Not only do organizations use our services to provide assistance advice and information over the whole range of working time issues, but they utlize them in different ways. The main ones are:
- As technical back up to the decision making process. Providing information on alternative patterns of working time. In particular the provision of illustrative shift rotas based on a set of agreed parameters. Parameters such as the number of teams, shift length, shift start and finish times, number of shifts worked before a rest day is taken, and whether cover is provided on a fully rotational or fixed shift basis.
Largely a desk top exercise based on the answers to our questionnaire, plus telephone contacts, but may be supplemented with one or two meetings.
- As a resource to be used in the process of identifying the basic parameters. That is, identifying the main factors determining production/operating hours required and employee hours available. It covers such issues as the number of shutdowns, if any; levels of staffing by time of day, day in the week and time of year; variations in the length of the normal basic week; the definition of a days holiday; whether breaks are paid or unpaid; and the duration of overlaps, if any, between successive rostered shifts. This is followed by the provision of worked examples of the most relevant patterns of working time.
Entails several meetings plus the generation of illustrative examples. It is basically an iterative process and the number of meetings and the range of options considered varies according to whether the labour force is one homogeneous group for rostering purposes, or is split into several groups with different patterns of working time.
- As an active participant in joint, management, or employee working parties. This frequently is concerned with an examination of the impact of significant changes in customer demand, or the introduction of new process and/or capital equipment. The objective is to develop alternative patterns of working time that provide a better fit to the needs of the organization and its employees.
It entails a combination of meetings, plus the provision of technical back up to the working party. The number of meetings varies from case to case and depends upon the range of options to be considered, levels of access by the relevant parties, and differences in the level of cover required throughout the organization.