Over 40% of construction firms feel they are paying for more hours than those worked

New research by biometric time and attendance specialists, Donseed reveals that 43% of construction firms who responded, think they are paying workers for more hours than have actually been delivered on site.

Reasons for overpayment typically include inaccurate timesheet entries, workers signing in or out for each other and administration oversights.

The survey also showed that 73% of construction firms still use manual paper timesheets.

Ollie McGovern, MD at Donseed says: “The fact that so many firms are still using manual timesheets is the reason why so many overpayments are being made.

“When using manual timesheets it’s virtually impossible to oversee the whole signing in/out process to gather accurate data. Firms generally get a feel for the number of hours they are paying for each month versus the hours actually worked but it’s often impossible to prove anything without the hard evidence.”

Donseed biometric tablets automate the entire timekeeping process. Workers register their details and simply sign in and out using their fingerprint and photo, meaning it’s impossible to sign in or out on behalf of somebody else and anybody signing in late or leaving early can be quickly identified. Information on health and safety, PPE and carbon use can also be recorded using the biometric terminals.

The savings can be significant. Groundworks giant GCL is saving 10 – 15% on their labour costs which equates to about three million pounds in a year.

Ollie continues: “There is a definitely a long tradition of using manual timesheets in the construction industry which is a barrier for some firms. The truth is however, most workers actually welcome the use of a biometric system as they know everybody will get paid accurately and fairly.

“The number of industries and individuals using biometrics on a day to day basis will continue to grow at a fast pace and eliminating unnecessary waste in labour costs is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the savings and efficiencies achievable for the construction sector.”