All workers have the right to a proper work schedule; this is something that we all have clear. However, other concepts related to the work schedule are not so, how many hours can be worked in a day, how are they distributed, how is all this reflected in the employment contract.
Many employees work longer hours than they should. Do you consider yourself one of them? If so, you should read this guide and get answers to these and many other questions.
What Do We Understand by Work Schedule?
The work schedule is defined as the number of hours a worker performs at his job over a certain period. In general, in the US, the work schedule is 44 hours a week, although the same is agreed in the collective agreements or the employment contracts. Also, by agreement between the company and the workers’ representatives, they may establish the irregular distribution of the work schedule throughout the year. If there is no agreement, the company may irregularly distribute 10% of the work schedule throughout the year. However, this distribution must respect the minimum daily and weekly rest periods, and the worker must know it with a notice of 5 days.
Types of Work Schedule
An ordinary work schedule is considered a full-time one, with a total computation of 44 hours a week. Depending on the number of hours or their distribution, different types of work schedules can be cited.
Full-Time Work Schedule
The full schedule is when the employee works 8 hours a day or 44 hours a week. The distribution of hours in a full day can vary, giving rise to intensive schedules, split or rotating shifts.
Part-Time Work Schedule
The part-time work schedule does not reach the 40 hours per week that a full-time worker performs. Usually, about 30 hours, although there are also workers half a day to do 4 hours a day (20 per week). Part-time workers have some disadvantages compared to full-time workers. For example, they cannot work overtime.
Reduced or Compressed Work Schedule
A compressed work schedule allows, in some instances, to reduce the number of hours worked per day but continues to contribute 100% during the first two years. It is a family conciliation model that, for example, mothers caring for children under 12 years of age can embrace.
The reduction in working hours must not be less than ⅛ of the daily working hours, nor more significant than 50%.
Split Work Schedule
It is one of the most widespread full-time work modalities. The work schedule is carried out in two shifts between morning, afternoon, and night. An office where workers enter from 09:00 to 13:00, go to eat, and return from 16:00 to 20:00.
Continuous Work Schedule
The intensive or continuous work schedule is one in which the full-time employee is in his job continuously, without taking a break in the middle of the working day. For example, an office where workers enter at 7 in the morning and leave at 3 in the afternoon.
Rotating Shift Work Schedule
The work schedule with rotating shifts is usually used in businesses with long hours or that have to be permanently open. Workers have a fixed entry and exit schedule, but it changes over time. A worker in the hospitality sector that one week has a morning shift and the following week in the afternoon/evening.
Under 18 Years (Minor’s) Work Schedule
Those under 18 and over 16 can have workers provided they have the consent of their parents or guardians. In any case, your work schedules are subject to certain restrictions.
For example, women under 18 cannot work more than 8 hours a day in any case, and they cannot work overtime either. Also, if the work schedule is longer than 6 hours a day, they are entitled to at least 30 minutes of rest instead of 15.
Mandatory Breaks in Work Schedule
In addition to work schedule, pay attention to the mandatory breaks that any employee must take:
The worker has the right to rest at least one and a half days a week without interruption. Typically, it is Sunday. If the company knows that due to the sector’s needs, workers must work during certain holidays or Sundays, a clause must be included in the employment contract specifying the obligation to work those days.
If this clause is not included, workers could refuse to work on Sundays or holidays without ever having done so because their work schedule does not contemplate it. The company could only force workers to attend those days by processing a substantial modification of the working conditions agreed in the contract. It needs to prove economic, technical, organizational, or production causes.
Now, if the workers, despite not being established in the contract, have previously been working on Sundays or holidays for years, the company can claim that the condition of working on those days has been added to the employment contract.
In any case, working on holidays or Sundays is considered overtime that must be compensated with rest or financially.
Night Work Schedule
The night work schedule may not exceed 8 hours a day on average, within a reference period of 15 days. Also, night workers may not work overtime, except for these exceptions:
- For the sectors of activity that have approved the extension of the working day
- To prevent and repair an accident or extraordinary and urgent damages
- In shift work, in the event of irregularities in shift replacement for reasons not attributable to the company
- The workers on the night shift should have a level of protection for health and safety adapted to their work’s nature.
In Continuous Work Schedule
Provided that the working day exceeds six hours a day, the employee will receive a minimum break of 15 minutes and a maximum of 30, according to the agreement.
Excused Absences With the Right to Ordinary Remuneration
Whenever the worker advises; this circumstance usually occurs when:
Getting married: In this case; you are entitled to 15 calendar days of vacation.
If a child is born: In this case, 12 weeks correspond to the father and 16 to the mother.
Due to the death of a direct relative: In this case, you would be entitled two days if it occurred in the same city or four if it was in another province.
I am moving: In this case, a one-day leave would be permitted to you.
In medium to large companies, the work schedule is usually created by the personnel department within the HR (Human Resources) sector together with the sector leaders.
In smaller companies, which do not have a structured HR sector, this work is usually carried out by sector leaders, managers or even the company owner.
Importance of Work Schedule
A work schedule is highly important for the employees as well as the employer because of several reasons; out of which, a few major factors observed are such as a properly organized structure of working/functioning within a workplace through time management strategies.
Some of the factors that contribute to the importance of a work schedule are as follows:
- Greater flexibility for the company and the worker.
- Time optimization since all data is digitized and can be easily consulted.
- It favors work and family conciliation.
- It complies with the legislation in force that requires all workers to sign.
- It allows a more equitable distribution of the workload.
- It guarantees transparency because the information is visible to all who have permissions.
- Have a daily control of the hours worked and the vacations, absences, and leaves of all the personnel.
- Streamline processes and requests.
- Optimize HR time, reducing the costs of reviewing on paper, one by one, the employee files.
- Control the number of overtime hours and the expense generated.
- Generate reports that facilitate analysis.
How to Make an Efficient Work Schedule
Following are the steps involved in making a perfect work schedule:
Step 1 – Classification of Employees
The first step in putting together a puzzle is to know and separate the pieces, and that is what you will do with your employees, to separate them by their performances.
To assess performance, consider a few points:
- Agility: assess issues of agility, such as the service time of each employee
- Skill: evaluating technical skills, collaborators who have more resourcefulness and ease to do the job
- Affinity: naturally, some people have more relationships with each other; consider this in the performance
An important tip, call the industry leader/manager and ask him to give his opinion. Nobody is better than him to identify these profiles.
Step 2 – Identify Changes in Routines
Some occurrences can interfere with the routine and must be predicted in the scales.
- Vacation schedule: Create a vacation schedule for your employees, so that you can use this information for creating the work schedule.
- Anticipatory leave: It is impossible to anticipate a fatality such as accidents at work and sick leave. However, it is possible to predict specific holidays, such as maternity leave and military service provision, as you already have this information in advance.
- Scheduled layoffs: The majority of releases are unforeseen and will complicate the life of the manager of the stopovers. Therefore, temporary contract terminations can be foreseen and must be considered in the work schedule.
Step 3 – Observe the Schedules
Look at the days and hours of operation and see which period must be filled by the work schedule. Pay attention to Sundays and holidays and observe your category’s collective agreement to see how to proceed on those specific days.
Step 4 – Assembling the Work Scale
We already have the separate pieces and the base to be assembled; now, we can fit the puzzle pieces together.
We will divide this step into two parts:
1. Scaling working hours
Observe the ranking of employees developed in step 1 to choose which ones fit in certain times.
Consider the following points:
- Choose high performing employees to supply the schedules with the most increased flows.
- In larger teams, form mini-teams combining high and low-performance people to achieve a balance.
- For times of higher flows, try to make the maximum number of employees available.
2. Climbing workdays
Observe the following information in step 2 to set up the working day schedule
- Operating days: Every day
- Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest days
- Collaborators follow a 6×1 scale.
Step 5 – Review the Work Schedule.
Although it seems complicated, the scale of work is simple and usually becomes a routine task. So a review is essential, leaving nothing behind.
Go through a checklist with the following points:
- Are the days and times of the highest flows filled?
- Were all weekly breaks scheduled?
- Are mandatory Sundays for employees planned?
- Have municipal, state, and federal holidays been planned?
- Holiday dates usually change the company’s flow, was this foreseen?
- Were the holidays and planned leave planned?
- Is the maximum quantity of 6 days worked being respected?
- Is the team balanced in terms of characteristics and competencies?
- Are the rest times being respected?
Step 6 – Put it Into Practice
These are many details, now is the time to put the scale into practice, and remember: Always monitor and adjust the work schedule for any changes that arise.
Free Work Schedule Templates
There are different types of work schedules, and managing them can be a hectic task. Keeping that in mind, we have created free of cost and fully customizable work schedule templates, which are a perfect tool for you to control the different work schedules and comply with current regulations.
We hope that this post about the work schedule has been useful for you. In any case, you can always ask your queries in the comment section.
The work schedule is usually created for a full month, and it is advisable to carry it out at least one day before this period begins. A work schedule should be posted 14 days before the work starts.
No, a company cannot change your work schedule without prior notice. Any such act will be considered illegal and can be challenged in labor court.
No, an employer cannot schedule you outside your availability without seeking your consent.
Work schedule, is the organization of employee shifts. Its main objective is to structure workers’ shifts, taking into account the company’s opening hours, its “peak” flow, and ensuring the rest of the employees. The size of the company determines who will be responsible for creating the work schedule. In addition to a labor obligation, managing the work schedule can be an excellent managerial strategy for all organizations.