Paternity leave, because Dads also need to bond with their newborn babies

Paternity leave entitlement has been amended because Dads also need to bond with their newborn babies, and they need quality time to do this.

The first days and weeks of a newborn baby’s life are a time when bonding between parent and baby takes place.  Fathers can now spend those first days with their baby, and form that crucial bond – without rushing off to work and getting back to ‘normal’ life.

Fathers also need quality time with their new babies.  They need time to hold and comfort them and gaze into their eyes, contrary to the belief that fathers don’t need to spend time with their newborn baby.

The first days of a newborn’s life

After birth, a baby will stare at the faces of its parents; react to the sound of their voices.  In fact, a baby will use all of their senses at this time, and is able to identify its mom and dad.

These first days are a very emotional time, with so much to learn, and do as parents of a newborn.

It requires support from the partner who is not the one staying at home on maternity leave.  This support is provided in the form of paternity leave.

Paternity leave

The Cambridge English dictionary defines paternity leave as a period of time that a father is legally allowed to be away from his job so that he can spend time with his new baby.  You can now change this definition to say ‘so that he can spend 10 days with his new baby’, as this is what the new Labour Laws Amendment Bill states.

This means:

  • not having to get up and go to work after a sleepless night
  • bonding with the baby from day one
  • being able to spend special time with new baby and partner after 9 months of waiting.

On 28 November 2017, parliament passed the Labour Laws Amendment Bill that allows fathers to take 10 days paid paternity leave.   The bill is now with the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for final passing.  This is expected to come into effect in June this year.

What does this new amendment mean?

Currently, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act states that an employee (either a female or one in a same-sex partnership) may take four months maternity leave in respect of that employee’s child. This is paid for by the Unemployment Insurance Fund or the Employer if they provide for that.

It also states that an employee who is the father of the child can take three days family responsibility leave when their child is born. The family responsibility leave is paid for by the employer.

Under the new amendments, it has been proposed that:

  • fathers will receive 10 days paternity leave.
  • a single adoptive parent of a child less than two years old will be entitled to 10 weeks leave. A second adoptive parent is entitled to 10 days consecutive leave.
  • surrogate parents will be entitled to 10 days leave.
  • full maternity leave (four months) in the event of miscarriage in the third trimester or stillbirth will be given.

These amendments are gender neutral, available to both parents of the same or different genders.

Other benefits of paternity leave

Besides for the obvious cost benefit of having those days at home covered, there are many positive effects it will have on the family.

The sharing of parenting responsibilities is a benefit.  Fathers who take paternity leave become involved in changing nappies, feeding and bathing baby.  These fathers stay involved in child-care in the long term.  This helps share the burden with the mother.

Being involved with the tasks of changing nappies, and feeding helps the baby to bond with the father.

It can be a stressful time, and having the support of a partner is a great help.  This can strengthen the bond between partners which results in a happier family life.

When paternity leave is offered it levels the playing field for men and women.  This is in terms of how employers look at employees and their potential to take family leave while at their company.

Also, when fathers and partners are able to take leave it lessens the economic effects on a new mother’s career.  It also decreases wage loss for women.

Paternity leave tips for dads

Some tips to consider for a fulfilling time while on paternity leave.

  • Just do it – from changing dirty nappies to giving your baby a bath.
  • Help feed the baby – bring the baby to the mother when it’s time for a feed or burp the baby.
  • Spend time alone with the baby. This will help bond with the baby and give mom a break.
  • Take naps – use the baby’s sleeping schedule to assist with this.
  • Forget email and turn off the phone. Focus on the newborn and the family.
  • Communicate with your partner. The first few weeks of parenthood will set the tone for how you will work together in future.
  • Limit visitors to ensure you give the baby, mother and yourself some rest.
  • Savour the time – enjoy your time bonding with your baby.

SmartHR considerations

The legislation is currently before the upper house, the National Council of Provinces. If passed, it will take effect in early 2018. As the new entitlements would draw on the financial resources of the UIF, there will probably be an increase in the UIF contribution rate.

Once this Bill has been made an Act of Parliament, employers will need to review and amend their contracts of employment accordingly.

SmartHR has a generic leave engine that can be used to easily add new leave types such as paternity leave.

Administrators can add the paternity leave dates, submit the necessary proof documentation and allow users to apply for it on the web, kiosk and mobile.

SmartHR could calculate what paternity leave would theoretically have cost an organisation, based on the dependants registered over the past 5 years.  This would enable an organisation to predict the cost and make provision for future paternity leave.

The cost of paternity leave

Employers worry about the cost of having to pay employees while they aren’t working, but this leave has a minimal impact on business operations.

The cost of paternity leave, both in business and at home is:

  • A strong foundation for a lifelong parenting partnership
  • Gender equality at home and at work
  • A positive impact on the productivity of employees
  • A strong bond formed between father and child.

Sources

What is the difference between on-premise, hosted and cloud solutions?

Terminology concerning cloud computing is often bandied about in conversation, often incorrectly, but technically speaking there is a difference between on-premise, hosted and cloud solutions and you should understand these differences.

On-premise

Most systems/solutions consist of a database of some sort.  For example, a system like SmartHR has a Microsoft SQL database SQL DB) that can be accessed via different applications to serve different user groups within the organisation. The SQL DB can be installed on the customer’s premises on a server managed by their IT department.  This is referred to as an on-premise model.  In this case, the IT department are responsible for managing the hardware, backing up the database, and upgrading applications as part of the organisational data management strategy. At all times, the customer owns the database as part of their SQL instance.

Hosted

Alternatively, the customer could choose to host the SQL DB at a data center managed by a third party.  In this case, the customer maintains ownership of the database but the data center is responsible for managing the hardware.  The customer has the option to elect to manage the application updates.

Cloud Solution

The third option sees the vendor hosting the database in their own data centre.  In this case, the vendor is responsible for managing the hardware, the database, and the application updates.  The customer has no access to the physical database or raw data.  Many cloud solutions manage multiple customers on a single database, referred to as a ‘multi-tenant’ solution.  The benefit of this approach for the vendor is scalability since upgrades to the database only have to be performed once and not to multiple instances for each customer.  Should the customer cancel the subscription to the application, the data stored in the database can only be returned in the form of data extracts determined by the vendor.  This makes migrating to a different service provider difficult.

Cloud

Some more SmartHR terminology

Regardless of where the database is located: either on-premise, hosted or in the cloud, the database is accessed via different applications which are either desktop (client-server) or browser based.

SmartHR Desktop: This is a client-server application and is typically used by the HR users in the organization.  The rich functionality in a client-server application is suited to resource intensive activities such as data imports and bulk data actions.  The connection to the database can be done from a desktop via ODBC or remotely via Remote Desktop Session where the application is accessed on the server.

SmartHR Employee and Manager Self Service: The SmartHR Database, regardless of where it is located, can be accessed via a browser-based application.  Where this is accessed within the company’s Local or Wide Area Network (LAN or WAN) this is referred to as an intranet application.  Where it is accessed via the Internet, it is referred to as a cloud solution.

Conclusion

SmartHR supports on-premise, hosted and cloud deployments. Some customers do not deploy the desktop application at all and choose rather to implement the web-based interface with a hosted database.  This is also a cloud solution.

 

Common Payroll Problems

Payroll issues can cause dissatisfaction in an organisation when employees aren’t paid on time. Employees may become frustrated when a holiday delays their payments or when they aren’t paid before debit orders start to go off their account – putting them in possible overdraft and exposing them to expensive bank charges for ‘bounce back’ funds.

Some of the most common payroll problems are as follows:

  • Holiday, termination and other delays:

    Payments made are generally reflected in terms of business working days. Imagine distributing salaries bi-weekly, twice-monthly or monthly in the month of April and neglecting to take note of the South African public holidays that could delay the processing of payroll.

    An organisation’s payroll system should make provision for public holidays that could delay an employee receiving their salary – if the employee was relying on that salary to make it through the holiday or long weekend they will experience extreme frustration and this has a negative impact on company morale.

    According to the South African Basic Conditions of Employment Act, when terminating an employee without a notice period, the employer must pay the employee the amount the employee would have received if they had worked the full duration of the notice period. However, if an employer decides to waive an employee’s notice of termination, and unless other arrangements or agreements have been made between both parties, the employee should receive their remuneration as explained above.

    Ensuring that the employee is paid the correct amount when it is due to them is a payroll issue that needs to be handled carefully to avoid law suits and action taken against the company. The payroll system needs to have accurate information regarding how long the employee worked for the company and the relational amount due to them.

  • Time management:

    Organisations operating on a ‘clock-in, clock-out’ (time and attendance management) system need to ensure that the payroll system receives accurate, indisputable normal and overtime hours worked by employees. If an employee has forgotten to clock-in or out on a specific day – how is this reconciled with the payroll? What procedures are in place to alert payroll to time theft? How does the organisation ensure that each worker is being compensated accurately and fairly for their time worked

  • Leave Management:

    The payroll needs to be updated if an employee takes unauthorised leave. It also needs to be alerted as to whether or not leave the leave that is being taken by the employee is paid or unpaid leave.

  • Benefits Management:

    An organisation may choose to compensate its employees in indirect fringe benefits – these may include insurance benefits, housing benefits, car benefits or leave benefits.

    Thus, the payroll system needs to be able to manage such indirect benefits. For example, employees receiving leave benefits should not have any deductions, as unpaid leave, from their salary.

    An organisation may also choose to motivate their employees with rewards. These rewards may include a salary increase, a financial bonus or even a paid holiday. Such indirect benefits, financial bonuses and commissions also need to be easily managed by the payroll system.

  • The Human Resource Information System:

    Sometimes payroll issues are not always linked to human error. The HRIS system being used to capture employee data may be outdated or unable to cope with the scalability of the organisation.

    The SmartHR HRIS system assures that none of the above payroll issues are experienced because it is a completely configurable solution, SmartHRPayroll contains comprehensive functionality, such as:

  • It accommodates any rule, requirement or calculation, regardless of complexity.
  • It enables organizations to easily define pay periods, deductions, job rules and calculations and to run multiple payrolls with specific payroll rules.
  • All payroll rules are date sensitive to the date of the pay run, executing user-defined logic, as dictated by the payment method.Rule-based calculations simultaneously support multiple labour contracts, making it possible to generate a single payslip for employees with multiple jobs.
  • Payroll adjustments are automatically and accurately computed resulting in cost and time savings, as well as reduced errors.
  • It simplifies employee record setup for complex or changing payroll situations by quickly entering an unlimited number of pay codes, deductions, and benefits when setting up a new employee record.

The SmartHRPayroll is also part of the SmartHR Enterprise suite of systems, incorporating core, talent, pay, time, self-service, document management, analytics and many other features and functions to track, control and increase the productivity of your workforce.
The SmartHRPayroll operates with its own database but is interconnected through synchronised, seamless integration technology to the other components of the SmartHR Enterprise system. Or alternatively it can be integrated to your existing HR or time management legacy systems.

The SmartHR Enterprise systems are fully integrated using the SmartHR Integration Framework:

  • It accommodates any rule, requirement or calculation, regardless of complexity.
  • It enables organizations to easily define pay periods, deductions, job rules and calculations and to run multiple payrolls with specific payroll rules.
  • All payroll rules are date sensitive to the date of the pay run, executing user-defined logic, as dictated by the payment method.Rule-based calculations simultaneously support multiple labour contracts, making it possible to generate a single payslip for employees with multiple jobs.
  • Payroll adjustments are automatically and accurately computed resulting in cost and time savings, as well as reduced errors.
  • It simplifies employee record setup for complex or changing payroll situations by quickly entering an unlimited number of pay codes, deductions, and benefits when setting up a new employee record.
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This integration of critical payroll, human capital and time management functions means that the nirvana of “a single source of truth” for employee master and payroll data becomes a reality with SmartHR Enterprise, without having to spend enormous amounts of money on complex data warehousing solutions.Designed in Microsoft .NET and aligned with Microsoft Technologies, SmartHRPayroll is a world class payroll solution, powered by Xpedia, to address all global labour and income tax regulations, while maintaining the flexibility required by the dynamic business.The SmartHRPayroll application allows for a multi-Country, multi-Location, multi-Currency and multi-Company set-up, a feature unparalleled in today’s payroll market.

The aim of improving any company payroll system is to ensure fair and accurate distribution of wages and salaries which will improve company morale and trust in the company by employees.

Sources:

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/payroll-issues-3572.html
http://www.labour.gov.za/DOL/legislation/acts/basic-guides/basic-guide-to-annual-leave
http://www.labour.gov.za/DOL/legislation/acts/basic-guides/basic-guide-to-family-responsibility-leave
http://www.labour.gov.za/DOL/legislation/acts/basic-guides/basic-guide-to-maternity-leave
http://www.labour.gov.za/DOL/legislation/acts/basic-guides/basic-guide-to-termination
Du Toit, G. S et al. Introduction To Business Management. 9th ed. Print.

What sets SmartHR apart from other HR systems?

SmartHR has been developed, tested and evolved over 14 years, hundreds of implementations and thousands of users so it’s a robust and proven solution. It was designed as an HR system from the beginning. By contrast, many competing products began as payroll or financial systems and had HR added as an afterthought.

The implementation of our HR system can take between 2 weeks and 6 months – it depends on the size of your organisation, the amount of existing data and how fragmented it is, and the level of customisation you need. We’ll provide you with accurate costs and time frames upfront based on thorough business analysis. The system runs on the latest Microsoft-standard technology (.Net and SQL) and not a legacy platform like other products, so it’s easier and cheaper to maintain and it’s more scalable.

SmartHR is designed and built in South Africa (for the SA environment) by our in-house HR professionals and with extensive external industry and client input and is guaranteed to be compliant with all South African labour law reporting and record keeping obligations.

SmartHR is easier to use, has more features and fewer compromises than payroll and financial products which have been adapted for HR. It is implemented by our certified consultants who follow a methodology derived from hundreds of implementations to deliver your solution on time and within budget.
These features include:

  1. Powerful HR tools: SmartHR overlays its consolidated database with a suite of productivity tools that perform even complex HR tasks quickly and easily. SmartHR does almost all the work for you. Its 5 modules – people administration, talent management, performance management, time and attendance, and payroll management – cover the workforce management needs of any organisation, large or small.
  2. Programmable workflows: SmartHR’s workflow system lets you model and automate your HR processes so that correct procedures are followed and required approvals are received for every HR transaction without fail. Configure each workflow to start when a nominated event takes place or schedule them to run at a specified date and time. Workflows prompt employees for required input or to complete tasks, and alert users and managers to important events. Use SmartHR’s preinstalled, best-practice workflow templates or create new ones to cater to your unique requirements.
  3. Communication framework: Modern employees demand instant communication. SmartHR delivers. Its integrated communication framework can transmit any document or report it produces instantly without having to fire up a separate application or device. It also sends notifications and alerts to its users and managers by email or SMS, keeping them informed of every event that affects them as it happens.
  4. Fully integrated services: Each SmartHR module is engineered to perform a set of specialised HR tasks with flawless precision. But they all work on the same database and communicate with each other seamlessly. That continuity of workflow lets you get more done in less time, eliminating the bottlenecks found in manual systems or unintegrated applications. SmartHR also integrates with your line-of-business applications to extract real-time data fresh from the source – such as biometric clock machines. So you’ll spend even less of your valuable time waiting for information, or capturing and updating records.
  5. Guaranteed compliance: Managing compliance shouldn’t take the focus off your mission. SmartHR is programmed to adhere to all applicable South African labour law requirements – guaranteed. It virtually eliminates the risk of non-compliance because it automatically manages record keeping and required reporting for employee relations, equity, health and safety, training accreditation and more.
  6. Scalability: SmartHR’s database and programs are designed to permit virtually unlimited scalability without performance loss. Whether you’re an SME with 25 employees or a large multinational with over 20,000 workers, it’ll service your requests continuously, instantly and without fail.
  7. Adaptability: SmartHR will adapt and evolve with your growing needs. It’s incredibly flexible, allowing you to add or remove modules, or change features to meet new requirements. Further customise the system with configuration forms and fields, unique workflows, automation and custom reporting.
  8. Mobility: You can access SmartHR outside your company through web and mobile technology. No matter where you are, you can carry out any HR task – even query and analyse your workforce data – quickly over the Internet.
  9. Security: SmartHR keeps its data secure. You’ll have full control over who can access your HR data and what they can do with it. Features such as full audit trails, encrypted passwords, and Active Directory integration provide robust protection that meets today’s highest security standards.

SmartHR is supported locally by experienced and qualified specialists who understand how to make the solution work for you.

How do HR Systems support your decision making process?

In our conversations with prospects, we’ve often been asked “How do HR Systems support your decision making process?”

Decision making, as suggested in the title, is a process. When we make decisions every day we don’t realise the steps we take in selecting the best solutions to the problems and challenges we face. The decision making process is not as straightforward as one would think. This can be explained through an analytical model of decision making which has 8 steps:

Step 1: Identify, assess and state the probelm

Problems can only be addresses when they have been identified. This identification can be through research, observation and evaluation of your environment. Once a problem in your working environment has been identified, information about the problem needs to be sought out. This step is made easier if all the information required can be found and already exists in an allocated, central source.

Step 2: Define objectives that need to be met in solving the problem

These objectives will guide you through your decision making process to keep you on track.

Step 3 Make a pre-decision

This step may involve a decision about a decision; who will make the decision?- the person who has the problem? Delegated personnel? A group?

Step 4: Generate and list alternatives

Previously used information may be used as a shortcut to suggest solutions or new information could be used to formulate lists of solutions to the identified organisational problem. The information used to generate solutions could come from a number of sources including employee comments/criticism, inefficiencies in the workplace, slow growth etc..

Step 5: Evaluate alternative options or solutions

Questions need to be asked about the lists of solutions such as:

  • Are they logical?
  • How will employees and other stakeholders react to the decisions that have been made?
  • Are the solutions consistent with the corporate culture values?
  • How practical are the solutions?

Some of the solutions may prove to be more difficult, more practical or more logical. All these decisions need to be ranked in terms of relevance and how well they will solve the problem according to the objectives we specified.

Step 6: Make a decision

The best solution is selected from the alternatives in terms of how well it will meet the problem and align with organisational needs and demands. The second part of this step is communicating the decision to other employees – new decisions are often met with resistance if there is not a system in place to communicate new decisions correctly or involve other members of the organisation accordingly.

Step 7: Implement the chosen solution

Step 8: Follow-up

This step involves following up on how the decision has been accepted by the rest of the organisation, evaluating whether the solution was the best chosen course of action and whether or not the whole process needs to be started again. Follow-up can only be done if there are certain criteria to evaluate the implementation of the decision.

This process may seem lengthily but certain systems are in place to ensure that information is readily available, follow-up is easier, criteria are set and objectives are met.

The Smart HR system gives you the tools and information to make faster and more informed decisions in areas such as:

    • Awarding Bonuses – compare performance with job profile to check planned goals vs actual results for quick decisions on promotions, bonuses
    • Initiating corrective action – performance, goal and disciplinary record information lets you make informed decisions on corrective action and dismissals
    • Recruiting & placing – easily compare internal & external applicant, cv and interview information against job requirements to make better candidate role matches
    • Managing absenteeism – lets managers monitor absenteeism to identify sick leave abuse
    • Aligning pay grades – check consistency of pay grades across job titles and roles for harmonization during acquisition, mergers and business combinations
    • Minimising HR risk factors – identifying, managing and mitigating risks associated with: business continuity (succession), employee safety, leave auditing, legislative compliance
    • Addressing performance gaps – matches performance gaps to development actions to pin-point actions steps needed to improve an individuals performance
    • Allocating training & development resources – accurately identify skills gaps and ensure optimal use of limited training resources.
    • Organisational Transformation – implementation and monitoring of equity plans against targets for the transformation of your workforce

How will an HR Management System impact our bottom line?

It’s not uncommon in tough economic climates for people to try to evaluate the return on investment when making important purchasing decisions.  This blog provides some high-level answers to the question that often arises in business meetings: “How will an HR Management System impact our bottom line?”

The bottom line refers to an organisation’s income after its expenses – or rather its net profit. The impacts that HR systems have on this net profit are exhaustive but the main impacts can be noted as follows:

    • They enable business growth by providing you with powerful planning and decision-making tools which ensure you choose the optimal workforce configuration to meet your growth needs. A healthy return on investment of HR systems allows an organization to allocate more finances to other areas of business growth.
    • HR systems impact an organisation by increasing operational efficiency. Administrative demands are slashed by providing you with electronic workflow and central record keeping which would normally waste an organisation’s most precious resource – time. There is also less duplication of employee data and all information can be used by multiple people simultaneously across the organisation. By increasing operational efficiency, more time can be directed towards improving the companies bottom line in other areas and less time is spent on people-related paper forms. With that being said, the ‘document and spreadsheet’ approach to performance management is long gone and performance appraisals are now simpler, faster and more accurate. More informed decision making can also increase operational efficiency through automated reporting and sophisticated HR analysis tools. All employees can achieve optimum productivity by having all their questions answered quickly by a central source of information and single version of the truth. Employee efficiency can also be impacted by HR systems through a workplace skills plan that can be easily put together using the right HR systems which can correctly direct the effort of the organisation’s workforce.
    • There is always legislative risk in an organisation – that is the government could, through laws and regulations, impact the bottom line of an organisation if these laws and regulations are not adhered to accordingly. An effective HR system lowers legislative claims which if not lowered, can be quite costly and ultimately affect a business’ net profit. Lowering legislative claims is done by providing easy access, from any location to hundreds of processes including:
    • Leave
    • Claims
    • Health and safety
    • Equity reporting
Using an HR Management System ensures that all people information is instantly and securely accessible from any location, hundreds of processes and tasks are simpler, faster and more accurate than under the old document and spreadsheet approach.
Staff performance and development tools let you easily measure and develop individual and group output, alignment, motivation and more. Automated reporting and sophisticated HR analysis tools mean more informed decision making and built-in tools make equity reporting requirements and workplace skills plans a breeze.

SmartHR ensures that the bottom line of your organisation will be impacted positively and the return on investment will be well worth it.

Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation demonstration of how the product can benefit your organisation.

Why do I need an HR Solution?

I’m constantly amazed at the number of companies, in today’s always-on, fully automated, connected world, who still rely on manual or semi-automated (yet disconnected) systems to manage their vital HR requirements.

 

HR information is far too valuable not to store, manage and secure responsibly.

So what happens when companies do not have a proper HR Management System deployed?

The most common scenario we encounter is HR managers using using a combination of spreadsheets, email, documents, manual forms and a payroll system unsuited to HR needs. The lack of a proper system means:

    • Staff spend too much time on administration, report creation, checking for manual errors, and answering ad-hoc queries.
    • Critical staff data is exposed to the risk of being lost, fragmented, misplaced or captured in formats that make database consolidation expensive and difficult.
    • You may not be measuring and monitoring your critical human resources which inevitably means deterioration and lost profit potential.
    • From a company management perspective, you’re exposed to greater risk of non-compliance with South Africa’s stringent labour law reporting and record keeping obligations.

Implementing an HR system equips you with the tools to maximise your most valuable asset , as follows:

  • It makes the work of the HR department more visible and more acknowledged throughout the organization
  • Accessing information, creating reports and approving workflow is fast, easy, consistent and accurate.
  • Measuring and monitoring your people asset (in terms of productivity, cost, risks, alignment and gaps) accurately, consistently and proactively means the people side of your business will grow and improve.
  • It ensures your HR professionals are up to date with real-time, secure and instant access to staff information from any location.
  • It reduces the time needed for admin and frees up time for strategic and high-value HR activities because managers and employees can now help themselves using self-service.
  • It means no more: frustrating disparate systems and searches through paper files and spreadsheets; tedious report creation using incomplete and out-of-date data; time-consuming phone calls and emails between managers and HR staff.
  • The solution becomes your central source of truth and a secure repository of vital people information for your entire organisation.