How to Set Up Prevailing Wage With Benefits

First, make sure you have the basic template created, see that article here

Next, it's important to understand that there are many different scenarios of how fringe benefits are handled, so it's also vital to understand the business policies of the company you're setting up. The reason this is important is because these fringe benefits can be set up on different levels, from the Craft Master to the Craft Class Templates level, depending on if the payroll is Union, public works, or just internal use.

Capped Codes and Capped Basis

To set up any kind of fringe benefits for your crafts and classes, you must establish first, what the fringe will actually be (pension, apprenticeship program, PTO, etc.) and second, what earnings and liabilities make up the basis when Vista calculates how much the employee will actually receive. Let's look at an example:

In this example, we wish to pay a total fringe rate of $8.50 per hour, and in that fringe we'll have pension, medical insurance, and an apprenticeship program. We wish to take medical insurance out of the $8.50 rate first, if the employee has the insurance, then the apprenticeship program comes out next, this at a set rate of $0.50 per hour. Whatever is left, I want Vista to put towards Pension. So, THIS IS THE KEY: Pension COULD be $8.00 if the employee doesn't have medical insurance, or it could be something like $6.87 if they do, it depends on the employee. The capped code is whatever codes will be limited (capped) at the max ($8.50) but could have less, there's variation. 

The basis is what'll make up the earnings and liabilities that we intend to CAP with the pension code set up above. So, obviously we want regular, overtime, and double time earnings here because, well, if those aren't there, there just won't be anything to cap will there? Next, here is where we tell Vista what other fringe benefits are to be included in the CAP, which is medical and the apprentice program. We also need Pension here because if it wasn't here, there would be no capping at all! Remember when I said we want pension to come LAST, after medical and the CITT program? 

If I wanted Medical to come FIRST, then apprenticeship program SECOND, then pension THIRD, all I have to do is add the liability CITT (208) to the Capped Codes (sequence 1), and pension (204) as sequence 2! THE SEQUENCING HERE MATTERS. But in our example above medical and apprenticeship don't have to be in order, they just come before pension, so pension is our only capped code.

Once we've added the appropriate codes for capping and for the basis, make sure the rates are appropriate in the Dedns/Liabs tab. For code 204, we have 20.00 entered even though we had said 8.50 is the maximum fringe rate. That is further limited in our Craft Class Template as you can see further below in this article. Notice how medical is NOT listed here though? That's because medical insurance varies per employee, and is linked to each via PR Employee Dedns/Liabs where their rate there is set. Vista knows to deduct that rate because we have that liability set as one of the basis codes above! 

Setting the Total Fringe Rate

If the user wishes to set up the liability rates (pension, apprenticeship, PTO, etc.) in PR Craft Templates, this will be done under the Dedns/Liabs tab. If the rate is set there, it will override the rate (if there is one) set up in PR Craft Master. When using capped codes and capped basis, you have to tell Vista somewhere what the TOTAL basic hourly rate (what's paid out to the employee) and the TOTAL fringe benefit rates are. There are two places to do this: first, in PR Craft Classes and second, in PR Craft Class Templates. If the basic hourly and fringe rates are the same across multiple templates, it is more efficient to set the rates up in PR Craft Classes. However, if any job (template) comes in that has different rates, then in PR Craft Class Templates they can be overridden by checking the Override Class Prevailing Wage checkbox under the Info tab. This will only override the rates for the craft, class, and template combination chosen and no other.

Once the total fringe rate has been entered, Vista can take that rate and apply the capped basis restrictions as necessary, and put the remaining fringe benefit amounts to what's set as capped codes. Example: notice in the screenshot above the New Rate is set at 20.00000 per hour, but it was stated that the TOTAL fringe benefit rate was only 8.50 per hour. By setting 8.50 in the New Fringe Benefit Rate field in either PR Craft Classes or PR Craft Class Templates, Vista will limit the fringe to 8.50. If, however, the New Rate (see above) was set to something LESS than 8.50, then Vista would apply THAT amount and NO MORE to the Pension liability.

Finally, in both PR programs noted above, there is the old rate and the new rate that can be set up. This is for rates that get updated (changed) during the year that apply to new jobs but not jobs bid BEFORE the rates updated. To set this up, start by putting in the Effective Date in the PR Craft Master program, this date is what decides when the old rates are used and when the new rates are used.  

Union Fringe Benefits

Because Union goes by classification of trade no matter the employee, these benefits are usually created at the higher Craft level rather than the specific template level. In the Payroll module this can consist of either the PR Craft Master or the PR Craft Templates programs.

This is the Deductions/Liabilities for this specific Craft, Laborer. This means that anybody using the craft Laborer in payroll, regardless of the Class, will receive these deductions or liabilities UNLESS overridden in the PR Employee Dedns/Liabs program. Here the Type and Method is determined by the DL Code, but the Factor, Old Rate, and New Rate can be changed. H is a rate per hour, and G is rate of gross. If a different vendor is used for this specific Craft you can override the vendor here. If the deduction is to be pre-tax, the deduction must be set up as such in PR Deductions/Liabilities to enable the checkbox here.

Public Works Benefits (Prevailing Wage)

Depending on the jobs taken, you may wish to set up different wage classifications specific to the job rather than the craft or class. If so, you will want PR Craft Class Templates to handle this. As the program states, you must have the Craft, Class, and Template all created first, then you merge all 3 in PR Craft Class Templates. 

Notice here: once you check the Override Class Prevailing Wage checkbox, the Prevailing Wage area lights up and allows data to be entered. Here you enter the Basic Hourly Rate, which is what will also be entered in on the Pay Rates tab. This is the hourly rate the employee will be paid and what will show up on the certified payroll reports. Then enter the Fringe Benefit Rate, this will be the maximum fringe rate allowed for this template (see Capped Codes and Basis section above). Because 8.50 is the rate here, we've overridden the 20.00 entered in PR Craft Master. IF I AM NOT USING PR CRAFT CLASS TEMPLATES, YOU WOULD WANT TO ENTER THE ACTUAL RATE IN PR CRAFT MASTER!!