Kronos Work Rules and Pay Rules Setup | Surety Systems close-icon left arrow right arrow

Kronos Work and Pay Rules: The Secret to Happiness?

It’s no secret that most employees work to earn a living. So while benefits like engagement and culture are important, a large part of keeping employees happy is getting paid. (On time and what they’re owed helps, too.) On the flip side, you, as a business, want to keep labor costs at bay and stay compliant with laws and policies. While that may seem like an easy feat from the outside, payroll managers know it’s anything but. That’s where Kronos Work Rules and Kronos Pay Rules come into play.

In a nutshell, Kronos Pay Rules are broad criteria determining how to pay employees: hourly or salary, hours worked, pay period length, etc. Drilling deeper, Kronos Work Rules are more specific and apply pay rules when certain shift conditions are met. Think about it like If This Then That (IFTTT). If an employee works at least 6 hours [this], then they must take a 30-minute meal break [that].

Kronos Pay Rules and Work Rules are essential for payroll accuracy, compliance, and preventing burnout. But their effectiveness is wholly dependent on their configurations. This can be especially difficult for organizations with shift work or who operate in multiple locations. Besides keeping up with federal regulations, state and local policies must also be followed. What was that about “easy,” again?

That’s where Surety Systems comes in. From setting up Kronos Work Rules or Pay Rules for the first time, to compliance audits, to restructuring payroll after an acquisition or merger. Not only will our senior-level Kronos consultants help you take a proactive approach to payroll, but they’ll also equip you with the knowledge to do it on your own.

Hospital Struggles With Work Rules (and More) in Kronos Workforce Dimensions

Our client (a hospital) knew that Kronos Workforce Dimensions could do a lot for their organization—especially because they were relying on a handwritten system to keep things running smoothly—but found that setting up the platform to best serve their needs was a struggle. Enter Surety Systems.

Read More

Kronos Pay Rules

In Kronos, pay rules refer to organizational policies regarding employee timecards and payments. Simply put, pay rules are fixed regulations that dictate how employees get paid. All employees are assigned one pay rule that ensures all static company policies are applied to their profile. Understanding how pay rules work is the fundamental building block in learning how to manage more flexible systems, like work rules.


Pay rules determine how your Kronos system interprets items like payment schedules and time punches. With pay rules, you can perform tasks like populating employee timecards from their scheduled arrival and departure times rather than their actual punches. An easy way to distinguish between Kronos pay rules and work rules is to remember that pay rules relate to fixed rules concerning how employees get paid, while work rules are flexible policies that can override pay rules if the need arises.


Here are some examples of what you can manage with pay rules:

  • Payment schedules
  • Holiday policies
  • Government regulations
  • Sign-off restrictions

Kronos Work Rules

Work rules refer to a combination of different items that can impact timecards. Work rules relate to more volatile factors like overtime, breaks, and shift differentials. Every employee is assigned one fixed pay rule; however, work rules do not get assigned to employees because they are only temporary rules.


Pay rules are static policies that will likely never change unless your company operates out of different locations. Work rules can be applied to an employee’s timecard to override an existing pay rule calculation. For example, you can fix errors and adjust an employee’s timecard if they work overtime or forget to clock in. To perform an override, you must use a work rule transfer to make the modifications.

Why Are Kronos Pay and Work Rules Important?

Kronos pay and work rules are essential for organizations because they offer a standing policy in an ever-changing workforce. While a company’s staff may undergo different changes over time, pay and work rules ensure that everyone starts on equal footing and understands the business’ policies. Kronos pay rules guarantee an existing policy for new and senior employees, while work rules offer flexibility when the need arises. Learn more about the different scenarios where pay and work rules are helpful below.


PTO Flexibility

Companies that have flexible or unlimited PTO policies require work rules because they allow for that level of flexibility. Kronos work rules are also helpful when businesses need to make exceptions for emergencies and other events.

Merger Trends

Companies that acquire other businesses or merge their teams need help blending their organizational structures. Pay and work rules play a crucial role in making sure everyone starts on the same page so they can merge their companies without a hitch.

Restructuring Teams

Businesses that hire large “classes” of people at the same time will find it easier to acclimate everyone using work and pay rules. With Kronos pay rules, HR can apply an array of payroll settings to many new hires at the same time.

Large-scale Repercussions

In the business world, things can change without notice. Kronos pay and work rules can help companies adapt quickly and stay on the right track.

Already know exactly what
you need?

Fill out the form below and let’s get started!

Not sure how to get started with your project?

We’ve got you covered.