Employee Advanced Standard Work Hours

Did you know that you can not only specify the total number of hours an employee works per week – but you can also specify exactly when, and where, an employee usually works across a two week period/cycle? This information can be used to automatically create earnings lines for them in a pay run or generate timesheets. We can also use it to more accurately predict how many hours of work time a leave request will cover.

This article will cover the following topics:

Configuring advanced standard hours on a per-employee basis

In order to configure advanced standard work hours for an individual employee, go to their Employee file > Pay run defaults page:


If you select the 'Advanced' option, you’ll be able to enter the employee’s standard working hours for each day of the week:


We give you the option of entering an employee’s start and stop times (including their expected breaks) or just the number of work hours per day. If the employee works different hours every other week, you can enter that too – just click on the “Add a second week” option and provide the relevant details.

Once you’re happy with the standard hours you’ve entered, click the “Close” button on the dialog (you’ll see the details you entered listed on the Pay Run Defaults page) and click the Save button at the bottom of the page. 

If the employee has a recurring work pattern over a number of weeks, you can enter an advanced work pattern of up to 8 weeks. Read more about Irregular Hours Employees here

Exporting an advanced standard hours template

You are able to export a CSV or Excel template showing employee standard hours that have been configured for current (and terminated) employees. This is helpful if you are wanting to run a report, or to get a template which can be used to make changes and then re-import. To do this, you can go to the Payroll settings > Data extracts page and select 'Employee advanced work hours':


You are able to select from the following templates:

  • Template with employee advanced work hours: Pre-populated extract with all the existing standard work hours data included. Only employees with advanced work hours set up in their record should be included in the export;
  • Template with employee advanced work hours (including terminated employees): Pre-populated extract with all the existing standard work hours data included with terminated employees. Only employees with advanced work hours set up in their record should be included in the export;
  • Empty template: Blank template with header values only.

The following columns are included in the export:

  • Day: This has a lookup data tool to pre-populate each day of the week;
  • Shift start time / Shift end time / Break start time / Break end time: Formats allowed include 9am, 9:00am;
  • Week: This has a lookup data with the values 1 and 2. Leave blank if the employee does not have varying weekly work patterns, i.e. week 1 and week 2 are the same;

If you are wanting to use the template in order to make changes before re-importing, you are able to save the file to your computer before going to the Payroll settings > Import employees page and importing the file using the 'Employee advanced hours upload' option:


The system uses an advanced importer, which allows for greater flexibility in terms of file format and header columns. See the below section for more information about this.

Bulk importing advanced standard hours

When importing employee advanced standard hours, the system uses an advanced importer, which means users can export data from previous systems in any format and upload it, as opposed to manually copying and pasting data to fit a required standard file import format. Additional features to the advanced importer include:

  • Being able to map header columns, and save these mappings for future imports;
  • Being given validation errors and the ability to repair the errors within the importer meaning that once reviewed the user can expect the file to be successfully uploaded.

In order to import advanced standard hours using the advanced importer, simply select the 'Employee advanced hours upload' option from the drop down on the Payroll settings > Import employees page. A worksheet will open and from there, you'll be able to either upload data from a file, or manually enter the required data:




If you select to 'Upload data from file', the system will ask whether or not there are column headers in the selected row. In the below screenshot, the red arrow is pointing to the row in question. In this case, it does not contain column headers so I would select 'No header row', and the system, when interpreting the data, would include each row:


If that row did have column headers, you would select 'Yes', or 'Select another row' if there was a different row that had column headers. 

Once data has been imported or manually entered into the worksheet, you'll be able to map the information and the importer will verify it, and show any applicable warnings. 

Within the worksheet, you'll see the mapping on the left (eg 'Location' for row 'E'), and the values associated with it. In the below example, the data location is 'Kook Pty Ltd', however the advanced importer allows you to change this value by clicking the drop down arrow and selecting another active business location. To the right of that, you can also 'Confirm mapping' or 'Ignore this column':


If there are any issues with the mapping or data, the advanced importer will show a warning like the example below, which has an issue with the mapping. The data is trying to map 'Shift end time' to 'External ID', but 'External ID' has already been used in a mapping and so it can't be used again:


The major benefit to using the advanced importer is that you are able to fix all of these issues within the worksheet itself and upload from there, instead of having to go back to a CSV or Excel file and save before uploading again. 

Once you are happy with the mapping, you can review the data, and if needed, make any last minute changes by clicking into the relevant field:


You are also able to get a quick view of any problems or changes that have been made by clicking the 'Only show rows with problems' and/or 'Show modifications' toggle. If there are any errors that is stopping the import from happening, it will be highlighted in red and you can hover over the field for more information. In the below example, the import contained both start/stop time and hours worked, however, there should only be one of these parameters specified:




In order to fix the issue, you'll need to remove the values in either the 'Hours' column, or both the 'Shift start time' and 'Shift end time'.

After the final check and any required adjustments, you can click 'Continue' and 'Yes' when you are asked if you are ready to submit. If there are still lines with errors that prevent a successful import, you can select to discard the rows with issues and submit the rest, or go back and make further changes:



Once the import has finished, the system will confirm which employees have been updated:


Advanced standard hours in the pay run

Once Standard Work Hours have been set up, for employees with the “Pay these earnings by default in a pay run” option selected, we’ll use this information to automatically create relevant earnings lines for these employees in their pay runs.

The comment that is automatically generated for these earnings lines explains that it’s based on the employee’s standard hours as well as listing the start and stop times and breaks.


Advanced standard hours and leave requests

We’ll also use Standard Work Hours to estimate how much leave is required for an employee’s leave request. When you hover your mouse over the “* Estimate” text on that page, it shows a breakdown of how we arrived at our estimated hours value (of course employees are free to revise this number as there are sometimes circumstances which mean the actual amount of leave required is different to what we’re able to calculate)


Advanced standard hours and timesheets

For employees who need to enter timesheets, standard work hours can be used to save them from having to manually enter the same timesheets every week. There’s an option on the timesheet entry page that will allow them to create timesheets based on their Standard Hours.


Once they’ve made any adjustments to cover variations to their usual hours, they can submit the timesheets as usual.

If you have any questions or feedback, please let us know via support@nzpayroll.co.nz

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