Anonymous asked in Business & FinanceOther - Business & Finance · 2 months ago

Can someone in HR help me with this? Need to make a decision but I don’t have much knowledge of the field?

TLDR: Are there any underlying costs for Unpaid workers that are not related to wages?

Background: So I’m a Data Analyst currently analyzing labor costs for a company. There’s a field in the dataset called “Work Type” which shows what category people labeled their working hours as (such as Productive, Non-Productive, Vacation, Holiday, Misc, and Unpaid). However, they’re two fields - “Gross Pay” and “Work rate per hour”. When analyzing the Gross Pay field, I’ve realized there’s an accrued cost for Unpaid workers - matter of fact, it takes up 30% of all the Gross Pay! Could there be a reason for this? This dataset does not take benefits into consideration (like health/dental/etc). Ps - the total “work rate per hour” for Unpaid employees is equal to 0, which makes more sense. 

I’ve tried asking my coworker about it (she uses the same field when analyzing data for another company), but she doesn’t have any answers - she’s just as confused as me. I asked if there’s someone I can contact to talk about the dataset, and nobody knows who I can go to. I tried Googling stuff but can’t find anything. 


Ahh I see, both answers are great. That is what I figured - that they’re underlying costs. It just bothers me that 30% of gross pay is allocated to Unpaid workers in this analysis. Sadly I don’t have a list of the unpaid workers nor their job titles. 

2 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    Unpaid workers could be volunteers or interns.

    If this is a real scenario and not a homework assignment, I don't think any company that knows about employment laws would classify unpaid workers as volunteers.  The term "workers" sounds like they are doing work duties that would require them to be paid.  Volunteers don't need to be paid because their work duties don't include activities that need to be paid.

    -- It's illegal (in the USA) to have someone volunteer for productivity work in a company.  You work you get paid.

    Additionally, if this is a real world task (not homework), the "unpaid worker" and the worker who applies their time to "unpaid time" are not the same people.

    Unpaid time is used to track time when the employee is supposed to be working but missed work and is not getting paid.  This would include if they were late an hour or they took a day off work and did not receive vacation / sick pay, etc

    - Companies track unpaid time to see how much absenteeism costs the company in productivity.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    "Are there any underlying costs for Unpaid workers"

    An unpaid worker is a volunteer.  Even if their wages are zero, there may be costs associated.   For example, I run a healthcare business and when I have student volunteers I report their hours worked to the state so that they have worker's comp coverage even though their wages for those hours are zero.  

    30% of total gross payroll sounds like something very fishy going on there.   Are you sure these aren't independent contractors?   Their expense is a labor expense, but it's not part of company payroll. 

    Surely you have a list of these unpaid workers and can find out who they are and what they actually do for the company?

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