The start of the new year will bring with it a new time reporting requirement for many university employees.
After Jan. 1, all non-hourly employees (in positions categorized as exempt civil service, supportive professional and academic administrators) will be required to use a new online reporting system to log hours worked each day.
The tool will bring the university into compliance with the State Officials and Employee Ethics Act Work Time Reporting requirements. Hourly employees are already compliant with this requirement because they submit timesheets.
Under that act, time spent on university business must be recorded on a daily basis to the nearest quarter-hour and submitted on a monthly basis. Therefore, an employee’s normal work schedule that has been fulfilled, along with any additional time allocated to university business, should be recorded. Time spent on approved leave (sick and vacation) should not be included (zero hours should be recorded on those days), unless time is spent on university business during such leave periods.
The data will be kept on file for at least two years and will be subject to periodic review by the state to ensure that the university complies with SOEEA mandates. The data will not be transferred to PeopleSoft and will not be utilized for any benefit time or wage payment calculations.
“This does not replace the monthly Benefits Usage Forms that employees currently use,” said Steve Cunningham, vice president for Human Resources and Compliance. “Those documents will continue to be the basis upon which payment and benefits are tracked. Nevertheless, timely completion of the Work Time Reporting forms online is important to ensure that we remain in compliance with state ethics laws.”
To report their time, employees must log in to the Work Time Reporting website via the NIU Compliance Administration homepage. Once there, they will log in using their Novell identification number and password – the same as used when logging into the university e-mail system.
Upon logging in for the first time, employees are urged to view the detailed video tutorial, which will walk them through the process, step-by-step and answer many of the questions that are likely to arise. A written training guide, covering the same information as the video, is also available on the site, as well as a link to a Frequently Asked Questions area for more information.
“We have tried to make the system as straightforward and easy to use as possible,” Cunningham said. “It should only take a moment or two each day for individuals to log in their hours.”
University employees who must use the new system will receive an email at the start of the new year, with a link to the compliance page, along with instructions on who to contact with questions or concerns.