Punch Clock deviation rules can help you automate some of your administrative tasks for shifts that differ from their scheduled punch times. Once you have configured the rules, Planday keeps track of your employees' hours and the changes between their actual working hours and their scheduled hours. The deviations will show as suggestions along the rest of the shift in the Punch Clock approval to be approved by an admin or schedule manager.

With deviation rules, you can configure Planday to automatically:

  • differentiate the hours worked before or after the scheduled hours.

  • track and calculate the average of the deviations in working hours, for each employee, over time.

  • calculate the effect on salary at the end of a salary period, for each employee.

⚠️ Note that the use of Rounding rules in your Punch Clock may conflict with the application of deviation rules. You may need to turn them off or configure Rounding rules to start only with carefully calculated durations.


Create a deviation rule

To begin with, create a deviation rule by going to Settings > Punch Clock > Advanced > Deviations from scheduled time > Create

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Configure a deviation type

After pressing Create, you can choose which scenarios you want to track and what you want to happen when the selected scenario occurs. You can make changes at a later time if the initial setup does not suit your scheduling needs.

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Name - This will be used as the name displayed in the deviation rules list. Choose something descriptive, that can remind you what the rule is used for at a quick glance. As an example, you could name a rule that tracks when an employee leaves
after the end of a shift, as "After-shift overtime"

Deviation type - The different deviation types describe different scenarios where you can define what should happen when the scenario occurs. Below you can read more about what the different types are used for.

  • Arrives early is used when you want to determine what should happen with the time between punching in before and the scheduled start time. For example, if the shift is from 10 AM to 6 PM and punching in happens at 9:30 AM, rules of this type will affect the time from 9:30 AM to 10 AM.

  • Arrives late is used when you want to determine what should happen with the time between the scheduled start time and punching in later than the planned time. For example, if the shift is from 10 AM to 6 PM and punching in happens at 10:30 AM, rules of this type will affect the time from 10 AM to 10:30 AM.

  • Leaves early is used when you want to determine what should happen with the time between punching out and the scheduled end time. For example, if the shift is from 10 AM to 6 PM and punching out happens at 5:30 PM, rules of this type will affect the time from 5:30 PM to 6 PM.

  • Leaves late is used when you want to determine what should happen with the time between the scheduled end time and punching out. For example, if the shift is from 10 AM to 6 PM and punching out happens at 6:30 PM, rules of this type will affect the time from 6 PM to 6:30 PM.

  • Shift length not reached is used when you want to determine what should happen when an employee hasn’t been at work long enough on a given day. For this type, the timesheet must have a start and end time to calculate the shift length. If the punch time length is less than the actual shift length, this type matches.
    This type is not affected by the placement of the shift and the Punch Clock entry. For example, if the shift is from 10 AM to 6 PM and the Punch Clock entry is from 8 AM to 4 PM, the employee has been working for the correct 8 hours and rules of this type will not generate any deviations. On the other hand, if the Punch Clock entry is from 8 AM to 3:30 PM, 30 minutes of work is missing and rules of this type will generate a deviation from 3:30 PM to 4 PM.

  • Shift length exceeded is used when you want to determine what should happen when an employee has been at work for too long on a given day. For this type, the shift must have a start and end time to calculate the shift length. If the punch time length is greater than the actual shift length, this type matches.
    This type is not affected by the placement of the shift and the punch time. For example, if the shift is from 10 AM to 6 PM and the Punch Clock entry is from 8 AM to 4 PM, the employee has been working for the correct 8 hours and rules of this type will not generate any deviations. On the other hand, if the Punch Clock entry is from 8 AM to 4:30 PM, the employee has been working 30 minutes extra and rules of this type will generate a deviation from 4 PM to 4:30 PM.


💡 Note that rules concerning shift length always have the highest priority in comparison to other types. When a rule related to the shift length has been matched with a shift, all other rules will be ignored for this shift.

Final shift type - Defines the Shift type that will be applied to the new shift made by the deviation. For example, if an employee stamps out too late, it can generate overtime according to a deviation rule. See the example below for this use case.

Minimum length - Defines the minimum number of minutes the deviation must be before this rule processes it. 0 means that the rule affects all deviations.

Start of shift - Defines from where in a deviation this rule should start, as time in minutes. 0 means that the rule should apply to the whole deviation.

Length - Defines how long a deviation of this rule should be treated, as time in minutes. 60 would mean 1hr.

Depending on your requirements, you can choose to limit your Deviation Rules to only apply under certain conditions. You can set them using the following settings. By default, the rule applies to All shifts and employees.

Shift types - Apply the rule only to specific Shift types.

Departments - Apply the deviation rule only to certain Departments.

Employee groups - Limit the deviation to only certain groups of employees by selecting an Employee group.

Employee types - Apply the rule only to some Employee types.

Remember to press Save and continue the same process for all desired Deviation rules that you create.


🧩 Example of a Shift length exceeded deviation rule

To show how deviation rules work in practice, here is an example with the type Shift length exceeded.

First, the rule is created by going to Settings > Punch clock > Advanced > Deviations from scheduled time > Create.

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This deviation type is used when you want to specify what should happen when an employee has been at work for too long. You want to count his hours towards an overtime account by applying a Shift type , a final shift type is chosen here that provides overtime, ie. “+”, On the Time Off Account.

⚠️ In this example, the Shift type Flex + (100%) is applied and it is set to generate overtime as defined under Settings > Absence > General.

The Minimum length is set to 15. This is the minimum number of minutes the shift must be exceeded before the rule takes effect.

The length is set to 120 minutes which indicates that the rule is valid for up to 2 hours.


Example shift with deviation rule applied in Punch Clock & Schedule

In the following example, the employee has a shift from 16:00-21:00. He stamps in 30 minutes before the start of the shift and stamps out 35 minutes after the end time of the shift. This gives a total of 1 hour and 5 minutes affected by the above deviation rule.

Under Schedule > Punch clock, you can see how the shift is divided up if the deviation rule is used. The first 5 hours have the shift type Normal and the remaining time of 1.05 hours has automatically been given the shift type Overtime (Flex +). According to the setup, this type of shift will generate additional time for the time off account if an administrator approves the deviation.

In the Punch Clock overview, the shift before approval will look like this where 5 hours are considered as normal scheduled shift and the extra 1.05hrs are split and counted as overtime.

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On the Punch Clock approval page, you can choose whether you want to use the deviation rule or not by selecting between Yes or No, before approving the hours for pay.

When the shift is approved, you can see the division in the shift schedule as shown below:

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Still have questions? Reach out to our support team via chat if you need help regarding this feature.

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