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Preparing your SpringAhead Account for Family First Coronavirus Response Act Compliance on April 1

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As administrators of time-tracking systems, we understand that some of you are facing a very short deadline for compliance with the Family First Coronavirus Response Act, which requires a new category of paid leave to be made available to US workers for companies employing fewer than 500 workers in the United States by April 1

If you intend to use SpringAhead for tracking COVID-related time off and any of your employees are eligible for coverage under the act, you’ll need to reconfigure your SpringAhead account in compliance. If you have any questions about eligibility, please refer to the act’s text or request an opinion from a legal professional. 

Reconfiguring Your SpringAhead Account for FFCRA-Compliant Time-Off Tracking

1. [Optional -- Do this if you use payroll items]

Create six new payroll items (in QuickBooks or SpringAhead, depending on which you use as your system of record for payroll items) for hourly and salaried employees that are named appropriately separate from your standard sick and vacation types. 

  1. To create payroll items in QuickBooks, please refer to Intuit’s help documentation, then use SpringConnect to sync to SpringAhead.
  2. To create payroll items in SpringAhead:
    1. Navigate to Settings > Payroll Items (in Accounting section)
    2. Click Add Payroll Item
    3. Name the Payroll Item. We recommend using the COVID-19 abbreviation for each in reporting purposes, such as:
      1. COVID-19 - Sick - Hourly
      2. COVID-19 - Sick - Salary
      3. COVID-19 - Two-Thirds Sick - Hourly
      4. COVID-19 - Two-Thirds Sick - Salary
      5. COVID-19 - FMLA - Hourly
      6. COVID-19 - FMLA - Salary
    4. Select Hourly or Salary, corresponding to the name.
    5. Save the Payroll Item

2. Create three new custom time types in SpringAhead.

This will prepare you to allow workers to track their time against the new federally-designated leave categories. To create these time types in SpringAhead:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Time Types (in Time section)
  2. Click Add Time Type 
  3. Name the Time Type. We recommend using the COVID-19 abbreviation with user-friendly language, such as: 
    1. COVID-19 - 2 Weeks Sick Time
    2. COVID-19 - 2 Weeks Care for Others Sick Time
    3. COVID-19 - 10 Weeks Family Medical Leave. 
  4. Ensure Invoice is set to “No”
  5. Leave bill multiplier field blank
  6. Leave Payables set to "Yes"
  7. Configure the pay multiplier dependent on the time type:
    1. For COVID-19 - 2 Weeks Sick Time: Enter 1 in the pay multiplier field
    2. For COVID-19 - 2 Weeks Care for Others Sick Time and COVID-19 - 10 Weeks Family Medical Leave: Enter .67 in the pay multiplier field
  8. [Optional -- Do this if you use payroll items] Map to your corresponding hourly and salary Payroll Items created in Step 1.
  9. Save the Time Type

3. Create a new series of projects for tracking any FFCRA-related leave.

(in QuickBooks or SpringAhead, depending on which you use as your system of record for jobs/projects). This is to ensure that only the workers approved to take leave under FFCRA guidelines have the ability to track time there. To do this:

  1. Set up a company for tracking FFCRA-related leave. 
    1. If you are not a QuickBooks user, do this in SpringAhead: 
      1. Navigate to Settings > Companies (in General section)
      2. Click Add Company
      3. Name the Company “COVID-19” 
      4. Select the “Customer” checkbox in the Roles section
      5. Leave all other fields blank.
      6. Click Create
    2. If you are a QuickBooks user, perform the steps to create a Customer named “COVID-19” in QuickBooks, then sync to SpringAhead using SpringConnect
  2. Add a personal leave project to the COVID-19 company. To do this:
    1. Navigate to Settings > Projects (in General section)
    2. Click on the COVID-19 project
    3. Name the project “Personal Leave”
    4. Select 4/1/20 as the start date and 12/31/20 as the end date.
    5. Leave Track Time set to “Yes” but turn Track Expense to “No.”
    6. Click on the Time Settings tab
    7. In the Custom Time Types section, select the “Custom time types are used on this project” checkbox
    8. Restrict the custom time types available to just the COVID-19 - 2 Weeks Sick Time time type. To do this:
      1. In the Custom Time Types section, select the “Only selected custom time types apply to this project”
      2. Click Add Time Type
      3. Select COVID-19 - 2 Weeks Sick Time from the drop down menu
      4. Leave multiplier fields blank
      5. Click Add Time Type
    9. Ensure no workers have any access to track to this project until necessary. To do this:
      1. Click on the People tab
      2. Select “only selected time users” from the Track Time Access menu
      3. Do not add any people at this time
    10. Click Save & Exit
  3. Create a project for adding sick and/or FMLA time related to caring for others. To do this: 
    1. Navigate to Settings > Projects (in General section)
    2. Click Add Project
    3. Select the COVID-19 company in the Company Name drop down menu
    4. Name the Project "Family Leave"
    5. Select 4/1/20 as the start date and 12/31/20 as the end date
    6. Leave Track Time set to "Yes" but turn Track Expense to "No."
    7. Click on the Time Setting stab
    8. In the Custom Time Types section, select the "Custom time types are used on this project" checkbox
    9. Restrict the custom time types available to just the two family-related COVID custom time types. To do this:
      1. In the Custom Time Types section, select the "Only selected custom time types apply to this project"
      2. Click Add Time Type
      3. Select COVID-19 - 10 Weeks Family Medical Leave from the drop down menu
      4. Leave multiplier fields blank
      5. Click Add Time Type
    10. Ensure no workers have any access to track to this project until necessary. To do this:
      1. Click on the People tab
      2. Select "only selected time users" from the Track Time Access menu
        1. Do not add any people at this time
        2. Click Save and Exit

4. Educate your eligible workforce.

Inform them to the changes made to leave policies under the FFCRA. Notify them that in the event of any leave required under the FFCRA, a request must be made of you so that you can adjust SpringAhead to allow for them to track their time properly.

If an Employee's FFCRA Leave Request is Approved for Personal Sick Time

In the event an employee’s FFCRA leave request is approved for personal sick time and has not taken any sick time to care for others, perform the following actions:

1. If it is not already turned on, activate time accrual tracking.

This is required to assign time tracking limits to the custom time types for each employee and will not automatically add accrued hours if you follow our configuration instructions. To activate accrual tracking, do this: 

      1. Navigate to Settings > My Company (in General section)
      2. Scroll to the Time section
      3. Check the “Use Time Accrual” checkbox
      4. Unless already specified, select 1/1/2020 for the starting date
      5. Select Hours for the accrual display
      6. Click Save

2. Assign a specific bank of accrued hours to the approved worker’s profile in order to ensure they do not spend over the federal guidelines.

      1. Navigate to Settings > People (in General section)
      2. Click into each of the FFCRA eligible workers’ profiles
      3. Select the Project Rates tab
      4. In the Accrual section click Add Accruals
      5. Select COVID-19 - 2 Weeks Sick Time
      6. Enter a starting balance in hours equivalent to that worker’s standard hours for two weeks of work (typically 80 hours for a full-time employee).
      7. Select 4/1/20 as the start date
      8. Leave Accrue hours blank and the period at Yearly
      9. Click Add Accruals

3. Assign the approved worker to the appropriate project in SpringAhead to grant them access to tracking time against the time type.

      1. Navigate to Settings > Projects (in General section)
      2. Click into the COVID-19: Personal Leave Project
      3. Click on the People tab
      4. Click Add Person
      5. Select the approved worker’s name
      6. Leave all other fields blank
      7. Click Add Person
      8. Click Save and Exit

If an Employee's FFCRA leave Request is Approved for Sick Time or FMLA

In the event an employee’s FFCRA leave request is approved for sick time or FMLA to care for others and has not taken any sick time for personal reasons, perform the following actions:

1. If it is not already turned on, activate time accrual tracking.

This is required to assign time tracking limits to the custom time types for each employee and will not automatically add accrued hours if you follow our configuration instructions. To activate accrual tracking, do this: 

      1. Navigate to Settings > My Company (in General section)
      2. Scroll to the Time section
      3. Check the “Use Time Accrual” checkbox
      4. Unless already specified, select 1/1/2020 for the starting date
      5. Select Hours for the accrual display
      6. Click Save

2. Assign a specific bank of accrued hours to the approved worker’s profile in order to ensure they do not spend over the federal guidelines.

      1. Navigate to Settings > People (in General section)
      2. Click into each of the FFCRA eligible workers’ profiles
      3. Select the Project Rates tab
      4. In the Accrual section click Add Accruals
      5. Select COVID-19 - 2 Weeks Care for Others Sick Time
      6. Enter a starting balance in hours equivalent to that worker’s standard hours for ten weeks of work (typically 80 hours for a full-time employee).
      7. Select 4/1/20 as the start date
      8. Leave Accrue hours blank and the period at Yearly
      9. Click Add Accruals
      10. Click Add Accruals again
      11. Select COVID-19 - 10 Weeks Family Medical Leave
      12. Enter a starting balance in hours equivalent to that worker’s standard hours for two weeks of work (typically 400 hours for a full-time employee) 
      13. Select 4/1/20 as the start date
      14. Leave Accrue hours blank and the period at Yearly
      15. Click Add Accruals
      16. Click Save and Exit

3. Assign the approved worker to the appropriate project in SpringAhead to grant them access to tracking time against the time type.

      1. Navigate to Settings > Projects (in General section)
      2. Click into the COVID-19: Family Leave Project
      3. Click on the People tab
      4. Click Add Person
      5. Select the approved worker’s name
      6. Leave all other fields blank
      7. Click Add Person
      8. Click Save and Exit
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