Managing Staff Shifts and Rosters

This article covers the following functionality in relation to managing Staff shifts. The Staff section of the Activity record is where Staff Members are added and their 'shift' or working from-to time may be customised:

The Staff Members added to an Activity creates their Roster and their Time Sheet. If the Staff Roster and/or Time Sheet functionality in SupportAbility is not being used, Staff may be added to an Activity to reflect which Staff Members were working with which Clients at a given point in time. 

Availability issues, Clashes, as well as other Status icons, may be viewed for the Staff Member, and an optional Sign Off facility is available for Staff to complete their Timesheet. Once the Activity Sign Off has been performed this automatically completes any Staff Timesheets which have not been Signed Off, and therefore, a Timesheet Batch can be generated for Award Interpretation (where required) and Payroll. 

IMPORTANT - Non-NDIS Chargeable Hrs

N.B. The 'Non-NDIS Chargeable Hrs' area of the Staff section in an Activity can be disregarded, as the hours displayed here are not related to the Staff members shift in any way.

These settings are related to the original functionality to manage Non-NDIS Funding which is  not recommended to be used due to its limitations. 

Audience: Operations Management, Support Staff, Team Leaders


The following list summarises the content within this article. Click on the links below to take you to the relevant sections:

Customise Time

By default the Staff Members shift time is the same as the Activity time. For example, if Abel is rostered into a Personal Care Activity which goes from 8:00 am - 10:00 am, his shift will automatically align with the time of the Activity. 

However, if Abel commenced work earlier than this, for example, his 'Working From-To Time' may be customised by selecting the ' Customise Time' button: 

Selecting this allows the shift to be customised. If Abel's shift starts at 7:30 am and goes until 10:30 am for example, this can be updated here:

Whilst the Activity goes from 8:00 am - 10:00 am, Abel's Roster for this Activity displays the customised shift time:

Please review the  Activity Icons article linked below for more information regarding any icons displayed in the Roster or within the Status column of the Staff section of the Activity. 

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SupportAbility has the functionality to set Staff shifts as TO BE FILLED in cases where the Roster needs to be set up but not filled or 'published' yet: 

Many Providers choose to use this functionality to set up their Activities, Client schedules and Staff shifts for a set period of time, for example by term, or the period in which a program is being facilitated. Then only 'fill' these shifts when they would like Staff to have these available in their Roster. 

The Activity Report, or Activity Staff Report is a great report for those tasked with rostering to locate any Staff shifts set as TO BE FILLED. For example, if we need to roster Staff into Activities for Day Services and In Home Support Services, managed from the HQ Site for the month of November, we could use the following criteria: 

This will provide a list of all Activities which include Staff shifts set to TO BE FILLED. To 'fill' these shifts, simply navigate to the Activity and select the 'Change' anchor button: 

This will open up a list of Service Staff and Non-Service Staff to select from, highlighting and Availability issues or Clashes to be aware of: 

Regardless of any Availability issues or Clashes, Staff may be added to the shift by selecting the 'Add' anchor icon: 

The Staff member will now be rostered into this Activity: 

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Staff Roster

Once Staff have been added to Activities, they can start to see which Activities they have been scheduled into by viewing their Roster. 

To access the Roster, select this button from the Dashboard: 

This will open up the Staff members Roster which by default, displays all Activities they are rostered into within the current fortnight in the 'List' view: 

This may be switched to 'Month' view if preferred: 

Roster information

Staff have the ability to filter their Roster by any of the Site/Services they work in as listed in their Staff Account:

The Clients who are scheduled into each of the Activities appearing in the Roster will be displayed, however, the names of any other Staff who may also be added into the Activity will not be listed due to privacy reasons. This is because the Roster may be printed, emailed and subscribed to. 

Staff can select the name of the Activity to navigate to the Activity record for more details:

Activity status icons are displayed to assist in providing important information regarding the Activity at a glance. Simply hover over the icon to see its description:

More information on Activity Status Icons is available in the  Activity Icons article linked below.

Staff Roster Selector

How your organisation has set up the privileges required to manage Activities will determine what can be selected in the 'Showing Roster For' section of the 'Staff Roster Selector'.  Information on these privileges can be found in the  Privileges required to manage Activities article linked below.

Staff without any high-level privilege access will only be able to view their own Roster:

Staff with the 'Team Leader' privilege, however, are able to view in addition to their own Roster, the Roster for a Site, a specific Service, or individual Staff Member who works in the Site/Services they have this privilege for, by selecting the relevant option from the 'Showing Roster For: drop-down list:

N.B. Viewing the Roster for a whole Site or Service may result in performance issues due to the number of Activities being loaded. It is therefore recommended to use the 'Activity Staff Report', accessed via the Dashboard::Reports menu, for this purpose. More information on this Report is available in the related article linked below.

Print, Email or Subscribe a Roster

The Roster may be printed, emailed, or subscribed to via webcal for Outlook, iCal or Gmail. 

The information populated when selecting any of these options is based on how the Roster has been filtered above. 

Subscribing to the Roster

Staff may subscribe to their calendar from various places in SupportAbility e.g. 'My Staff Account' and the 'Roster'. This allows an additional calendar to be added to their chosen calendar and provides limited information regarding the Activities they have been rostered into. Information on how to subscribe is outlined in the Subscribing to a Calendar/Roster article, linked below.

Printing the Roster

When printing from the 'List View' there is the option to select additional information to be included in the printed version of the Roster which is not displayed on the screen, such as Activity Location, Replicating Staff Notes and Non-Replicating Staff Notes, as entered in the Activity:

These fields of information will display in the printed version of the Roster as shown below:

Emailing the Roster

Similarly to printing the Roster, there is the option to include additional information when emailing the Roster which is not displayed on the screen, such as Activity Location, Replicating Staff Notes and Non-Replicating Staff Notes:

The Roster will be sent to the nominated Staff Member's email address as listed in their Staff Record.

The Roster will be attached to the email in .pdf format which they can download on their chosen device.

N.B. A copy of the email will not be available in the 'Sent' folder of your email program (such as Microsoft Outlook, Gmail etc) as the email is sent from the SupportAbility Mail Server.

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Private Kilometres

Private kilometres may be entered when Staff have used their own vehicle to assist or attend an Activity and require reimbursement. 

To record private kilometres navigate to the Staff section of the Activity, under the Kilometres column: 

Enter the number of kilometres as required into this field: 

This information is then populated in the detailed and summary Timesheet Batch exports and also some custom exports. 

Please see the  Capturing Staff Kilometres - Private or Company article for more information. 

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The ' Includes Break' setting available for selection in each Staff row for the Activity: 

When selected, only indicates on the Detailed Timesheet Batch export that this shift included a break. Regrettably, SupportAbility does not yet allow Staff the option to input the duration of this break, nor will it adjust the shift time in any manner.

How can unpaid breaks be managed?

The only way to manage breaks in SupportAbility currently is to either reduce the total shift duration or split the shift. 

We do recognise the limitations of this and expanding the 'breaks' functionality is definitely on our radar as a future addition, however, is yet to be scheduled into our upcoming  SupportAbility Roadmap.

If you reduce the total shift duration, it will appear in this manner in the Staff Roster, therefore this is not ideal or recommended. 

To split the shifts, this means they will appear separately in the Roster and will be accurate. 

This is achieved by amending the 'Working From-To Time' by selecting the 'Customise Time' button in the Staff section of the Activity. The Staff member may be added  twice to an Activity, in order to clearly reflect the shifts on each side of the break: 

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Not Paid

The ' Not Paid' setting available for selection in each Staff row for the Activity:

Refers to the  entire shift, not the break and similar to the 'Includes Break' setting only indicates on the Detailed Timesheet Batch export that this shift was not paid. 

This may be useful if a shift has been completed by a volunteer or a Staff member that needed to make up hours unpaid for example. You may choose to tick this box to indicate that payroll does not need to pay this Staff member for this shift. 

Activity Tags

Adding Tags to Activities is optional, and while they apply to the Activity holistically Providers may find them helpful for identifying Activities that contain individual Shifts with specific attributes e.g. Split Shifts, On-Call, Weekend, Overtime, Paid Meal Break, Staff Training etc.

Activity Tags are configured in System Preferences on the Tags tab:

These Tags can then be added to the relevant Activities:

Once the Activity Sign Off has been performed, and the Activity has been included in a Time Sheet Batch, the 'Detailed Time Sheet Batch' export can be downloaded and reviewed, using the information in the 'Activity Tags' column to identify Activities that contain Shifts with specific attributes e.g. 'Split Shifts':

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Staff Time Sheet Sign Off

There is an optional feature available in SupportAbility whereby Staff may complete their timesheet by way of Sign Off

The Sign Off button will appear in green when it is the Staff members own Timesheet, and orange for any other Staff in an Activity. N.B. Only Staff with Team Leader privileges may complete the Timesheet Sign Off for another Staff member. 

Staff may Sign Off their Timesheets from either within the Activity record itself, or from the Activity Schedule - Time Sheets Awaiting Sign Off Dashboard portal (provided this has been configured in the Dashboard settings): 

Once the Sign Off is performed, Staff may momentarily remove the Sign Off in the case of a mistake for example: 

Up until the page is refreshed or another record is accessed. 


When the Staff Time Sheet has had the Sign Off performed, SupportAbility checks the Staff members geolocation to work out where they are performing the Sign Off from. 

Select the map pin icon: 

to display who performed the Sign Off, the Date/Time and the Location: 

Depending on the device the person is using, and the manner in which they are connected to the internet, the accuracy of this geolocation can vary greatly. When a Staff member is using SupportAbility on a tablet that is connected to the internet via 3G, 4G or 5G, the device uses GPS positioning to accurately pinpoint the Staff members location. If the device is connected to Wifi or ethernet, the geolocation is determined by their IP address, and where that IP address has been registered. IP addresses generally are registered at the Suburb level, or City level so you may see results of a specific city e.g. Melbourne. 

Additionally, when Staff Sign Off their Timesheets, the web browser requests if geolocation should be Allowed or Blocked e.g: 

Screen-Shot-2019-05-07-at-5-19-38-pm.pngIf this is not Allowed i.e. Block is selected, or Allow is not selected, then this will result in an Unknown geolocation position. 

Activity Sign Off

It is important to note that when the Activity Sign Off is performed, this will also Sign Off all Staff Time Sheets. Please, therefore, clarify with your manager if you are required to complete the Timesheet Sign Off given it is an optional feature.  

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