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THERE ARE REASONS TO WORK HONESTLY AND TO HONESTLY PAY FOR THE TIME WORKED

NOW THERE ARE ALSO TECHNOLOGICAL POSSIBILITIES TO ENSURE THAT

Which employer would not want to honestly pay its employees for all hours they have worked? Which employee would not want to work honestly the hours spent in work? Excluding pathological cases, almost none. Therefore, why do these two groups often make a wide arc bypassing the common goal? Firstly, they perceive it from two opposite sides and that creates antagonisms in the interpretation of this issue. Secondly, the historically conditioned prejudices, whose roots date back to the nineteenth century as well as the unfortunate atmosphere of distrust, still fueled by the media, supported by negative examples of current practice completing the whole (we are talking about abuse cases occurring on both sides).

Contrary to appearances, the situation is not at a stalemate, and many organizations are getting better and better at dealing with the solving the problem. Their number is constantly growing, since only solving this problem can increase productivity and improve the competitive position in the economic and labor markets.

What is the key to solve the problem, what action should be taken to solve it once and for all? Just as there are two reasons for the problem, so are there also two solutions; here they are:

In both cases the initiative lies with the managers

In the first case, managers must honestly and skillfully demonstrate to their subordinate employees the direct impact their labor productivity has on the economic performance or index achieved by the organization, and consequently, on the associated salaries, bonuses, non-salary bonuses, etc. Finally on maintaining the stability of jobs in the long run - which in itself is the value that cannot be overestimated nowadays. Policymakers may use a wide range of tools for passing credible knowledge of these mechanisms to their staff, and in the absence of these tools, they may use professional assistance to companies that specialize in this regard. It has to be noted, however, that for such a message to be authentic and convincing, the key declarations must be submitted by the board, and it should see to it that every now and then this initiative is repeated. Such action must be included in the personnel policy of organizations as systemic action.

In the latter case of the existing deadlock, effective solution involves the latest... technology! Its skilful use can effectively solve the issues of mutual mistrust, accumulated over the decades. How does it do it is among the issues so far reserved for psychology. Increased confidence among the feuding parties is guaranteed by an independent arbiter controlling and responsive to any attempts at fraudulent use of one party by another. Until now, it was a representative of the employer, a union member, state inspection body, etc., all of whom were susceptible to bias and self-interest, or in the best case, to lack of jurisdiction. Instead of finding a solution, the problem would grow. The emergence of the latest technological solutions introduced a revolution in this field, although unnoticed by many. What is it? First of all, for the first time there has appeared a truly independent and, admittedly, soulless arbiter who would equally protect the interests of the employer and the employee. An arbiter that is also infallible, fair, competent and resistant to attempted pressures.

How does it work in practice?

Recent IT systems supported by biometric identification technology give each party a 100% guarantee of fairness in the collection of authentic data about the time worked. We deliberately omit the issue of labor productivity associated with employee obstruction or with the work process being badly organized the employer. These are extremely important issues, however, which require a separate analysis. However, if the company or organization has already successfully dealt with them or is determined to do so, then the foundation to the strengthening of a correct relationship or initiating it is a thorough Time Attendance (T&A). After all, it is impossible to raise labor productivity, if 15% of the crew is notoriously late for work, just as many leave home before time, and another 25% spends dozens of minutes on cigarette breaks, thus demoralizing those who do not smoke and have to remain at their workplace, because honesty does not allow them to find a reasonable excuse for a little "break". All this raises frustration and discourages honest workers. In a way, these abuses are seen by some employees as compensation for the employer's informal unrecorded overtime. A paradox can be observed: the employer and the employee become silent accomplices of the same unfair conduct, each trying to cheat the other one a little more! Leaving aside the obvious moral aspect, we can easily note the absurdity of the system and the dual discomfort on both sides. Would it not be easier and better for everyone to go back to the content of the signed "contract of employment", which clearly states that the employer has to pay for the specified amount of hours worked! Then why should one employee receive full pay for 85% of time worked while another is to receive the normal hourly rate, if they had stayed an additional 2 hours at work at the employer's request? A thorough analysis of the costs would certainly have shown the company is the one who loses the most of all, since the cost of the demoralization of some of the employees is more than paid overtime or given as additional free time. To make such an analysis, one should have an accurate tool. So far there had been a shortage of such tools. Everything had changed with new technologies, particularly with the methods of biometric identification.

Why previous RCP systems did not meet the fairness condition described above? The short answer to this question is the commonly used practice of transferring proximity cards (RFID) from a colleague, who had left work earlier or is going to arrive late, to another helpful colleague from the department in order to register "correctly". The technical impossibility of registering smokers going out for a cigarette is another problem in monitoring this phenomenon.

All of these problems can be solved by biometric systems that verify only the actual person and not their card or signature on the attendance list. As you can guess, the sudden introduction of this technology had infringed the interests of both groups (employers and employees), but mainly it became inconvenient for the employees to the extent that under pressure from trade unions, the Chief Inspector of Personal Data and the Labor Courts raised charges of inconsistent with logic and the level of technological protection violations of e.g. the Law on Protection of Personal Data and the provisions of the Labor Law in the context of the so-called "inequality of parties". All of this is highly polemical and controversial, but at the present time creates an atmosphere of uncertainty and perpetuate the status quo. Waiting for a final settlement, mainly formalized in the EU legislation, which would clearly and definitively give a green light to biometric solutions, there is some uncertainty as to the legality of the use of these technologies now. Of course, there are many legal ways to protect against the effects of over-interpretation of the control authorities regarding the use of biometric RCP systems in our country, but so far it has been the way only the brave and the determined would pursue. Those who are undoubtedly right but some of the Labor Courts do not know that yet? What can be done by this part of enterprises and organizations, which would want to avoid protracted litigation, in case, and at the same time cannot tolerate the status quo?

In our opinion, there are three solutions:

  • Give up and announce your surrender as to enforcing honesty in this matter
  • Fight on and introduce biometric T&A control systems, bearing in mind the possibility of legal retaliation from staff and State authorities
  • Introduce a fully legal solution of semi-biometric T&A control and the professional accounting offered e.g. by an innovative technology company Data Evolution Labs

CONSEQUENCES OF CHOICE

In the first case, it will probably further demoralization of management and labor personnel that will intensify the relations and inevitably lead towards economic disaster. With the stipulation that this would first be felt by redundant workers and later by the employer closing company.

In the second case, the consequence would be a temporary exacerbation of relations between the board and the staff; following a period of turbulence achieving positive economic results (increased productivity) will be possible as well as laborious but progressive rebuilding of mutual trust. The only negative consequence of the choice may be the long-term costs and even losing the legal struggle in case of the employees suing the employer under employee representation.

In the third case, using the legally approved methods of RFID card identification with the use of an innovative method called "biometric overlay" which allows avoiding conflict with the law, you can achieve a fully effective time and attendance control while also eliminating the arguments of staff! Increasing labor productivity is just a simple consequence of the method used. Good atmosphere between the employer and the employees results from a non-confrontational implementation of methods used in contrast to the method as in the second case. The expected liberalization of the legislation in the future will allow full transition to the biometric system, which is already applied in part.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, we should note the two distinctive and undoubtedly positive aspects of change caused by technological advances in the field of RCP and having a substantial impact on businesses and increase in their economic efficiency; they are:

  • improved economic performance through incorporating into the organization of work a foundation for growth in the form of a modern, fully accurate and fair system of control of working time
  • by eliminating the generator of mutual distrust and replacing it with an "Arbiter" that protects the rights of both parties and builds mutual trust. The technological change is also opening a new chapter in labor relations, where each party has the opportunity for a reliable assessment of their mutual obligations resulting from the contract for the provision of work.

Gaining mutual trust through a reliable system for measuring working time, both sides of the conflict defined at the beginning of the article will unexpectedly find themselves at the same on side of it. Seeing this issue in the same way, without prejudices, they will be able to focus on the most important thing - raising labor productivity and management efficiency, because it is the only guarantee of development and even survival in a market economy. A positive side effect here may be an increase in the profitability of the business and thus increased pay for a fair day's work.


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