Timesheets benefit both employer and employee as they are an accurate record of the actual hours being worked on farm and both parties can monitor that these are fair and reasonable in accordance with the employment agreement. They also give you information to assist with your workforce planning. If you make keeping timesheets part of “the way we do things on farm” then employees will respect the process and understand it can be part of good people management.
To implement timesheets on your farm you could use the following process:
- Discuss with your team that you want to start keeping timesheets on farm for all employees so that you:
- can ensure hours worked are fair and reasonable
- can use the information to make farm improvements, eg to the roster, staff numbers
- Keep copies of the following timesheet template (or create your own template) in the farm dairy or on a clipboard by the back doorand ask that every employee takes responsibility for filling it out accurately and on time. Keep a pen and watch attached for ease of use
- Think about updating your employees employment agreements to reflect the requirement to keep a timesheet and / or update the farm policy and procedures manual
- Maintain enthusiasm with your team about filling the timesheets in and encourage communication about the hours being worked so employees can see the benefits of completing this task
- Make timesheets a normal part of everyone’s day on your farm
For a user-friendly timesheet template click here.
Timesheets and the minimum wage:
All employees are entitled to be paid the minimum wage for each hour they work within each week. Seasonal averaging, whereby employers average out pay across a 12 month period with the intention that the 60 hours/week worked during calving will be offset by only working 20 hours/week in the low season, is not allowed in relation to minimum wage – each hour must be paid at least the minimum wage.
This may mean that top-up payments so employees earn at least the minimum wage are required to be paid during busy seasons on farm. Keep up to date with the current minimum wage by visiting www.dol.govt.nz