Using Kronos WFC Duration Pay Codes

by | Aug 11, 2011

NOTE: In today’s blog, we are going to talk about some practical ways to use a new piece of functionality in Kronos Workforce Central, from a healthcare perspective. You can expect periodic posts like this as we will balance the higher level discussions with hands-on advice for using WFM systems.


When Kronos released Workforce Central v6.1 in 2009, there were (as you probably already know if you are reading this post!) a number of cool new pieces of functionality and capabilities within the system. Most functionality comes about because of user requests for business needs or as a natural evolution of the software. One of the user requests was turned into something known as “duration pay codes.”

A pay code in Kronos, just to clarify, is essentially a bucket of hours (or dollars/units) that directly translates to a time record for the purpose of paying an employee. The way Kronos architecture works behind-the-scenes is that it takes punches for an employee, applies the pay rules for that employee that determines how they are supposed to be paid, and creates pay codes for that employee. [If this is old hat to you, please bear with me…] So, for example, if both employees Smith and Jones punch in at 7am and out at 3:30pm, the two employees could have different pay codes created for them if they had different pay rules: Smith may have an auto-meal deduction and be eligible for a shift differential while Jones may have gone into overtime with that shift.

Which bring us to duration pay codes.

The purpose of a duration pay code is to be an hours pay code (not punches) that is put on a timecard or schedule and have it be treated by the system as, for all practical purposes, a pair of punches. What makes it special behind the scenes is that a duration pay code is calculated by the system with the same kind of logic used for punches and pay rules to determine the standard hours pay codes that should be created, instead of just turning straight into a time record.

Here’s a graphical representation of what happens when either punches are put in the system or standard pay codes:

Now, take a look at the process for what happens for a duration pay code:

You can see that duration pay codes go through the totalization process and have new standard pay codes created for them, just like punches.

And now you’re saying, “Great. I get it. So what…?!”

Well, here’s where the value of duration pay codes come into play for healthcare:

There are occasionally situations where non-exempt employees need to be paid but they are not in place where they can create punches in the system. That could be anything from offsite training to going on PTO. And let’s say for some of those situations, employees need to be paid differential or overtime or anything beyond a standard “Regular” or “PTO” pay code. This is where duration pay codes become valuable.

You can create duration pay codes to be put on timecards/schedules for almost all need-to-pay-but-don’t-have punches scenarios for non-exempt employees.


Let’s take offsite training.

  • Assumption #1: You have a special pay code for keeping track of training. We’ll call it “Education”.
  • Assumption #2: Sometimes non-exempt employees take training offsite where they cannot punch.

Now let’s take a scenario where a non-employee worked a 12 hour shift on Sunday and then had four days of 8 hours offsite training from Tuesday through Friday.

Traditionally, the employee would punch on Sunday and then the timekeeper would key in “Education” for 8 hours on each of the other four days. Then…to get the employee paid for their 4 hours of OT, maybe Payroll would have to put it in manually or some other process existed to deal with that. (And let’s just hope that the employee wasn’t a weekend only employee who also got weekend differential on any time worked during the week as well!)

With duration pay codes, we could create a new pay code called “Education Off Site” that the timekeeper could apply instead which would then be treated like a pair of punches and automatically create any OT or differential or anything else that the system would normally automatically calculate for that employee. No manual process needed!

This same logic can be used for PTO pay codes (I know some of you out there pay differential on PTO!) or even just for Regular pay codes. It takes the manual calculation of dealing with non-punch paid time and gives the calculation back to the system, just like normal punches.

So what about you? Do you use duration pay codes in your environment? Are looking forward to upgrading to v6.1 because you know of specific scenarios that you want to solve with them? Share them with all of us in the comments below or email me directly to keep it anonymous.

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