Deputy Review: Is It Right for Your Business?
Deputy is a scheduling and time clocking software that has strong rules setting for managing hours, PTO and availability monitoring, auto-scheduling, forecasting, and more. It has a limited free plan for US customers; traditional paid plans start at $2.50 per employee. Deputy also has a cheaper flex plan for businesses that don’t schedule their full staff each week.
What We Like
- Easy setup, good customer support
- Supports multiple locations
- Available in 90+ countries
- Reduced price plan for those with only a few people on schedules
- Free plan has limited features
- Customers report problems with integrations
- Forecasting only in the Enterprise plan
- Separate plans for time tracking and scheduling
- Minimum spend of $10 per month
- Offers Flexi plan ($2 per user) to those who schedule less than half of employees in any given week
- Auto-scheduling option
What We Recommend Deputy For
We’ve reviewed dozens of scheduling and time tracking tools, and Deputy is always on our list of considerations. It made it on our list of best free employee scheduling software because it has a free plan for US customers—plus its plans are reasonably priced with tools that meet the needs of many industries and business sizes. In addition to scheduling and a time clock, it has communication and compliance features that make it great for regulated industries or those businesses that need to keep tabs on more than just shifts like how labor costs are performing against sales.
In short, Deputy is best for:
- Restaurants: We gave Deputy 4.64 out of 5 stars in our best restaurant scheduling buyer’s guide. Its labor cost analysis tools, forecasting features, scheduling rules, and certification tools make it a great software for this industry.
- Retailers: The mobile app, shift swapping, communication tools, and ease of use make it a great scheduling tool for retailers, with their young and changing workforce. We gave it 4.64 out of 5 stars in our best retail scheduling guide.
- Businesses with strong labor regulations: Deputy makes it easy to stay compliant with labor laws and track certifications, so you can be sure you meet your industry’s standards.
- Businesses with hourly, rotating staff: If you only schedule half your employees in a given week, then Deputy offers a significant discount with its Flexi Plan. Its strong time tracking tools for hourly staff helped it earn a spot in our best time tracking software guide.
- International businesses: Deputy works in over 90 countries.
When Deputy Would Not Be a Good Fit
- Businesses needing invoicing tools: If your business primarily requires generating invoices for tracked hours to send to your clients, consider Clockify. Although it doesn’t have scheduling tools, Clockify has project management and invoicing tools that Deputy doesn’t have.
Looking for something different? Read our guides to the top scheduling software for small businesses.
Deputy Top Alternatives At a Glance
Scheduling software with HR capabilities
Low-cost DIY, affordable full-service payroll
Businesses that hire minors
Monthly fees from
Deputy has a 31-day free trial for all features, and plans start at $2.50 per user, per month. There is a minimum spend of $10 per month. Administrators are also charged, even if they are not being scheduled.
Deputy also has a Flexi plan that charges $2 per active employee and 50 cents per inactive employee, per week. It offers all the features of the Premium plan and is a great option if you schedule less than half your employees in a given week.
Deputy has a free plan for US customers, but it may not be available in your area and you may not see it on the website. If you are interested in the limited free version and don’t see it on the pricing page, try opening an incognito window on your browser and searching again.
Starter (Free) Plan
Time and Attendance
Employee scheduling/auto scheduling
Meal and break planning
POS Integration; Tasking
Custom implementation and labor forecasting
Want to know which Deputy plan will fit your budget? Use our online calculator to compute the estimated monthly and annual fees.
To get started, Deputy asks you for information about your business—a step that’s crucial in setting up your account and could take minutes or hours depending on the number of locations and employees you have.
Once set up, you’ll be able to create schedules, communicate with employees, track overtime and punches, keep tabs on certifications, check labor vs sales, and more.
Create schedules from scratch or with a template and drag-and-drop shifts to make changes. Deputy lets you set rules for labor budgets, breaks, the spread of hours, and more. It also checks the availability of your people so you don’t try to schedule someone on their day off or when they have PTO. It also tracks certifications, so that if you need a person with specific qualifications, it can let you know if the person you choose fits.
Even better, auto-scheduling is available in the Scheduling, Premium, and Enterprise plans. Let artificial intelligence (AI) take everything into consideration and build a schedule for you that you can then modify as needed. How easy is that?
Like most scheduling software, Deputy lets you announce open shifts and allows employees to trade shifts as needed.
Deputy makes employee management easier by providing stellar communications features to use. It allows you to send out schedules, notify employees about open shifts or trades, and send alerts and reminders of upcoming shifts. You can even request read confirmations to ensure employees have seen and read messages—a great tool for tracking compliances to safety regulations.
It also has a newsfeed where you can post policies, announcements, and events. Besides that, its video feature is excellent for demonstrating a new procedure, sharing a motivational message, or showing off a new product or development.
Employees can find qualified replacements and offer shift swaps directly. Managers can get alerts when an employee is nearing overtime, when someone clocks in late, or someone misses a shift. Finally, you can create task lists as a one-time or recurring item, including individual or team assignments and due dates, and supervisors can get notified when tasks are completed.
Tracking employee hours is straightforward with Deputy. The time clock works on the web or mobile app, giving you the flexibility to have your employees clock in where needed. It also includes location tools and facial recognition to prevent buddy punching or clocking in from somewhere that isn’t work. On top of that, it includes shift notes and the ability to have employees verify that they took required meal and rest breaks.
The time clock data is collected into time sheets that managers can view, edit, and approve. You can sync the hours to the employee pay rates. It will even calculate premium rates for special shifts and assign the correct pay rate to the position the employee is working at the time, such as waitstaff one shift, and then bartending the next. Then, you can export the time sheets to CSV or integrate them with your payroll system. Deputy integrates with more than a dozen payroll systems, including ADP, Gusto, OnPay, Paychex, Rippling, Square, Xero, and Zenefits.
If you want to see other time tracking options, check our guide to the best time tracking software to find one that’s right for your business.
Deputy’s mobile app lets you tackle the most common scheduling and time tracking functions on a smartphone or tablet, so managers can work from anywhere. From the app, managers can create time sheets, publish shift information and send notifications, alert employees about open shifts, and approve time-off requests. They can also use the communications for announcements (including video recorded posts).
Meanwhile, employees have access to their shift schedules and group communications, can swap shifts, request time off, and clock in and out through the app.
Users rate this app highly, especially on iOS. Users said it was dependable and easy to use. However, some did complain about login problems and not being able to view certain information like available shifts after taking one.
- Android: 4.5 out of 5 stars with 11,200+ reviews
- iOS: 4.8 out of 5 stars with 3,600+ reviews
In addition to the payroll applications, Deputy integrates with POS software like Lightspeed, Clover, Revel, Shopify, and Square. You can tie it to HR software like BambooHR, Proliant, Rippling, and Zenefits. It also integrates with other types of third-party software like Box for document storage, Okta for password management, or QuickBooks for accounting. While it lists about 30 integrations on the website, it says it can sync with over 300 third-party apps. It offers video walkthroughs and setup guides to help you get connected fast.
If you have data you need to connect each shift, you can have employees fill out notes or comments, or set up shift questions. They can be anything, from health screening questions before clocking in, to noting tips, sales, or inventory when clocking out. One advantage to the health screening questions is that if your employee comes down with a virus, it’s easy to trace what co-workers they may have had contact with, letting you be proactive about stopping transmissions.
The scheduling rules can help you prevent shift overlaps or “clopenings,” which are when someone is scheduled to close one night and open the next morning. It can calculate required compensation if someone has to take an extra shift, such as on holidays, and prevent minors from working during school hours. If you have a last-minute change, Deputy can record schedule amendments, calculate the required predictability pay, and capture employee consent to the change, helping you stay compliant with fair workweek laws.
Deputy allows you to keep all your employee data in one place. Use it to run analysis on labor costing, conduct forecasting to optimize workforce to demand, and get a clear view of profits and costs. You can also run reports required for legal compliances. Finally, you can use it to record performance ratings and feedback and apply that information to boosting morale with attaboy announcements or conducting extra training when needed.
Deputy Ease of Use
- Intuitive interface
- Unlimited 24/7 support
- AI-optimized auto-scheduling
- Illustrated how-to articles
- Training videos
- Integration issues
Overall, Deputy is an easy-to-use scheduling software. It has a clean interface with some nice shortcuts like copy-and-paste scheduling, notes for who can and can’t replace someone for a specific shift, reminders and alerts, and more. Deputy also offers setup training each month, plus has on-demand videos. Customer support is 24/7, but you can also find illustrated help articles and some video demonstrations on Deputy’s YouTube channel that walk you through different processes.
What Users Think About Deputy
Users Don’t Like
Easy for employees to see schedules, trade shifts, locate payslips
Have to pay for admins even if they are not using the software + minimum spend requirements
Good clock in/out features
Glitches with integrations
Support is quick to respond and helpful
Slow load times
Those that left Deputy reviews praised it for its ease of use, specifically in scheduling and trading shifts. The mobile app, in particular, was commended for its easy time clock and communications functions. Overall, people were very satisfied with the product.
What struck me as unusual were the complaints—specifically concerning integrations with other software. It’s not something I usually see in a user review. ADP Run and unspecified “financial software” were mentioned, saying that they failed to connect to Deputy. One user said it stopped reporting overtime hours to Gusto, counting them all as regular hours instead. Of course, these are only a couple of complaints for a software with 300-plus integrations.
- Capterra: 4.7 out of 5 based on 570+ reviews.
- G2: 4.6 out of 5 based on 200+ reviews.
- TrustRadius: 8.6 out of 10 based on 450+ reviews.
If you need a full-featured scheduling and time clock solution that includes great tools for forecasting and compliances, Deputy is worth considering. It charges by the person and its prices are competitive with other apps. However, it has a great feature set that goes beyond simple schedules and time sheets and integrates with over 300 applications. You can try it for 31 days. Sign up for a Deputy trial today.