Time-keeping department is concerned with the recording of time of each worker engaged in the factory. The recording of time is for two purposes, i.e., for Time-keeping and Time Booking. Time-keeping is concerned with the recording of time of workers for the purpose of attendance and wage calculations whereas time booking is the reporting of each worker’s time for each department, operation and job for the purposes of cost analysis and apportionment of labour costs between various jobs and departments.
These two recordings should be regularly reconciled to establish the accuracy of recording of time because wages calculated on the basis of time-keeping should agree with the wages charged to the various jobs or production orders on the basis of time booking.
Time-keeping will serve the following purposes:
- Preparation of Pay Rolls in case of time-paid workers.
- Meeting the statutory requirements.
- Ensuring discipline in attendance.
- Recording of each worker’s time ‘in’ and ‘out’ of the factory making distinction between normal time, overtime, late attendance and early leaving.
- for overhead distribution when overheads are absorbed on the basis of labour hours.
If the size of the factory and volume of work permit, there should be a separate time-keeping office near the factory gate for recording the time of workers. If the size of the factory is small, time-keeping office may form a part of the personnel or gate office.
Payment of wages to workers who work on time basis is dependent upon time spent by them; so an accurate record of time should be maintained. Even in case of piece workers where payment of wages does not depend upon time, recording of time is essential.
Time Recording for Piece Workers:
Recording of time in case of piece workers is necessary due to the following reasons:
- Workers should come and leave the factory in time, as there cannot be a uniform flow of production if workers come late or leave early. Time cards should be maintained for piece workers to ensure discipline otherwise workers who are paid by time are likely to be dissatisfied.
- Time cards are to be maintained for piece workers if they are guaranteed a minimum payment for the time spent by them irrespective of their output.
- Time recoding is essential if apportionment of overheads is made on the basis of labour hours.
- Time recording is essential because it facilitates the calculation of overtime wages, dearness allowance leave with pay and production bonus.
- Time recording facilitates the fixation of differential piece rates.
- Time recording is necessary when statistical records of time may be required for research or complying with legal requirements.
1. Manual Method:
Under this method the attendance time of employees are recorded either by the time keeping officer or by employees themselves.
The manual methods of time keeping are as follows:
- Attendance Register Method:
Under this method, an attendance register is maintained for recording the attendance time. This method is followed in small sized concerns. This method is more suitable for recording the attendance time of clerical staff and other staff officers. Under this method two separate columns are maintained corresponding the names of every employee.
One column is to record arrival time and second column for recording departure time. The attendance time can be marked by the time keeping officer by calling out the name of every employee or alternatively the attendance register may be signed by every employee.
This method has the following merits:
(1) It is simple to maintain attendance register.
(2) It is an economical method in comparison to other methods.
This method has the following demerits:
(1) This method is not suitable for medium and large sized businesses.
(2) Where the attendance is marked by calling out the names of employees, there will be hold-ups near the factory gate.
(3) Dishonest employees may mark the attendance of absentee employee.
(4) Time keeping officer may show step motherly treatment to his friends and this will defect the purpose of time keeping.
(5) It involves additional work for posting the entries into the individual working record.
- Token or Disk Method:
Under this method, each worker is allotted an identification number and that number is suitably painted on engraved on a round metal to ken (or disk) with the hole in it. All such token are hung in a serial order on a board at the factory gate.
As the worker arrives he takes his token from the board and puts it in a box kept nearby, which is specially kept for this purpose. After the fixed time the second board is removed. Those coming late have to hand over their token personally at the time office so that exact time of their arrival can be noted.
The time office records attendance on the basis of token in the box. The absentees are indicated by the missing tokens. Similar procedure is followed at the departure time in the evening.
(1) It is simple to operate.
(2) It does not involve heavy investment.
(3) It suits to a factory which employs more number of employees.
(1) Dishonest practice of inserting a disc of an absentee worker by another employee may take place.
(2) It involves more clerical work to prepare an attendance record with the help of disc, where any mistake is committed in recording attendance time on the basis of disc and in case of any disputes between an employee and time keeping officer, disc cannot offer any proof.
2. Mechanical Method:
In modern age, mechanical methods of time keeping are used to save time and ensure greater accuracy. The machines record the exact time of the arrival and departure of employees. Thus, they avoid possible disputes and difference of opinions between employees and time keeping officers. Mechanical methods are used in medium and large sized industries as small sized concerns cannot afford to invest more capital on such equipment.
Following are the important mechanical methods of time recording:
- Dial Time Recorder:
This method consists of a large dial on which there are about 150 holes corresponding to the number of workers. A clock is fitted within the circles of the dial together with a dial arm which operates from the centre of the circle.
The worker while entering into the gate turns the dial arm. He then presses the button corresponding to his clock number. The time of his arrival is recorded on a sheet of paper kept inside the machine.
The same procedure is followed before the employee leaves the factory gate.
(1) Time is recorded strictly according to pay roll order.
(2) Provision can also be made out not only to record time but also to calculate wages.
(1) A worker can record the time of an absentee worker.
(2) Time of arrival and departure and separated out in two different sheets of paper which require additional clerical work.
(3) A worker cannot see the time he has booked and disputes may arise afterwards.
- Card Time Recorder:
This is a machine which is fitted with a clock on each side of which there is an ‘in’ and ‘out’ rack which contains the cards of the employees. The worker who enters the gate takes his and from the ‘in’ rack, inserts it in the machine.
On pressing a lever the time of arrival is recorded on the card. Then the card is placed in the ‘out’ rack. At the time of departure from the factory the worker removes his card, inserts it in the machine to record the time of departure and finally places it in the ‘in’ rack.
(1) For each and every worker’s time is recorded individually.
(2) The absence of worker can be checked by a mere look at the ‘out’ rack.
(3) This can be taken as a basis for wage calculation.
(1) An employee can record the time of absentee worker.
(2) Controlling and checking of cards becomes difficult.
iii. Autograph or Signature Type Time Recorder:
This type of machine is most commonly used in small sized business enterprise where supervision for time recording does not arise.
Its features can be summarised as follows:
(1) It is a machine which is fitted with a clock and is connected to a printing mechanism on a roll of paper.
(2) To operate the machine, the employee opens the shutter by pressing a lever which is at the side of the machine. This enables to uncover a small signature window.
(3) The employee signs in this signature window and as he signs, the day and time is automatically recorded.
(4) When the lever is released, the paper roll inside the machine is advanced, the shutter slides back over the signature window, and the machine is ready for the signature of the next worker.
(1) Recording of time is automatic and accurate.
(2) Employees cannot see the recorded time.
(1) The worker’s name does not appear as per the pay roll order.
(2) Breakdown in the machine leads to stoppage in the recording of attendance time.