fbpx

The news has been flooded with legislation and proposed regulation around predicable schedules, fair work schedules and prevention of the “on-call” hourly worker.  States and localities like New Jersey, New York City, Philadelphia, Connecticut, California among others have been enacting new bills, and there is even a “schedules that Work Act” proposed on the federal level.  It stands to reason that the impact on the security guard industry will follow as more and more states adopt these initiatives.

The Path the Predictability: Employees Need Consistency

The rationale for predictable schedules makes sense for employees; having a regular, set schedule promotes healthy work/life balance.  The prime argument is that hourly workers need ample time to know their work schedule to plan for doctors’ appointments, child care, parent-teacher conferences, or even just planning their personal lives. Even more so now as we deal with the current pandemic.

Additionally, the regulations provide for some level of breaks between shifts.  There is the case of what retail calls the “clopening shifts” where the employee is closing the facility, and then turning around and opening up the next day – sometimes with less than a few hours in between.  These new laws vary, but call for a certain time frame – usually 12 hours between shifts to help prevent overloading the shifts against the spread of hours during the week.

Predictability Concerns: Employers Have to Provide Certainty or Face Fines

On the other side of this regulation are the employers who need to adjust their processes to adhere to the new predictable scheduling laws.  The challenge for employers is that regardless of the initiative to provide advance schedules, there are factors that will force changes to schedules.  Many laws require that employees that are forced to change schedules with less than 72 hours notice will be required to provide “Predictability Pay” – which is a premium against their regular rate of pay.

Many employers do not have the visibility and control over their schedules in a way that enables them to be predictable enough to meet compliance to the laws.  As a result, they will have to incur premium pay rates, fines or potential complaints – simply for not having enough predictability in their schedule.

The Impact Predictable Schedules Are Having On the Security Guard Industry

While many of the current predictable scheduling regulations have been focused on retail hospitality and fast food industries, these regulations will ultimately begin to have an impact on all hourly workers.  Part of the debate on security is that the nature of the industry can be unpredictable.  Clients require additional security at a moment’s notice, there are new contracts coming on board with different frequency, and just like any enforcement position – security can be complex and unpredictable.

Currently, Chicago is one of the few localities that has a predicable schedule ordinance  that will impact security services.  The ordinance includes predictability pay, 11 hour rest periods, two weeks advance notice of schedule among others.  The security industry will be watching how Chicago’s ordinance will be affecting employers and employee alike to assess the overall impact.

Ways to Create more Predictable Schedules through Time and Labor Management

Whether you have to provide predicable schedules or not, having better visibility and control over your schedules will only help to provide a better experience for employees, more streamlined operations for your business, and a better handle on expenses and profit margins.  A Time and Labor Management software solution with intelligent employee scheduling can give you more predictability through a few ways:

  1. Ability to Forecast Schedules and Apply to Future Weeks: You want to be able to assess your past schedules and determine what the most efficient pay to bill rate margins are and then apply them to future weeks.  Locking in the schedule in advance will help to not only create predictability, but also help you to maximize the most profitable schedules.
  2. Employee-Centric Shift Management: Some of the predicable scheduling rules do provide for the ability to swap shifts and accept shift posts.  Since these are employee-driven shift initiatives, it helps to mitigate the predictability challenges employers face.  Having an automated shift swap and shift post solution can help to create a more proactive employee schedule for addressing additional work.
  3. Real-Time Schedule Notifications to Mobile Devices: Ensuring that you are providing ample lead time to post schedules to employees is important, but if you don’t have an employee-friendly way to post schedules, it can be difficult to ensure they receive them.  You want to have a solution that enables posted schedules to be processed and sent to all impacted employees in real-time, and have those schedules able to be viewed on their mobile device.  This way, you are communicating schedules immediately as you are setting them.

The Future of Predicable Schedules Remains Uncertain

Whether you have to provide predicable schedules or not, having better visibility and control over your schedules will only help to provide a better experience for employees, more streamlined operations for your business, and a better handle on expenses and profit margins.  A Time and Labor Management software solution with intelligent employee scheduling can give you more predictability through a few ways:

So far only a handful of localities have enacted these predicable schedule laws, and most are centered around retail and hospitality.  However, Congress has begun the process of re-introducing the “Schedules that Work” Act, which aims to raise predictability to the federal level.  Whether this will make its way to all hourly workers remains to be seen, but there is opportunity to review scheduling optimization to ensure more control over margins.

Look to Time and Labor Management software solutions that provide intelligent scheduling, shift posting and swapping capabilities, and mobile notifications on schedules to ensure you are streamlining your operations.  These tools will help to create more predictability, better employee engagement and impact your bottom line.

If you have any questions about payroll management for your workforce, feel free to contact us.

About the Author

Tim Lozier is the VP of Marketing for Valiant Solutions. He has an extensive background in software technology, and has been involved in the development of leading-edge technologies and strategies for workforce management solutions. Lozier is responsible for fostering the direction of and providing strategic leadership for Trackforce Valiant’s comprehensive platform for security workforce management, with uniquely tailored solutions for the front-line security workforce management and the back-office Time and Labor Management, Payroll Management and Human Resource Management.

Outside Features
Security Magazine
View his articles

The Shift_cast Podcast With Tim Lozier, Host
Listen to the episodes

Thinkcurity Webinars
COVID-19 Response for Contract Security: Q&A Session with Security Industry Experts

Recent Posts