Examining a Daily-Rate-Pay for Hygienists

In their July Dental Economics article “‘Daily rate’ pay for hygienists” What could be wrong with that?” Rebecca Boartfield and Tim Twigg explore the concept of paying hygienists a flat rate for a day’s work.

“It’s a myth in the dental industry that a daily rate covers it all, reduced problems and even makes payroll easier” Boartfield and Twigg write. 

As non-exempt employés—which most of them are—hygienists must be paid for all hours they work. This is true, Boartfield and Twigg write, regardless of whether they’re paid, hourly, salary or a daily rate. 

“This is where dentists run into trouble with daily rate pay,” the pair writes. “It is common to believe that ‘a day’s worth of work’ can be any number of hours and all those hours will be covered by the daily rate.”

But Boartfield and Twigg say this isn’t true.

It’s important that the daily rate is defined, and if the employee works more than what is agreed upon, they must be paid more. 

“For example, you may have a daily rate of $400 for eight hours of work,” they write. “If the hygienist works nine hours, his or her daily rate must be increased due to that one extra hour of work that is not covered by the daily rate.”

Defining the daily rate should always be done in writing. If there is no overtime law in the state in which you practice, the rate can cover more than eight hours a day, however it must be closely tied to the hours the hygienist will actually work. For example, you can’t say it covers 10 hours if the employee usually works eight.

The pair go onto write that another misconception is that daily rate pay means eliminating the burden of tracking employee hours.

“Under both federal and state laws, employers must record the hours worked by nonexempt employees,” they write. “The method of compensation does not eliminate this requirement. Therefore, even with daily rate pay, hygienists must track their hours.”

Nonexempt employees are eligible for overtime, and overtime must be paid when an employee works more than 40 hours in a week under state law or more than than a certain numbers of hours a day under federal law per some state laws. 

Because of this, the pair writes, pay must be increased when overtime is worked, and overtime pay is time and one-half. So, if an employee makes $400 in a day, they would make $450 on a day in which overtime is worked.

While you are required to increase pay when employees work more, you are not required to pay a full daily rate when employees work less,” they write. “Thus, if an employee’s daily rate is defined as eight hours of work and the per- son works only four hours, the daily rate can be reduced to reflect the shortage of hours. If you plan on doing this, be sure this is clearly outlined in writing to prevent any misunderstandings.”

Because of the above information, Boartfield and Twigg ultimately question whether or not a daily rate pay should be used, as it seems to fail to accomplished what it’s intended to do. And Boartfield and Twigg even go as far as to say this kind of payment makes things more complicated.

“For nonexempt employees, nothing is more straightforward than hourly pay,” they write. “Daily rate has been misconstrued to be something that it is not, and all dentists would be well advised to revisit their pay practices going forward.”



7 Great Employee Retention Strategies

With unemployment at very low levels, employees — especially the most skilled ones — are far more likely than just a few years ago to leave their jobs in search of better ones. About 3 million American workers change jobs every month, which is bad news for organizations, given that the costs of hiring and training a new employee can be double that employee’s salary. The most important first step is to make sure that your salary and benefits are competitive within your industry and region, but that in itself cannot be the only measure you take. You also need to be more careful about initial hiring. Just as importantly, you must find and mitigate employee “pain points” effectively.


Should Your Employees Use a Sick Day or an Unsick Day?

When companies offer “unsick” days it is a way to keep employees more productive in the end. Unsick days allow employees the chance to operate at capacity when they are at work. Sick days are an essential way to keep sick employees at home and not spreading their illness around the office. Unsick days may prevent illness and lost time in the first place. Unsick days allows and employee to care of their children earlier so they do not lose days at home doing so when they are even sicker. It also means using some time for mental health. Ultimately, whatever a company decides including unsick days is preventative care.


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Overqualified individuals are often the perfect temporary employees or gig workers. If you are considering the gig life, the best opportunities are usually obtained through temporary employment agencies. These short-term opportunities often turn into full-time job offers. Because of the temporary nature of gig work, there is risk. If you don’t transition into another role immediately after your current one, make sure you have a financial cushion to sustain you in the meantime. Temporary positions allow you to build your skills and to network with professionals in a variety of industries.

Read more: https://fistfuloftalent.com/2019/02/can-gig-life-safe-haven-overqualified.html

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Publicly recognize your top performers as it gives them a sense of team spirit and control over their work place environment. Also strive to create family-like atmospheres but being respectful, no gossiping, and spending time outside of the office. All of this will pay off in big ways for your company.

Read more: https://hr-gazette.com/what-really-makes-employees-happy/