Friday, 12 July 2013

Tracking Ethnicity in Workday

Many countries around the world need to track ethnicity data, especially for government reporting:  the US, Canada, the UK, South Africa, etc.  Most HRIS systems give you some options, Workday included.  As it's a SaaS, there's a little less maintenance than in a traditional ERP setting, so thought I'd give you an overview of this today.

Tracking ethnicity at the employee level

Workday allows you to track Ethnicity for an employee under the Personal Information section:

Two nice things about this page:

1. The user doesn't need to know or worry about codes.
2. As the codes are hyperlinked, the user can directly click on them to find out more details about this value. 

Both of these points are an improvement over our current ERP.

Ethnicity setup

Workday delivers the values needed for many countries, and is continuing to increase the list with each release.  I dumped the list for our user, there were around 300 values, maybe 15 or so countries.

For those countries where WD delivers nothing, or where prefer to not use the WD values, you can use the Maintain Ethnicities page to add values or modify current ones.  As well, you can inactivate values so that they are not available:

Again, this is a SaaS advantage, as we'll be able to go into a country with a list in hand, rather than chasing people to try and get the correct government values.

How does the Workday functionality work?

  • Ethnicities can be set up at the country or country region level.
  • If you have countries where Ethnicity should not be tracked for employees, e.g. Germany, then you simply keep the setup list empty for Germany.  Then a user cannot choose anything as there is nothing there to choose.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE:  The Ethnicity values are tied to an employee's *work location*.  So if you have a US employee whose work location is in Mexico or Canada, that person will get the ethnicity options for Mexico or Canada.  If you change someone's location to another country, the current values for that person are blanked out.

I'm not sure I 100% agree with that logic, in particular as I think about cross-border workers in Europe.  For example, I think of our head office situation (Country A), where we have workers in a satellite location (Country B).  Reporting would still roll up via the head office, they are paid via the head office so would be reported to the government in Country A.

However, I understand how it is coded that way.

Overall, the functionality looks nice.  Now if we could just get Workday to deliver more of the statutory government reports (such as these involving ethnicity) in countries outside of North America, I'll be very happy.  :-)

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