timesheet management

Biometric clocking: the low-cost, high-tech way of controlling attendance

Clocking staff in and out using a biometric app on a mobile phone or tablet may sound like science fiction – but in fact a growing number of employers are finding that biometric attendance recording is a surprisingly cheap and highly secure way of controlling exactly who is attending their premises and when.

What is biometric attendance recording?

Biometric clocking options use software that compares an individual’s unique biological characteristics – such as facial features, voice or fingerprints – with a pre-saved version and checks for a match. The result is stored electronically, along with the date, time and location of the clocking, and transferred automatically to your easyLog timesheet system. It sounds simple – and it is.

With biometric attendance monitoring you not only get a foolproof record of the date, place and time of attendance but also confirmation of each employee’s identity. This is particularly useful in high security workplaces or when you want to be sure that staff are not fraudulently clocking in on behalf of a fellow worker. Biometric clocking apps for smartphone and tablet are also ideal for clocking staff in hygienically because there is little or no physical contact.

Turn phones and tablets into low-cost biometric clocking devices

easyLog’s biometric attendance recording apps turn smartphones and tablets into flexible clocking devices without the outlay associated with purchasing and maintaining a dedicated terminal. Our biometric mobile apps also have the advantage of enabling employees to clock in and out via their own phone, independently and remotely, without risk of fraud.

Geo Clock With Photo works by taking a photo on the device’s camera when an employee clocks in or out and verifying it with facial recognition software. This information is combined with geolocation data, such as GPS coordinates, to provide a tamperproof record of identity, location, date and time.

The Geo Clock With Photo app is easily downloaded and installed on an employee’s Android or Apple smartphone via the appropriate app store for self-clocking. Alternatively, it can be installed on a tablet so a supervisor can record the attendance of staff as they arrive and leave. A tablet can also be wall-mounted to provide a fixed clocking device using either Geo Clock With Photo or easyLog’s Face Log app.

Fixed biometric clocking options that put you in control

Face Log is an attendance app designed specifically for tablets in a fixed location. Like Geo Clock With Photo, Face Log supports facial recognition using a photo taken with the device’s in-built camera and clockings are backed up with geolocation data. But, unlike Geo Clock With Photo, Face Log will not accept a clocking if the image doesn’t match, ensuring an extremely reliable attendance record. Face Log also works on voice recognition, speech activation and manual photo identification, if that suits you and your staff better.

For those requiring a traditional fixed terminal with the reassurance of biometric identification, fingerprint is often the most practical answer. easyLog provides a choice of devices, including the highly versatile uFace multi clocking terminal, which offers facial as well as fingerprint recognition. uFace can also be used with radio-frequency identification (RFID) fobs or cards, if required.

We also offer online and offline (SIM-based) fingerprint-only readers for those looking for an affordable but dependable biometric option that suits a variety of workforces and locations.

Find out which attendance solution is best for your staff and sites

If you want to know more about any of our biometric attendance systems, visit our dedicated clocking website or contact us to talk to one of our team.

 

Posted by administrator in Clocking and employee attendance, Flexible working, Mobile worker tracking, QR code and biometric clocking, Smartphone app, Time and attendance, Timesheets, 0 comments

Sleep-in shifts: No longer a nightmare

Last week’s Supreme Court ruling that employers are only required to pay night-time carers minimum wage rates for the hours that they are active, rather than the entirety of a sleep-in shift, will doubtless have caused a big sigh of relief in the care sector – not least because it has removed the prospect of huge back payments.

Calculating carers’ sleep-in pay just got more complicated

The subject of sleep-in pay has been ping-ponging around the courts since 2014. But although an overarching principle has finally been established, the devil is always in the detail – and employers are still left with a range of complicated options when it comes to paying carers for sleep-ins.

Rota software that handles the difficult calculations for you

Through long experience with clients in the supported living and residential care sectors, easyLog has developed functionally-rich rota software that takes the hard work out of paying staff at both single and hourly payment rates, even within an individual overnight shift.

The software supports pay schemes where carers are paid at different rates for working with more challenging service users and for working in more remote locations. And it’s all instantly calculated, clearly presented and exportable into a wide range of third party payroll software products, such as Sage and Xero.

Find out more

Please contact us if you'd like more information on easyLog's software for care providers or visit our dedicated web pages for supported living and care home operators.

Posted by administrator in Care home management, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Minimum wage, Nursing home management, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Timesheets, 0 comments

Hygienic QR code attendance recording – at a very affordable price

 

If your staff are concerned about recording their attendance on a traditional clocking-in terminal shared by multiple employees, there is an alternative – easyLog’s low-cost, simple-to-implement QR code clocking app.

Covid-safe clocking in with a smartphone

Using their own smartphone – and therefore ensuring a Covid-safe approach – each employee scans a QR code to identify their location and record the time and date of their attendance. QR codes are free to download from multiple websites and, after laminating, can be placed anywhere indoors or outside.

The easyLog Location Clock app is downloaded free by your staff from the online stores and is automatically set up for use simply by entering two numbers when prompted. The app can be branded with your company logo and colours so presents a professional image to both your customers and employees.

No IT skills required and anti-fraud measure built in

The attendance records are automatically passed into easyLog’s eLog timesheet management software module to swiftly produce reports by employee, client, job function, etc, across any date period for the time spent at any site. This web browser-based software can be accessed on any device with an internet connection and is run on a cloud platform, so no IT skills or overhead are required.

And, if you think someone might copy the QR code and scan it from the comfort of their bed, there are a number of anti-fraud measures in the system to ensure any abuse is quickly identified.

Above all, in these testing times, you’ll be pleased to hear that this complete easyLog solution starts from as little as £20 plus VAT per month for up to 15 employees, including support, training and company branding of the app.

Find out more

Contact one of our team on 01892 834406 or send us an email if you would like to know more.

Posted by administrator in Apple iPhone, Clocking and employee attendance, Mobile worker tracking, QR code and biometric clocking, Smartphone app, Time and attendance, Timesheets, 0 comments

Show clients that cleaning is being done with a QR code attendance app

 

Many things have changed since the pandemic struck. But even during periods of lockdown commercial premises have still had to be cleaned – often using new, more time-consuming processes. This has placed additional pressure on contract cleaning companies not only in terms of implementing more stringent sanitising routines but also in demonstrating to clients that all their Covid hygiene requirements have been met.

easyLog’s QR code attendance app, Location Clock, is simple, low-cost tool that can help by providing firm evidence of exactly who is attending which location and when. This ensures that your cleaners’ timesheets are accurate and you have dependable tracking information if required, as well as enabling you to reassure clients that cleaning regimes are being conducted as requested.

And, because the app is loaded onto each cleaner’s smartphone, your employees can clock in and out hygienically without using clients’ phones.

Track cleaning of individual rooms and work zones

The app is used to read a free-to-download QR code on arrival at a work location. Any number of unique identifying codes can be used, so the system can record cleaners’ visits to individual rooms, work zones, equipment or even a particular route around a building, depending on your clients’ requirements.

The Location Clock app creates a foolproof record of the employee, site, date and time, which is automatically sent back to the easyLog software. Reports can then be generated and shared with clients by email to show that their cleaning regimes are being followed correctly.

The attendance app is suitable for cleaning and maintenance contractors of all sizes and is available with flexible pricing models based on employee or monthly clocking numbers.

Find out more

easyLog’s Location Clock app is one of a number of software products designed to help cleaning and maintenance contractors manage site visits and timesheets, staff rotas, job estimates and inspections.  For more information, contact one of our team on 01892 834406, request a callback or send us an email.

Posted by administrator in Cleaning contractor software, Clocking and employee attendance, Flexible working, QR code and biometric clocking, Smartphone app, Time and attendance, Timesheets, 0 comments

Facial recognition – for hygienic and fraud-proof staff clocking

 

Recording attendance presents a far higher risk of virus transmission if staff are sharing a traditional terminal – which provides businesses seeking a fraud-proof clocking method with a dilemma.

If a fingerprint or hand reader is used by everyone, a strict cleaning regime needs to be implemented to ensure the well-being of staff and maintain their confidence in a safe workplace.

Should a company decide to install a proximity card or tag-reading terminal to avoid physical contact, then more traditional concerns come into play – such as whether staff are swapping cards or tags to fraudulently record the attendance of a fellow worker who is not actually there.

App-based attendance recording: low-cost, hygienic, tamper-proof

easyLog has for some time offered its clients app-based attendance recording that converts an employee’s smartphone into a hygienic, safe and reliable clocking device. Low-cost and easily implemented, these apps have various features that prevent an employee from falsely recording their attendance, including identifying the GPS coordinates where the clocking was made and recognising if the time on the phone has been tampered with.

Now easyLog has moved this technology even further ahead with its Geo Clock With Photo app for Android and Apple smartphones. This app takes a photo – like a selfie – when an employee records their attendance and automatically verifies it as genuine by biometric facial recognition. It combines this function with geolocation data, so both identity and location are confirmed in one record, providing total assurance that the attendance record is genuine.

Also available for tablets

This app is also available for a tablet to allow a site supervisor to record the attendance of individuals as they arrive – thereby maintaining a safe and hygienic clocking process – or as a wall-mounted device for recording entry and exit from a site.

If you want to be sure that an attendance record is genuine or you maintain a site that demands very secure management of the personnel who are allowed in, easyLog’s Geo Clock With Photo app may be the low cost answer to your needs. And with contact limited to each handset user – or, in the case of a tablet, a particular supervisor – you can be confident that you are reducing the risk of spreading infection too.

Find out more

Contact one of our friendly team on 01892 834406, request a callback or email us your enquiry.

Posted by administrator in Apple iPhone, Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Latest news, Mobile worker tracking, QR code and biometric clocking, Smartphone app, Time and attendance, Timesheets, 0 comments

Facial recognition apps make clocking in as easy as taking a selfie

 

When it comes to attendance recording, few options are more foolproof than biometric devices. But even low-cost fingerprint readers and hand scanners require a level of up-front investment that may be beyond some employers – especially in the current economic climate. But if you want the rigour of biometric staff clocking without the hassle of dedicated devices, there is an answer and it is literally staring you in the face – an easylog facial recognition app for tablet or smartphone.

Evidence of identity that cannot be faked

Our facial recognition attendance apps are particularly useful because they provide evidence of the identity of an employee making a clocking, along with  time, date and geolocation data – so it is impossible for someone to clock in on somebody else’s behalf or from a different location. They are simple to use and install and can be downloaded from the Google and Android online stores, just like any other app.

easylog is currently offering two flexible facial recognition clocking app options – Face Log and Geo Clock With Photo – although we are constantly developing our attendance software range.

Face Log – the always on, fixed clocking option for tablets

This clocking app is for Android tablets and uses the front camera, so we recommend it is wall-mounted for convenience and security. As it is always online, it requires a reliable internet connection at all times. The facial recognition software compares, in real time, a photo taken during clocking with stored images of the employee. Clockings are only accepted if there is a match and are backed up by geolocation data, providing an extremely reliable “there and then” attendance record proving identity, date, place and time.

Face Log can also create clockings through voice recognition and manual photo identification. These options work in the same way as the facial recognition system, with clockings only passed if staff are recognised by the software. There is a further option of speech activation, although this is not biometric and so does not confirm the identity of individual employees.

Geo Clock With Photo – the fast and portable clocking app for tablet and phone

This fast and convenient app works with Android and Apple operating systems on smartphones and tablets. Front and back cameras can be used and it can work offline as well as online, so it is ideal for both fixed and variable locations with inconsistent internet connectivity, such as building sites.

To create a clocking, the facial recognition software takes a photo of the employee with the device’s inbuilt camera and combines this with geolocation data, date and time. Clockings are always accepted, even if the device is offline, and a record is stored showing whether the employee passed or failed the identification. If there is no internet connection at the time of clocking, the photo is transferred to the server when the device is back online, or the next time a clocking is made, and an identification is made retrospectively.

What happens to the clockings?

Clockings from all our apps are converted into an instant employee attendance record, which is automatically sent to our web browser-based software supplied as part of the solution. You can then produce detailed or summarised timesheets across any period per employee and location, deduct unpaid periods and export any report into Excel at the touch of a button.

Find out more

easyLog offers a wide range of apps, attendance recording technologies and software. Talk to one of our team today on 01892 834406, request a callback or email us your enquiry.

 

Posted by administrator in Apple iPhone, Cleaning contractor software, Clocking and employee attendance, Flexible working, Latest news, QR code and biometric clocking, Smartphone app, Time and attendance, Timesheets, 0 comments

Clocking in with a QR code: cheaper than chips!

 

The business world emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic will undoubtedly be very different from the one that entered the crisis. It will be even more cost-conscious, given the additional overheads of making and keeping premises safe for employees and visitors, and staff will have a heightened awareness of hygiene, with frequently touched surfaces and equipment requiring regular and scheduled cleaning. Work is also likely to be more flexible in terms of where and when it is conducted, with split shifts and staggered start times – and, as a result, monitoring staff hours and calculating pay will be more complex and require greater input and control.

Smartphone attendance apps for the new normal

In line with our reputation for supplying low cost, robust and practical employee time management solutions, easyLog has ensured that its range of QR code-based attendance recording apps meet all the requirements of hard-pressed employers coming to terms with the new normal.

From just £20 per month plus VAT for a system covering up to 15 employees, staff can record attendance at a single or multiple sites using their own (or company-issued) smartphone and easyLog’s Location Clock App.

Simple to download from the major stores and install, the app automatically scans and recognises a QR Code that is defined per location. It converts this into an instant employee attendance record and sends this to the e-Log web browser-based software application supplied as part of the solution. This produces detailed or summarised timesheets across any period per employee and location, can deduct unpaid break periods and export any report into Excel for further analysis.

QR codes – the low-cost solution that covers all the bases

  • Low cost – just over £1 per month per employee for the cloud-based solution. easyLog provides software support as required, online training and daily backup. No up-front, one-off set up and training costs – everything you need is included in the monthly amount. The minimum contract length is 12 months with one-month cancellation. Simple, clear and straightforward.
  • QR codes are free to generate and download from many websites. Your only cost is the paper and ink for printing.
  • Hygienic – employees use a smartphone which is always under their control, so there are no health concerns about multiple staff touching an attendance recording device and how clean and safe that unit remains.

For more information about attendance recording with QR codes, you can read this case study.

Find out more

easyLog offers a wide range of apps, attendance recording technologies and software. Talk to one of our team today on 01892 834406, request a callback or email us your enquiry.

Posted by administrator in Apple iPhone, Business support, Care home management, Cleaning contractor software, Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Invoicing staff time, Mobile worker tracking, Nursing home management, QR code and biometric clocking, Smartphone app, Time and attendance, Timesheets, 0 comments

Coronavirus disruption: stay on top of attendance and pay wherever your staff are working

 

These are unprecedented times where things are changing rapidly and businesses are having to deal with the unexpected every day. So if your staff need to self-isolate or you close your offices and ask them to work from home, how do you still operate a time and attendance system?

At the very least, you need a solution that is flexible, verifies the employee’s attendance wherever they are and can be implemented rapidly.

easyLog’s simple timesheet management system can be up and running within a day and can be accessed on any device with a web browser and an internet connection. It operates with a variety of easy-to-use attendance recording options, from an app on the employee’s phone or logging in on a website to calling an 0800 number.

So, with the support of easyLog behind you, whatever the coronavirus crisis throws at your business you can rest assured that your staff will be paid correctly and on time. And prices start from just £20 plus VAT a month, which might be the most pleasant shock your business has over the coming weeks and months.

You can find out more about our browser-based timesheet software and attendance recording systems on our website. Alternatively, contact one of our team for individual advice on the most suitable option for your business.

Posted by administrator in Clocking and employee attendance, Flexible working, Invoicing staff time, Minimum wage, Timesheets, 0 comments

The new mobile-friendly easyLog website is now live

 

Previous visitors to the easyLog website may have noticed that over the past few months things have started to change. We have given our sites a bright, modern new look and made them more accessible – particularly on mobile devices. The last section, the core home pages, have now gone live.

We have kept all the key product sections – staff scheduling and web-based software, clocking and staff attendance, cleaning management, care home software and domiciliary care – but have added a new section for supported living providers. These have all been given their own sub-domains so they are distinct from each other but still integrated into the main site network. We also have pages showcasing videos and case studies and, of course, information about the company and how to contact us.

Please take a look around and feel free to get in touch by email or phone if you would like to know more about any of our products.

 

Posted by administrator in Latest news, 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

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 contractor software, Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Flexible working, Invoicing staff time, Mobile worker tracking, Payroll analysis, QR code and biometric clocking, 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

NFC reading capability for iPhone added to easyLog’s Log-In app

Android smartphones have been quick to see and embrace the opportunities that NFC (near field communication) technology has to offer. easyLog customers have, for example, used NFC tags to uniquely identify locations in areas as diverse as property management, cleaning supervision and night checks at care homes to accurately record and report on employee attendance at any site. In reverse, staff can carry a NFC tag to identify their attendance by placing it on a growing range of terminals and readers located at a single or multiple places of work.  By contrast, Apple used NFC readers for its Apple Pay application but did not allow access to the wider software development community to provide the benefits that our apps were able to offer to Android users.

However, last summer Apple announced that it was opening up access to its NFC reader capability from the iPhone 7 model onwards; a capability that easyLog has delivered on with our NFCClock app now available at the Apple Store. The App gives the facility for staff to use their iPhone to easily record their attendance at any location with a NFC tag, specifying whether they are arriving or leaving the site.

If you would like to understand a little more about how easyLog’s software uses NFC technology on iPhones and maybe evaluate it with your own employees, please call us on 01892 834406, request a callback or send us an e-mail.

Posted by administrator in Apple iPhone, Business support, Clocking and employee attendance, Flexible working, Mobile worker tracking, Timesheets, 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

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 contractor software, 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 software for care providers 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, Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Mobile worker tracking, Payroll analysis, QR code and biometric clocking, Rota software, Scheduling software, Smartphone app, 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 contractor software, 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 contractor software, 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

Clocking in with a QR code now available for iPhone

The latest version of our multi-platform clocking app for iPhone can now be used with a QR code, or smart barcode – providing even more flexibility for cost-conscious employers.

As well as a choice of clocking methods, our smartphone clocking app offers a variety of possible data location options – making it suitable for a huge variety of working situations and employees. You can also choose what client and employee details are returned with the clockings, as well as whether you want the data sent to the chosen server immediately or held for subsequent download.

All our clocking options log location details, date, time and device ID automatically.

For further info about the app, read our blogs Smartphone clocking app offers more location data options and Now staff can clock in with a smartphone and a QR code. Alternatively talk to one of our team.

Posted by administrator in Apple iPhone, Clocking and employee attendance, Latest news, Mobile worker tracking, QR code and biometric clocking, Smartphone app, Time and attendance, Timesheets, 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 web pages using these links or contact us for further information.

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

How many hours do you pay when the clocks go forward or backward?

That’s an interesting point given that British Summertime officially starts this Sunday at 2am with the clock jumping forward by one hour.

So if you pay night staff by the hour will you be paying one hour less for anyone working the night shift starting this Saturday? And correspondingly of course do you pay an extra hour when the clocks go back in October and British Summertime comes to an end?

Some organisations appear to rely on the supposition that an employee working on the night shift when Summertime begins will also be working on the night shift when Summertime ends 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 0845 225 3011. 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 with one of our team.

Posted by administrator in British summertime hours, Business support, Care home management, Clocking and employee attendance, Flexible working, Invoicing staff time, Nursing home management, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Scheduling software, Timesheets, 0 comments

Employee attendance management coming to a cloud near you

tablet-clouds-sml-crop

Soon managers will be able to monitor attendance, authorise hours and calculate pay for their mobile or office-based staff on the move and without any need for a PC whatsoever.

Our development team is currently building a web browser and Android version of our popular e-Log attendance management software  with Html5, CSS3 and PhoneGap development tools. This will allow our clocking management solutions to be operated on the cloud, anywhere and anytime – and with any kind of device.

Watch this blog for news of trial downloads in the near future.

Currently easyLog offers a range of staff clocking options using NFC-enabled Android tablets and phones.

Posted by administrator in Business support, Care home management, Clocking and employee attendance, Domiciliary care and supported living, Latest news, Payroll analysis, Rota software, Timesheets, 0 comments