1. Know who is eligible in your organisation
  2. Make the appropriate payroll adjustments
  3. Let staff know about their new pay rate as soon as possible
  4. Check that staff under 25 are earning right minimum wage

Find out more about preparing for the National Living Wage at gov.uk.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Care home management, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Nursing home management, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

Get ready for the new 30 minute home care visit

Setting a rota on a tablet computer

With new guidelines recommending that home care visits to the elderly should last a minimum of 30 minutes, it’s more important than ever to have a simple and dependable staff clocking system and effective rota management software.

The guidance, developed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), does allow for shorter visits but only if they are not the main visit of the day – for example, a follow up to check if a client has taken medicine. It also includes taking steps to ensure that clients know their carers by trying to use the same ones whenever possible and letting clients know in advance if their carers are likely to be late or not turn up.

To find out more about our wide range of attendance monitoring and staff scheduling systems and how they can help you meet the demands of this new gold standard for home care, visit our domiciliary care and supported living pages.

Posted by administrator in Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Mobile worker tracking, Rota software, Scheduling software, 0 comments

New web pages showcase re-launched cleaning management services

As a long-standing supplier of products and services to the contract cleaning industry, we understand that cleaning service providers are looking for convenience, efficiency and flexibility as well as excellent value for money – so we have freshened up our cleaning management web pages to make choosing the right solution quicker and easier.

Our improved web pages now show all available services in a clear and concise format with relevant links and screen shots. Two areas that are likely to be of particular interest are our various clocking devices, which can be used to track cleaner activity, and mobile apps that enable managers to estimate job costing and perform assessments and quality management on the move.

easyLog’s software suite for contract cleaners enables you to mix and match from the following management functions:

  • Ensure staff are arriving and leaving on time at unmanaged locations
  • Calculate time spent at each location and produce reports on total working hours over any period
  • Enable workers to log the cleanliness status of a site
  • Assess job times and costs using specialist options

All functionality is available on mobile devices or PC-based systems so you can choose whether to work on the move or from a desk.

Find out more on our re-launched contract cleaning software web pages.

Posted by administrator in Cleaning management, Clocking and employee attendance, Scheduling software, 0 comments

A Case Study on Forward Looking Dinosaurs

You can find an interesting new case study on the easyLog website about an implementation of the company’s staff scheduling software at a dinosaur-themed adventure park in Norfolk.

The Dinosaur Adventure park has expanded rapidly over the recent past and invested to make itself a major attraction in the local area. Their investment in easyLog’s staff scheduling software has also paid dividends as park operations manager Adam Goymour reveals, It’s given us a faster system, with an improved layout for departmental breakdown of rota costs, and provided the potential to look in far greater detail at our wage bill. It’s been well worth it.

If you would like to discuss any functionality or issues raised in this blog, please call one of our team on 01892 834406 or e-mail us on info@easylog.co.uk

Posted by administrator in Business support, Clocking and employee attendance, Flexible working, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Timesheets, 0 comments

Mobile Worker Tracking: A growing issue requiring different solutions

According to American analytical research company Techworld, (source: Techworld mobile worker research) this year it estimates there will be 1.3 billion mobile workers in the world. That’s a lot of employees who do not regularly attend the same place of work each day. Or put another way, that’s a lot of staff presenting their managers with some interesting logistical issues if they are required to complete a timesheet to record their work hours and location.

easyLog has always been mindful that the mobile worker requires a fundamentally different approach to electronic time and attendance management versus their static colleagues. Immediate issues arise in terms of the IT infrastructure that is available at any location, does the worker have a company-provided or a personal mobile phone? does the employer require just an attendance record or are there greater efficiencies to be gained from providing additional work-related information and data entry options?

In addressing these scenarios easyLog has developed a wide array of tools to assist the employee in recording their hours and working more efficiently. These in essence can be divided by either the type of solution platform used to record attendance, for example mobile phone, hardware device, land line call, PC login record, etc and by the visit scenario. So is the employee a regular visitor to the location? Do several staff visit the location? Are there multiple sites that an employee will visit in a day or week?

easyLog’s experience will help you find the most suitable and cost effective solution for the employee tracking requirements that you have. And this may involve different approaches to specific groups of employees within your organisation. This ‘mix and match’ response is very typical amongst easyLog clients but the solution will still present a single and common interface for the tracking and recording software.

Details of all our employee tracking solutions can be found on our website.

If you would like to discuss any functionality or issues raised in this blog please call one of our team on 01892 834406 or e-mail us on info@easylog.co.uk

Posted by administrator in Business support, Clocking and employee attendance, Flexible working, Invoicing staff time, Mobile worker tracking, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Timesheets, 0 comments