How SAP SuccessFactors Time off and Admin Tool can be Utilized EffectivelyCategory: SAP SuccessFactors - EC & PMGM Posted:May 22, 2018 By: Alvera Anto
Previous releases of Employee Central saw efforts being concentrated on data security and privacy enhancements. This is of special significance for organizations and individuals based in Europe since the new European Regulations on General Data Privacy Regulations (GDPR) will be enforced in this month of May 2018. Since organizations have their presence across different continents, this European Regulation will have the global impact.
Data protection and privacy features in Time Management
Time Management has always been a complex issue requiring special effort from enterprises. This is especially true because of the tremendous data volume that exists in current market conditions. And in most cases data is sensitive for example sick leaves and overtime, etc. when it has to be documented.
Change logging as the name states documents the time and date at which the customer makes a change. This feature is comprehensive in its change tracking and is equally effective at documenting changes irrespective of the medium through which the change occurs and is noted. This can be through the API, proxy-function import functionality or even through the user interface. Here customer MDF extensions are supported as well. The data changes for time objects are tracked regardless of it being a brand new record, an edit of a previous record or even the deletion of a record.
This feature obviously comes with a reporting feature which displays the changes made by a specific user or a particular data subject. Such a change log will show us the before and after the value of the changes executed. This also provides additional context for the changes. As an example, when there is an employee absence, the log will display both the absence record and the time deducted for the absence from the existing leave balance.
Using Information Report feature, an employee will be able to get information on all personal data stored in the database relevant to the person. This will generate a report extracting all time-related data about the person in list form. This will include pre-recorded data such as allowances, attendances, absences and on-call times. Such data are the type that is assessed such as salary type and calculated such as premiums. This will also include work schedule information and time account accruals. Each time object and its content in the system are not aesthetically appealing in its arrangement. But the report generation feature is highly functional and serves its purpose of providing information on demand.
Read access logs
Going back to the GDPR, when accessing sensitive personal data such as ethnic background, race, or political opinions a read access log is necessary. Health history, trade-union membership, biometrics and bank details also fall under sensitive data types. In this case, data is sensitive as it can be used to identify a particular person on the planet with extreme precision and accuracy. Read access is extremely important when the person who is accessing such data is not the owner of said data. API data extraction, data export, and reporting are all viable types of read access targets.
This is linked closely to time management data as one will have a say in deciding what type of data is sensitive and what isn’t. This will extend to what type of reading access should be given. Sick leave and overtime are a great example of such data.
The Purge of employee data
Data purging refers to the intentional deletion of data leaving no trace of data behind and without any recovery options. Employee data can be wholly deleted from storage without leaving any traces of the data that once existed. Such a data purge is an irreversible process and needs plenty of precautionary steps before it is performed.
Purging of data is possible for:
- Time Sheet data (recorded data and all evaluated data like pay types)
- Absence time types
- Time account types and time account details
- Time alerts
- Temporary work schedule information
- Time account payouts
All data objects shortlisted for deletion have different criteria for retention and varying time periods for retention as well. This will mean that purging data will need to prep before applying to sufficiently large data volumes.
For example, you want to keep all illness relevant absences for 10 years and all other only for 3 years. Or you want to keep vacation accounts for 5 years, overtime accounts only for 3 years. This can be configured with the so-called “retention group”. You create this kind of groups for all business entities that shall have the same retention period and assign this to the absence time types or time account types for example. Then you define a duration for this retention group.
Blocking off time data access
Data access restriction is also a critical part of data protection and privacy. It is advisable for users to have access to personal data only when critically in need of the same. Therefore, data access required for enterprise processes is restricted when not critical. The data access restriction also needs to be role-specific for varying user groups will require managing different enterprise processes. Shift supervisors, HR Admins, and Managers will need data access to timely data for clearly defined and varying periods without all encapsulating access. This is the main reason SAP has opened a data model’s role-based permissions and MDF security checks. You can, for example, define that a Manager can access an employee’s time sheet only up to 1 year in the past. However, a time admin shall have unlimited access to the time sheets. You even can define a finer granularity: you can differ for example amongst absence time types which data access to which time type shall be blocked for which person. This is necessary when you want to block access for illness-related absences sooner than for other absence types.
Time management has lots of objects to define access periods for the objects that follow:
- Absences (Employee time types of category absence)
- Time Sheet
- Time Account Type
- Time Account
- Payout Time Account
- Temporary Time Information
- Time Alert
- Time Collector
You can define the type level access period for time account snapshot Absence time types and Time Accounts. For instance, you can define vacation accounts going back 1 year and time off in lieu/balance accounts for a period of 6 months only.
You can also define the blocking period for type level wherever the option for “more restrictions” comes up. These are the objects for Time Account, Employee Time (absence time types) and Time Account Payout.
Assign the role to a user and you are done. Due to the different nature of the objects, the blocking period refers to different dates depending on the business context:
- Absences: end date
- Time Sheet: start date
- Time Account Type: booking end date
- Time Account Payout: posting date
- Time Account Snapshot: balance effective date
- Temporary Time Information: end date
- Time Alert: date
- Time Collector: booking date
New time sheet/time evaluation features:
Break recording allowed that do not overlap with attendance time
This particular improvement is relatively small as compared to the others mentioned before, but it is still necessary for future scenarios as the clock in/out integration.
You can automatically subtract breaks depending on the breaks that are defined in the work schedule, or even manually do it. This refers to the time recording executed to start or end clock times.
You generate breaks automatically when you overlap time schedules. And the same rule applies even for manual break creation. You can only record breaks when there are overlapping times in pre-existing attendance records. May be based on customer feedback, or just as an update, as of now, customers can record breaks even when times are not overlapping.
Custom fields for allowances
Such requests are frequently brought up by customers – in terms of custom fields necessary for allowances in timesheets. The earlier time allocation could be done for working time and breaks and other existing attendance time types. But this was not applicable to allowances. As of now, this has been changed with customers being able to add allowances. It is worth noting that if you cannot add conditional custom fields. These are custom fields that appear only for a specific allowance type.
Rule function to trigger a workflow based on a time account balance
Working time accounts are assessed using time valuation and stand for the daily difference between planned and recorded time. This enables employees in organizations to increase flexibility in their working time. This is applicable only to salaried employees since hourly employees already have flexibility built into their employment. This means that employees can work longer on a weekday and not get overtime pay, but can also work lesser for the same amount of time on another weekday. All this will happen without the times being logged. This is balanced out in the working time account. This is something that is applied only in parts of Europe and not followed by the US and UK.
Time account payout enhancements
The time admin workbench is used to pay out Employee’s time accounts. When the time account is reduced and a payout is needed, a compensation component is created. There are two new enhancements here:
1. You can now edit and delete a payout that was executed earlier. This was not possible before and the time account gets updated and the change/deletion are forwarded to the EC Payroll replication.
2. For EC Payroll the salary component that is generated with a payout makes/updates not only SAP Infotype 0015, but can also be replicated to SAP Infotype 0416. This has been done as EC Payroll needs this kind of information for various business processes. This is especially true for the fresh replication feature explained in detail below) in the Infotype 0416 rather than in Infotype 0015.
Time account information replication to EC Payroll Infotype 2006 (for specific countries)
This particular enhancement is specifically relevant to SAP time and EC Payroll personnel. Such a feature is not comprehensive for Infotype 2006. This is because this Infotype and consequent processes within Payroll do not work in facilitating the storage of SAP actual absence quota infotype stores. When you as a user view the infotype you won’t be able to see the actual balance in the said infotype. Instead, you will see info on cumulated deduction quantity amongst other fields. This is created by absences which are recorded and deduct from the absence quota. The remainder balance is assessed via function modules. Such modules will consider other infotypes also such as the infotype 0416 quota compensation or 2013 quota correction. Therefore the balance calculation is executed using hard coding in the SAP taking note of varied sources for different points of time. This will include the actual day, end of year, future dates and more. It is also worth noting that infotype 2006 absence quota possesses several fields. Also important is that the concept of absence entitlement has many variations and methodologies within SAP ERP. There are close to a 100 different function modules which are associated with a quota.
Automatic account creation and accrual for time accounts with a flexible start date
Two previous releases of SAP SuccessFactors ago recurring time accounts with a flexible start date were provided. Until then, only a fix date or a hire date could be set as time account start date – and therefore an accumulation date.
In case of a flexible start date, there is a marked increase in flexibility. This can be recognized through an enterprise rule and you can select any date field which is there in EC or even a custom field. This means you can execute fancy execution, such as using a rehire date instead of hire date. In the instance of rehiring it is the original hire date and not the rehire date. You can also use an employee’s child’s birthday for time account start day.
But until 2018 there was no chance to automate account creation and accrual. Time admin had to generate corresponding Time Off calendars in a manual manner and schedule them on a regular basis. As of now, there is automation for this function. Time Off calendars are generated automatically and the system executes this calendar as part of a daily back-end process job.
Therefore, facilitation for time administrators are done in moderation here.
Time Management Job summary in the Execution Manager
You have real-time time valuation at the Employee Central Time- This means employee’s key in data and the whole complete cycle of assessment steps are activated instantly. However, there are still background jobs required for a couple of reasons as given below:
- Producing working time for a negative time recorder who do not open their timesheet
- Assessing working time account balances for negative or positive time recorder even when no data is recorded
- Automated timesheet submission at the end of the week for negative time or when times are only imported
Mobile Time Sheet widget
It is possible to place a widget on the home screen of the mobile device in the iOS mobile timesheet which easily allows with a single tap to record the calculated time as hours worked. This can be used, when an employee worked exactly as per his or her work schedule on said say. So there is no overtime, no times outside the planned time, which makes time recording really easy.
SAP comes up with product updates and enhancements through both formative and summative customer feedback. Formative feedback refers to progressive changes that are done while the software product is still under development. Summative changes refer to the collective set of software product changes that are done at a pre-defined stage of development. This is one of the main reasons why SAP products exceed customer expectations every time. This is also true with SAP SuccessFactors.
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