It is no small chore to understand overtime hours and compensation (comp) time laws and regulations. They vary by country, state and province. Making decisions about when to pay overtime (OT) and when to grant comp time (CT) can sometimes be complex (see Special Situations below).
Typical OT/CT Situations
Once you are clear on the rules, who is eligible and how you plan to execute a Comp Time policy in your firm, tracking comp time within BillQuick is straightforward. Here’s a quick rundown.
First, set the stage to bank and withdraw comp time.
- On the Client screen, set up your firm as a client.
- On the Project screen, set up an Overhead project and assign your firm as its client. Employees will bank and withdraw compensation time through this Overhead project.
- Review the Activity Code, GEN:COMP. This activity is hard-coded into BillQuick (cannot be edited or deleted). Employees use this activity code to withdraw banked comp time. Make sure the Billable box is not checked (it should be non-billable).
BillQuick can automatically track comp time (also see Special Situations below). To set the automatic feature for an employee:
- Go to the Employee-Detail screen and set the Standard Hours Per Day and Per Week for each employee. BillQuick compares the hours entered for a day or week against standard hours to determine whether to add to the Comp Time bank.
- To trigger automatic comp time calculation, set the Comp Time Frequency and Hours for the employee who are eligible for it. Do not mark the Automatic Overtime check box.
- Save the employee record. Repeat this step for other eligible employees.
To add and withdraw from the comp time bank:
- BillQuick determines whether the hours entered for an eligible employee exceed the comp hours for the specified frequency. If it does, the entry is split into two entries -- one for regular hours and the other for comp time. The CT box will be checked.
- To withdraw banked comp time, add a time entry using the GEN:COMP activity code.
Reporting on available and used comp time is easy.
- Select the Employee Compensation Time report from the Reports menu, Employee.
- Apply any date or period filters (this or last week, month, quarter or year) and employee or project filters.
Want to save time informing managers and staff about comp time?
Many firms use the BillQuick Agent module to schedule the Employee Compensation Time report -- along with the Vacation, Holiday and Sick Time Report -- to be delivered automatically to each eligible staff on a monthly or quarterly basis. Managers receive a report filtered by department or a Direct Reports employee group. This can save a dozen hours a year.
Not every comp time situation can be automated. Many firms offer employees the option of requesting excessive hours be paid as overtime or as comp time. Here are two examples from BillQuick Customers:
- An employee works on a test for a project that require 12 to 20 hours to complete. In addition to monitoring the progress, adjustments may be needed to maintain proper parameters. A single employee or team may be in the lab or in the field for 2 to 5 days at a stretch.
- An employee or team performs environmental tests for 3 to 10 days in an isolated area. Work is intense from sunrise twilight to sunset twilight.
In both professional firms, the employees enters their hours. They mark hours above 40 hours as Overtime or Comp Time (on the Sheet View screen). They submit the hours to their manager who reviews the hours and proposed breakdown of Overtime and Comp Time. The manager considers the request in light of:
- Local/regional/national laws and regulations
- Continuous hours an employee has put (burnout)
- Project contract
- Upcoming projects and their time frames
- Availability of contract employees
The manager will then approve or modify the Overtime and Comp Time on the time sheet.