What is the difference between Time and Attendance and Time and Labor Management?
What is the difference between the terms "Time and Attendance" and "Time and Labor Management?". Do they refer to the same technology or do they mean something different?
In fact, there really is not any difference between the two phrases. The two phrases more clearly represent part of of the evolution of the employee time management industry. "Time and Attendance" is the former name for these types of systems and "Time and Labor Management" is the newer, more modern name.
Looking back, Time and Attendance systems were orignally called "TimeKeeping Systems" - and some still are. The industry was mostly based upon mechanical time clocks and punch cards. Punch card systems were commonly used in factories and manufacturing to record the hours of the workers. They were rudimentary but effective systems that gave the initial benefits of automation of a routine and necessary function.The industry evolved into being called Time and Attendance Systems because the systems in those days as the clocks evolved, became electronic and were focused on recording time worked and on attendance versus absence with much more sophistication. More and more features were put into the clocks and additional security features were added to try and stop the largest problem in the industry - Buddy Punching. Buddy Punching is where one employee uses the punch card of another employee to punch that employee in or out when in fact they are not there. The employee made be coming in late but does not want to lose any pay, or conversely, the employee may have left early and again does not want to lose any pay. The "buddy" of the employee then uses their punch card and no one in payroll is the wiser. The introduction of biometrics has had a significant effect on reducing buddy punching problems.
Time and Labor Management is now a newer name for the industry because the time and attendance industry has evolved again to be about both managing the time worked for employees but also to be about a higher level of thinking with labor analysis, planning and management. The time being managed can be either worked time (attendance) or absent time (absenteeism) so calling the industry and these systems by the name of Time and Attendance leaves out part of what is being managed - absenteeism time. The Labor portion is about managing the labor force in a better way for for the employees and the company and also for finding efficiencies wherever they can be found to
streamline costs and effectiveness.
To those in the industry this name difference is an important distinction from Time and Attendance as much of the focus now is on managing labor and managing a company's labor force. The phrase Time and Attendance is in fact slightly incorrect for the employee time management software industry also because these types of systems track absenteeism just as importantly as they track attendance. Absenteeism Tracking is very important in many companies and in many labor contracts. Much of negotiations in labor contract focus around the amounts of given and allowable absenteeism in each union group so the Labor Management System must track and report on the actual amounts as they are planned or as they occur. Failure do so can be both costly in dollars and costly legally too.
The interesting part of all of this evolution is that as much as vendors in the idustry have tried to change the name of their industry and their products to Time and Labor Management the products are still commonly known as time and attendance systems. Time and labor management has not made as many inroads in to the public psychy outside of the industry as would have been hoped for.
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