Listed below are some of the major factors to consider prior to implementing or approving any alternative work schedule:
- The size of the work unit – In a unit of three employees, it would be very difficult to offer a 4/10 or 9/80 schedule since any absence (vacation, sick leave, etc) which occurred on a scheduled day off would leave only one employee in the office.
- Workload and coverage considerations – Alternative schedules should be approved only if they do not adversely impact coverage and service levels.
- Seasonal work fluctuations – When an organization has periods of high activity, it may be appropriate to approve alternative work schedules for part, but not all, of the year. For example, an office involved in an annual tax roll program might need to suspend all alternative schedules for one or two months each year.
- Individual and group performance and attendance – Individuals with performance or attendance problems should not be approved for alternative work schedules. In small groups, one employee’s attendance issues might preclude offering alternative schedules to other staff if that individual’s attendance causes coverage problems.
- Criteria for evaluation of alternative schedule – Any agreement should include criteria to evaluate and determine whether the alternative schedule will be continued. These criteria should include, at a minimum, coverage levels, measurement of service levels and customer complaints related to the schedule, and attendance levels. The agreement should include language stating that employees on alternative schedules may be returned to standard hours if they experience attendance or performance problems, or in case of staffing problems. It should also document that employees on jury duty, attending training, working out of classification, etc., may be required to return to a standard schedule during that period.
- Shift differential – Discuss with Employee & Labor Relations if agreeing to an alternative schedule would involve shift differential considerations.