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Tracking Employee Hours Using the Look-Back Method

The look-back method is an approach for tracking employee hours and based on the average hours they work over a set period of time, called the measurement period. A measurement period can be anywhere between 3 to 12 months long.

Once an employee meets the full-time average (130 hours per month) over the duration of the measurement period, they will be “full-time” qualified and therefore eligible for coverage throughout the subsequent stability period -- even if their hours are reduced during the stability period.

The look-back method should be used to track and measure hours for all employees, including part-time and full-time, seasonal and temporary, salaried and hourly, variable and non-variable.

Look-Back vs. Monthly Measurement

An alternative approach to the look-back measurement method is the monthly measurement method, which determines eligibility and offers coverage on a month-to-month basis. However, this method requires that you predict how many hours your employees will work in a given month, and offer coverage at the beginning of the month based solely on your prediction. The monthly measurement method also requires constant administrative oversight, involving adding and dropping employees from coverage on a monthly basis.

Zenefits Employee Hour Tracking

The Zenefits ACA Compliance app uses the look-back measurement method to track employee hours and offer coverage. Based on the hours of service over the measurement period, admins will have the ability to offer coverage for the entirety of the stability period, directly from Zenefits.

The sole exception is for new full-time hires. Upon their hire, these employees will automatically be offered coverage upon the expiration of their waiting period, regardless of their performance during the measurement period.

The Zenefits ACA Compliance app only supports the use of a 12 month measurement period.

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