HANSON – The Select Board approved a policy recommendation to add employee accrued time off information to pay stubs.
“We have an opportunity to better keep track of attendance and also to help the employees keep track,” Town Administrator Lisa Green said.
The payroll company can track how much vacation, sick time, floating holidays and personal days on pay stubs.
“As they use time, it will show up on pay stubs,” she said.
Select Board Chair Laura FitzGerald-Kemmett asked if the count begins at the start of the fiscal year and who will be inputting that data.
Green said the countdown would begin on the anniversary date of their hiring.
The payroll company would be supplied with contract start date and allotted vacation/personal time information and will calculate it from there.
The town’s assistant treasurer, who puts in payroll data, would be relied on to catch errors, that could give employees too many vacation days, Green said.
“Hopefully, the employee would come forward and say there’s an error,” she said.
Vice Chair Joe Weeks said he would hope there are policies in place that would address such an eventuality.
“I think Mr. Weeks is picking up what I was putting down,” FitzGerald-Kemmett said. “I think we need to have a very clear policy that states in no event would something that appears on a pay stub supersede what is actually in the contract about what you would otherwise be due.”
Select Board member Ed Heal asked about the process involved.
“If I take a sick day, how does it get on my pay stub?” he asked.
Green said department heads submit time sheets to accounting and then to the payroll firm, who will key in the data.
She said she has already discussed it with the interim accountant and treasurer about the process, and stressed there is no cost to the town for the change.
In order to give the assistant treasurer the ability to learn the process, departments will be entered on a staggered basis, suggesting the Highway Department and Administrative Professionals union would be the first to be included.
“Then if fire and police want to join in, we would start them afterward because they have a little more of a complex system,” she said.
Weeks said he liked the idea, because tracking days owed information is often tricky.
“To me it’s an easy way of looking at it, trying to plan for the future,” he said. “This makes complete logical sense.”
He did question how the discussion was listed on the agenda as including attendance on the stubs.
“I don’t want to give people the wrong impression that we’re keeping track of when they’re clocking in and clocking out, before we roll this out,” he said. “I think before you roll this out, people need to have the policy in front of them.”
Green stressed the change refers only to accrued time off.
FitzGerald-Kemmett said there needs to be ownership of the policy, advocating that employees be asked to initial it as an indication that they have read it. Town officials overseeing the process should also be required to provide the information to department heads to verify the information entered on the payroll forms.
“If you’re concerned there might be a learning curve to it … a training on the process, would also be a smart way to avoid errors,” Weeks said.