Why use an awards interpretation engine for workforce payroll compliance?

Why use an awards interpretation engine for workforce payroll compliance?

If you are a care provider, like any other business operator in Australia, you have a serious duty to ensure your workforce is paid in line with relevant industry awards mandated by Fair Work Australia.

Prominent organisations such as Woolworths and Bunnings have encountered payroll mistakes, highlighting the substantial financial and reputational risks involved when your payroll is not compliant with industry awards.

Consequently, the role of your payroll officer is critical. Their responsibilities entail swiftly assimilating vast amounts of information, such as worker timesheets and detailed award requirements, to guarantee the appropriate and timely remuneration of your care workers in adherence to relevant industry awards.

Whether your care business operates under the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services (SCHADS) industry award, an enterprise bargaining agreement, or multiple awards, for every pay run your payroll officer needs to:

  1. Access worker timesheet data.
  2. Scrutinise the information for rectifications or remedial actions required to ensure compliance with applicable awards.
  3. Incorporate compliant information into the payroll systems for timely payment.

Regardless of the size or talent of your payroll team, achieving 100% adherence to award requirements is hard to achieve through manual cross-checks and adjustments alone. Additionally, the time and money spent cross-checking timesheets and making adjustments before the pay run can add up, particularly if you have a large workforce.

Even with advanced scheduling software that aids compliance, standalone rostering systems alone cannot ensure complete awards compliance.

While the rostering system should guide and encourage the creation of compliant schedules, things change, and planned schedules and actual timesheets can differ. Various factors such as cancellations or extended work hours can necessitate adjustments, requiring the input of actual timesheet data into an award interpretation engine.

While rostering systems like Lookout can provide substantial support to ensure compliant rosters, a supplementary award interpretation solution is indispensable to achieve 100% payroll compliance.

Fortunately, Lookout now integrates with Tanda, Australia's leading award interpretation engine, renowned for its expertise in automated workforce wage compliance.

Through Lookout's new Tanda integration, completed shifts are instantaneously synchronised from Lookout into Tanda, enabling real-time checks for awards compliance and automatic adjustments for minimum wages, overtime, and other entitlements.

Moreover, by leveraging Tanda's reliable integrations with major payroll providers, your organisation can streamline processes to better provide accurate and punctual payments to your workforce each pay run.

With the LookoutxTanda integration, benefit from the best of both worlds. Harness Lookout's rostering and scheduling functionality designed for the intricacies of home care and to guide your rostering team towards building compliant schedules. Then, automatically ensure awards compliance through Tanda's cross-checking and adjustment of worker timesheets.

Additionally, by connecting your payroll systems to Tanda, ensure swift, dependable, and precise payments to your workforce.

Embrace the power of Lookout and Tanda, where home care rostering tools and an award interpretation system synergise to ensure uncompromising payroll compliance.

What is an award interpretation engine?

In short, an award interpretation engine (also known as an ‘award interpreter’) automates wage calculations and includes base rates, overtime, allowances and higher duties. Behind its technology is a dedicated compliance team which often includes former workplace lawyers and researchers that comb through the fine print of Australian awards so you don’t have to, then integrates this into the engine as templates to check for compliance. The engine points out breaches and pay corrections specific to your industry’s award requirements, and base pay rates are automatically calculated for your workers.

Why Tanda?

Tanda has been building award interpretation software for 10 years, making it the most mature, tested and trusted solution in the Australian market today. The team at Tanda manage templates for over 30 of Australia’s largest awards including the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Awards (aka SCHADS awards) - the award most applicable to home and community care workers (however other awards or enterprise bargaining agreements may apply to your organisation).

Integrating with, and setting-up Tanda is quick and easy and the platform also integrates with all major payroll providers.

Additional benefits of the Lookout x Tanda integration include quick and smooth new hire onboarding and worker qualification management.

How will the Tanda integration work for those operating with Lookout?

When a worker checks out of their home care visit, shifts will be automatically sent to Tanda and will create a new timesheet record for the worker. Each new checkout within a shift will update the shift in Tanda. Lookout will send the following information to Tanda:

  1. The start time of the shift
  2. The end time of the shift
  3. Any provider travel time and distance captured (noted as an ‘allowance’ in Tanda)
  4. Any client transport distance captured

Once the final shift of the day has been checked out, the shift on the timesheet will either be automatically approved in Tanda if award compliant or an adjustment reported to ensure compliance. If there are any unverified breaks or visits that have not been checked out of, the shift will be left in an “unapproved” state. Rostering teams or Payroll can make manual adjustments or corrections to shifts in Lookout and these will automatically sync to Tanda or adjustments can be made in Tanda directly.

The benefits?

Integrating Lookout with Tanda’s award interpretation engine can bring immense benefits and reduce the stress on your workforce payroll team. Here are compelling reasons why you should consider this integration:

Ensure compliance

Award interpretation engines are specifically designed to navigate the complex landscape of employment awards and regulations. By integrating your rostering solutions with an award interpretation engine, you can automate the process of ensuring compliance with relevant industry standards. This reduces the risk of errors, penalties, and legal issues arising from non-compliance, giving you peace of mind.

Streamline payroll processes

Managing payroll for a workforce in the home care industry can be challenging, especially considering the diverse range of award rates, penalty rates, and entitlements. An award interpretation engine can automate the calculation of accurate wages based on work performed, ensuring accurate and timely payments to your employees. This streamlines your payroll processes, saving time and minimising errors.

Increase efficiency and accuracy

Manual interpretation of complex awards and regulations can be time-consuming and prone to errors. Integrating rostering solutions with an award interpretation engine automates the interpretation process, eliminating the need for manual calculations and reducing the risk of mistakes. This boosts operational efficiency and ensures accurate rostering, leading to improved workforce management.

Optimise workforce costs

By integrating rostering solutions with an award interpretation engine, you can gain insights into the cost implications of different rostering decisions. The engine can calculate the financial impact of various scheduling scenarios, allowing you to make informed decisions that optimise workforce costs without compromising compliance or quality of care. This helps you achieve better financial outcomes for your organisation.

Enhanced worker satisfaction

Rostering errors or discrepancies in pay can negatively impact worker morale and satisfaction. By integrating rostering solutions with an award interpretation engine, you can ensure accurate and fair remuneration for your workers. This builds trust, boosts satisfaction, and contributes to higher retention rates in the competitive home and community care industry.

Interested in exploring both Lookout and Tanda and how they work together? Reach out to a Lookout Growth Specialist today.

Already a Lookout customer? Set up your Tanda integration by reaching out to Jill Bailey at Tanda on jill@tanda.co or head to tanda.co to find out more.

Interested in learning how scheduling and rostering software and awards engines work hand in hand to guide workforce retention? Watch the webinar recording on ‘Scheduling the modern home care workforce’.