We all know that legislation regarding predictive scheduling is rapidly taking shape in San Francisco, New York, Seattle, and is on the legislative docket in 13 other states and a handful of municipalities. And we also understand the benefits both to employees and employers of how predictive scheduling can be a paradigm shift. But a lot less is understood regarding the technological impact that the legislation carries including how to best conform to the laws.
Predictive scheduling alleviates a tremendous amount of concerns for employees, particularly those in retail sectors, who spend a good part of their work lives in uncertainty; specifically, not knowing their schedule from day-to-day; remaining on-call but with no assurances they’ll be called into work; having fluctuating pay checks from pay period to pay period; and not being able to plan for routine affairs like child care, medical appointments and transportation requirements.
For employers, the pay-off isn’t quite as immediate, but the long term corporate culture shift is certainly gaining traction and acceptance. As productivity soars with the more satisfied your workforce is, predictive scheduling is a significant catalyst driving a more joyful workplace. Employers will see less turnover; predictive wages which leads to more accurate accounting; a reduction in training and re-training costs; and a clearer understanding of demand-driven scheduling – a workforce management process that better identifies employment needs as it relates to operational and customer demands.
The hidden issue, at this point, is how do employers comply with this legislation and avoid huge fines for failure to adhere to some very stringent aspects of the law? In much of the legislation, regardless of the cities where it has been enacted, employers must post schedules anywhere from 2-weeks to 3-days in advance; pay employees up to 4-hours for being on-call if they don’t work; and avoid making scheduling changes in an insufficient amount of time. To be sure, the penalties are stiff and compliance should be deemed by employers as mandatory.
As Tommy Schroeder, Vice President of Workloud, a leading employee scheduling, time and attendance, and absence management company said, “Predictive scheduling brings many benefits to the workplace for both employees and employers, but the complexity of the legislation makes it nearly impossible to comply with unless you have an automated workforce management system that allows for direct communication with employees.”
Schroeder’s concern is that with little margin for error in scheduling, communication, documentation and tracking, automated systems are essentially an imperative to doing business under the laws of predictive scheduling. Schroeder added, “The realities are clear. If you’re subject to this legislation, or going to be subject to it in the future, there is no way a business can be compliant and no way they won’t risk fines and penalties if they’re trying to manage a workforce through manual spreadsheets and record keeping. The scheduling and documentation that is required is so comprehensive that workforce automation isn’t merely an objective, it’s a requirement.”
Although much of the predictive scheduling regulations are appearing on both coasts, Schroeder believes it’s only a matter of time before it takes hold in other places in the country. “It’s far better to be prepared for this then have to react to it,” said Schroeder. And he would know. With customers ranging from 50 employees to 10,000 employees, and with clients in multiple industries throughout the U.S., Workloud understands the intricacies, pitfalls and rewards of managing a workforce.