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Recently, the California Supreme Court ruled that employers must provide their workers with duty-free rest breaks. Failure to comply with these requirements can lead to potentially devastating and overwhelming financial liability.

“It is critical for budgeting to track paid breaks, and equally critical to ensure that exact break policy timeframes are calculated precisely.  The “Paid Break” feature will provide me with peace of mind that my budget is being met, my team is held accountable and kept honest, and there is paid-time consistency between my stores and teams.”Eric Walker, Walker Grocery

As a partner to your business, we’re here to help you stay compliant. With that, we’re introducing paid breaks for your staff.

Below we’ve reviewed how these new break policies impact you, how Deputy can help you and how you can get started right away.

What do these new rules mean for you?

It’s important to us that you’re aware of any updated policies surrounding your business, especially when it comes to paying your staff. So, we took the time to summarise the key takeaways from the policy update for you.

  • Ensure you have a solution to record all necessary employee breaks – You can encourage employees to take breaks as necessary and by doing so, you’ll save time while approving timesheets and processing payroll. Additionally, this provides you with a detailed record of your employee’s breaks, should you get audited.
  • Relieve your employees from all duties during their breaks – (Pay close attention to this one). Ensure your staff are not pressured to work during their allocated break times. IF they’re working at any capacity during their break, you’ll be liable to pay them in addition to their entitled wage.
  • Communicate your break policy to all employees early on – This is a necessary step so that employees are on the same page as you and are held accountable. You can use Deputy’s Newsfeed to communicate this.

How can Deputy help?

There’s now an option in your Scheduling settings where you can control whether breaks are paid or unpaid. If you leave the toggle off (unpaid), the break functionality remains as normal. On the other hand, enabling paid breaks will affect timesheets and total costs.

  • Timesheets – Deputy currently calculates and exports total hours worked (total clocked on hours subtracted by break time in minutes). With paid breaks enabled, the total time of hours worked is unaffected by the break; Deputy will show total payable hours.
  • Now your staff members can start/stop their breaks with Deputy as usual and have it recorded for compliance purposes. This will keep you out of trouble and reduce time spent adjusting payroll.
  • Total costs – We know running a tight ship is important to you. Enabling paid breaks will ensure your labour costs are accurate. Your staff’s payable hours are calculated more accurately now and hence, Deputy will give you a better representation of your labour costs.
  • Payroll – Paid breaks in Deputy allows our payroll solutions to be more legally compliant with your state’s paid break labor laws. This includes, but is not limited to, California’s Labor Law.  By enabling paid breaks, your staff can now record all their breaks and this will ensure your payroll is a breeze.

How do I get started?

To toggle on paid breaks, simply log into your Deputy account, then navigate your way to the Locations tab. Click ‘Edit Settings’ on the Location you would like to apply paid breaks to.

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Now, click ‘Timesheets’, and scroll down until you see ‘Enable paid breaks’

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For more information for how to set up paid breaks, please refer to our help guide.

Over to You

With the recent headlines bringing attention to workforce compliance, it’s more important than ever to get a grip on your break recording process. Communicating your break policy will help keep staff accountable. Our new paid breaks feature will help you record all staff breaks, ensuring you stay compliant and save you time processing payroll.

We’ve established that giving you more control over your break policy is a step closer towards making Deputy more compliant with workforce legislation. If you have any suggestions on how we can assist you with your compliance burdens, we would love to hear it.

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