The range of assignments undertaken by the Shiftwork Advisory Service includes:
- Providing examples of shift rotas based on a specific number of teams showing the impact of changes in shift length, varying the size of each block of shifts, altering the direction of rotation within and across blocks of shifts, and modifying the distribution of rest days.
- Illustrating the impact of change the number of teams from four to, say, five or six. Also, the effects of basing a rota on half teams, or splitting each team into a number of sub-groups.
- Advising on alternative ways of increasing the level of cover from five days a week, to six or seven days a week.
- The design and provision of rotas based on the traditional approach, together with advice on, and examples of how to, provide cover for holiday entitlements and other types of paid or unpaid absence.
- Advising on the options available and the relative advantages and disadvantages of the traditional and annual hours approaches to the operation of shift systems.
- The design and generation of fully integrated annual hours rotas covering four, five, six ,or more years. Advise on alternative ways of utilizing pay back shifts /owed hours/commitment hours. Also, the implications for payment systems and other terms and conditions of employment.
- Assessing the impact of variations in shift length; paid and unpaid meal breaks, overlaps between successive shifts; shutdowns of various lengths; variations in the level of cover required by day in the week, or time of day.
- The generation of rotas that either provide cover for seasonal variations in the level of demand; have a fully integrated day shift; incorporate a planned maintenance programme; or make provision for regular training sessions.
- Providing advice on alternative methods of generating shift premia and on the appropriate levels of premia for various patterns of working time.