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Timekeeping SPP FAQs for Supervisors/Managers

What is the appropriate use of a Special Payments Payroll employee? 

Special Payments Payroll is for services that are infrequent, needed for a limited amount of time, are unusual, or need to be implemented when there is no reasonable alternative, and for which there exists an employer-employee relationship.  If employment is for a % greater than 50% and expected to be for longer than 1 year, a permanent position should be requested/established. 

What is the definition of an “employer-employee relationship”? 

a)      The State has the right to control and direct the performance of services not only as to results, but also as to details and means; 
b)     The State has the right to discharge the employee; and 
c) The State furnishes necessary tools and a place to work. 

Do I need a Freeze Exemption Approval to hire a SPP or EM employee? 

The Statewide-hiring freeze is in effect until further notice.  Please attach verification to New Hire contracts indicating that Freeze Exemption approval has been received. 

How do I know if I should hire a SPP employee or an EM employee? 

If the need for services is for 6 months or less, EM payroll should be used.  If the need is for more than 6 months, a SPP contract is appropriate.  Of course, if you have a vacant PIN for the function, the PIN should be filled instead. 

What is the appropriate classification/grade level for the SPP position? 

Prior to recruiting for contractual positions that have NOT previously been filled by either a Merit or Special Payments Payroll employee, a Position Classification Worksheet and/or MS-22 must be completed and submitted to the Contracts Unit for review in order to determine the appropriate classification and grade level to be assigned to the position.  The rate of pay for the SPP employee is comparable to the rate paid to employees in positions that involve comparable duties, responsibilities, experience, and authority.  There is no guarantee that the classification used for an EM appointment can be used for appointment to the Special Payments Payroll.   

How do I recruit for a Special Payments Payroll vacancy?   

It is always recommended that an ad be placed in a newspaper or posted on the DHMH Internet.  It is important to conduct a reasonable, not minimal, recruitment/advertising effort.  If justification for an above base salary is anticipated, it is especially important in order to justify the requested salary.  The advantage of placing an ad in the newspaper is that it allows for wider public solicitation and increased responses.  A reasonable recruitment effort may be satisfied by any means that results in at least three (3) interviews.    The salary range advertised should be from Base to no more than Step 9 (mid-range).   A copy of the ad(s), postings, etc. must accompany the contract.  Please refer to the DHMH Recruitment & Selection Guidelines for additional information.  These Guidelines are available on the DHMH Forms web-site. 

What paperwork do I present to the individuals being interviewed? 

A Salary Request Form letter, Authority for Release of Information Form, Criminal Conviction Report Form and Job Description.  These forms are also available on the DHMH Forms web-site.  

Is Health Insurance available to SPP employees? 

Yes, but the SPP employee must pay both the State and Employee subsidy.  The employee has 60 days from their first contract date to apply, or must wait until Open Enrollment to apply.  If an employee does not have a current contract, the Employee Benefits Unit will discontinue coverage. 

Who is the Contract Monitor?  

The Contract Monitor is the person in the Administration who has been assigned responsibility for monitoring the dollars expended and ending dates of Special Payments Payroll contracts.  In most cases, the Fiscal Officer or the Hiring Manager is the Contract Monitor; if no one particular person from the Unit has been assigned this responsibility.  Under no circumstances is an employee to be permitted to work beyond the approved contract maximum (dollar amount) or end date of his/her contract.  It is legally required that contract documents be up-to-date, approved and on file for each contract employee. 

Is there any guarantee that an above base rate will be approved? 

There is no guarantee that an above base requested rate will be approved, however, if reasonable recruitment is conducted, and it has been documented that there were no other qualified acceptable applicants who have comparable skills & abilities and who are willing to accept the position at a lesser rate of pay, there is a good chance that the request will be honored.  If there were other applicants who possess comparable skills & abilities, and are willing to accept the position at a lesser rate of pay, you will need to state why that individual(s) was not hired instead.  While we are not compelled to offer a position to the low bidder applicant who may not be the best suited applicant in terms of job related skills, knowledge, abilities/expertise, we are required to justify why any particular above base salary offer is “reasonable” and should be approved, even if only one applicant is available for the position.  While it may be necessary to offer a higher salary than the applicant is currently receiving, it is generally reasonable to offer no more than a 12% increase over the present or most recent salary.  Proof of current or previous salary from last job held (if unemployed) must be obtained.  We should meet or approximate, but not exceed an active valid salary offer that an applicant has received from elsewhere.  Proof of this salary offer must be obtained.