It has always been a good idea for businesses, including manufacturing companies, to make sure they are accurately tracking hours worked for every employee. But in recent years, it has become even more important, as a number of new federal rules have been enacted that change the ways in which businesses operate. As a consequence, manufacturers can benefit from Dynamics NAV time collection as a means of more easily keeping tabs on just how much everyone is working and what that means for their bottom lines.

The latest rule that's most familiar to businesses is that any company with at least 50 full-time employees (working at least 30 hours per week) must provide health insurance options under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to a report from Smart Business News. That 30-hour requirement might differ from what companies themselves consider to be "full-time," but regardless of their individual definitions, the lower 30-hour benchmark is the one to which they must adhere.

A closer look at the requirements
This year, larger companies were required to offer coverage to at least 95 percent of their full-time workers, up from just 70 percent the year before, the report said. Moreover, in the case of an audit from the federal government, it is not enough for companies to have tracked workers' hours by hand. Auditors will not accept paper timesheets as proof of hours worked. Instead, they will need to be tracked either with an automated time clock, or on a computer.

But with a growing number of electronic tools for tracking hours – including within Dynamics NAV – these concerns are relatively easy to take care of, and could provide manufacturing companies with a simple, convenient, and elegant solution to this problem.

Another consideration
Meanwhile, the federal government will also soon implement a new overtime rule that will further change the game for how workers' hours are tracked, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Labor. Beginning Dec. 1, workers making less than $47,476 per year will be able to collect overtime, bringing more potential take-home pay for some 4.2 million Americans.

And while the new rules will likely have a major impact on how employers parcel out workers' hours, the hope is that by announcing the changes well in advance, companies will get a better handle on how they're going to proceed, the report said. That includes paying time-and-a-half for all hours above and beyond 40, raising workers' salaries to be above the benchmark, creating a hard limit of 40 hours per week, or combining aspects of any of these ideas.

Regardless of the path manufacturers take here, tracking hours accurately will be of the utmost importance. Consequently, using an ERP to effectively track everyone as accurately as possible will become even more advisable as time goes on, because it can not only help avoid issues, but also streamline costs.

For more information on Dynamics NAV time collection, take the time to download our data sheet on the subject.