What is a Break Policy?

A Break Policy is, as the name implies, a way to tell the Fingercheck platform when your employees go on an approved "Break".

It allows for various rules that can interact with that "Break Time", such as whether or not to pay for it, how long it should be, if it should be automatically deducted even if the employee doesn't punch out for it, and more.

How do I set up a Break Policy?

To get to your company's Break Policies, first, log in to your Fingercheck user account, then click "Setup" on the main menu. In Setup, navigate over to Policies > Break Policies.

You'll see here a list of existing Break Policies for your company (or nothing, if this is your first time), and a button that says "Add". Click the "Add" button.

You'll be taken to a screen with a lot of different fields. Below is a list of all fields, with a description of what they do.

  • Code: This is a short or abbreviated name for the Break Policy. This, in combination with the Description field, will determine the full name of the policy, as it will be displayed in other areas of Fingercheck.
    (example: "BR")
  • Description: This is a longer, more descriptive name for the Break Policy. This, in combination with the Code field, will determine the full name of the policy, as it will be displayed in other areas of Fingercheck.
    (example: "Break")
  • Paid Break: This checkbox, when checked, tells Fingercheck that any time towards this break should be paid for.
  • Allowed Hours: Enter the minimum number of minutes (in decimal format,e.g. 30 minutes is entered as 0.5) that a break should be. Any punch pair that is shorter than this won't be considered.
  • Allowed Break Type: Select from this dropdown list whether Allowed Hours should be totalled across a whole day ("PerDay"), or considered separately from each other ("PerBreak").
  • Max Break (Minutes): Enter the maximum number of minutes (in decimal format, e.g. 30 minutes is entered as 0.5) that a break should be. Any punch pair that lasts longer than this won't be considered.
  • Max Break Type: Select from this dropdown list whether Max Break minutes should be totalled across a whole day ("PerDay"), or considered separately from each other ("PerBreak").
  • Division Earnings: Select an Earning Code to use if the break is Paid. Otherwise, this can be left blank.
  • Use Schedule: Select a Schedule Policy from this dropdown list if you want the Break Policy to refer to a Schedule for break guidelines.
  • Start Date: Enter a date when policy rules should come into effect.
  • End Date: Enter a date when policy rules should stop coming into effect.
  • Start Window: Enter a time of the day in which policy rules should come into effect.
  • End Window: Enter a time of the day in which policy rules should stop coming into effect.
  • Active After Pair: Check if rule is only active after a punch pair (e.g. for meals).
  • Active After Minutes: Enter a number of minutes after which rule is active.
  • Automatic Break: Check this box if the break should automatically apply once the below conditions are met.
  • Auto Break Type: Select whether automatic break should add or subtract time.
  • Auto Break Hours: Enter a number of hours (in decimal format, e.g. 30 minutes is entered as 0.5) to add or subtract.
  • Auto Consecutive Type: Select the method in which consecutive hours should be calculated.
    PerPair = Time between pair of punches.
    PerDay = Triggers once per day if required number of hours are met.
    PerConsecutiveHours = Triggers as many times as the blocks of required hours have passed.
  • Consecutive Hours: Enter number of hours to consider "worked consecutively".
  • Auto Break Earning: Select an Earning Code to use for automatic break hours.
  • Start Window: Enter a start time from when to give automatic break hours.
  • End Window: Enter an end time from when to stop giving automatic break hours.
  • Qualifier Fewer Than Minutes: Rule is active only if the break is shorter than this number of minutes.
  • Qualifier More Than Minutes: Rule is active only if the break is longer than this number of minutes.

Once all of these settings are set, make sure to hit the "Save" button at the bottom of the page.

Now you've created a Break Policy, but it won't be of any use until you attach it to a Master Profile. To do that, go to Setup > System > Master Profiles. Edit the profile you want, and look for the "Break Policy" field to change it. Don't forget to save!

What can be done with Break Policies?

With Break Policies, we've made available a lot of different tools for different needs. Now, we'll walk you through how to put those tools to use to set up some common types of Break Policies.

Auto-Deduct 30 Minutes for Lunch

This Break Policy is designed to dock employees 30 minutes for a required lunch break. This policy triggers even if the employee does not punch out for it.

To set this up, the following fields should be changed as such:

  • Code: Set this field to whatever name you want.
  • Description: Set this field to whatever name you want.
  • Start Date: Enter the current date here.
  • End Date: 12/31/2099
  • Automatic Break: Check this box.
  • Auto Break Type: AutoDeduct
  • Auto Break Hours: 0.5
  • Auto Consecutive Type: PerDay
  • Consecutive Hours: 7
    Note that this field is set to 7 assuming an 8-hour workday. Generally speaking, this field should be set one or two hours under the length of what's considered a "full workday", so if someone works less than that time (e.g. they were sent home early), they won't be docked.

Paid 30-minute Lunch Break

This Break Policy makes it so if an employee clocks out for 30 minutes in the middle of the day, they'll still be paid for that time. If they clock less than that, they'll get paid for however long they were out for, but if they clock more, they'll only get the 30 minutes.

To set this up, the following fields should be changed as such:

  • Code: Set this field to whatever name you want.
  • Description: Set this field to whatever name you want.
  • Paid Break: Check this box.
  • Allowed Hours: 0.5
  • Allowed Break Type: PerDay
  • Max Break (Minutes): 90
    Setting 90 for Max Break Minutes is an optional step. We suggest doing it because if the employee clocks out for longer than 1.5 hours, they won't get paid for the break at all, not even the 30 minutes, but if they clock out for anywhere between 30 and 90 minutes, they will still get the 30 minutes paid break.
  • Max Break Type: PerDay
    Set this only if you set an amount for Max Break (Minutes) above. Otherwise, it does nothing.
  • Division Earnings: Leave this field blank for RG - Regular, or set it to another Earning Code you want to use.
  • Start Date: Enter the current date here.
  • End Date: 12/31/2099

The "Wash Rule"

This one's a bit more advanced- but it's essentially a mix of the last two policies, meant to be used if you want an employee to punch out for their break, but even if they "work through their break", or if they take a short break, they'll still get docked 30 minutes, and, if they are out for longer than the allotted break time, they'll have the whole time out as unpaid.

To set this up, the following fields should be changed as such:

  • Code: Set this field to whatever name you want.
  • Description: Set this field to whatever name you want.
  • Paid Break: Check this box.
    Don't worry- even though we're checking this box, it's not actually a paid break! This is just needed to ensure the employee doesn't get double-deducted.
  • Allowed Hours: 0.5
  • Allowed Break Type: PerDay
  • Max Break (Minutes): 90
    Setting 90 for Max Break Minutes is an optional step. We suggest doing it because if the employee clocks out for longer than 1.5 hours, they won't get paid for the break at all, not even the 30 minutes, but if they clock out for anywhere between 30 and 90 minutes, they will still get the 30 minutes paid break.
  • Max Break Type: PerDay
    Set this only if you set an amount for Max Break (Minutes) above. Otherwise, it does nothing.
  • Start Date: Enter the current date here.
  • End Date: 12/31/2099
  • Automatic Break: Check this box.
  • Auto Break Type: AutoDeduct
  • Auto Break Hours: 0.5
  • Auto Consecutive Type: PerDay
  • Consecutive Hours: 7
    Note that this field is set to 7 assuming an 8-hour workday. Generally speaking, this field should be set one or two hours under the length of what's considered a "full workday", so if someone works less than that time (e.g. they were sent home early), they won't be affected.

If you have any further questions on this subject, you can reach out to our team at 1-800-610-9501, or, use our in-app messaging feature by logging into our secure site and initiating a conversation.

To learn more about our cost-effective and user-friendly cloud-based time and attendance software, check out our website at Fingercheck.com. Interested in our services? Sign up for a 30-day free trial and get started with FingerCheck today.

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