Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Ada Lovelace Day

I celebrated Ada Lovelace day by working on a difficult logic problem. If someone is on a holiday’s included shift pattern for part of the year and then moves off internally to a holidays excluded pattern, how much holiday do they have left to take?
It may sound easy but the logic was quite daunting. The shift pattern accounted for their hours and basic holiday. Then they could take additional holiday while on shift if they were entitled to more than their basic. Plus they could swap shifts and training was in addition. Oh and they also did overtime too. So all in all a very typical shift operation designed for ideal circumstances and then continually adapted to fit the changing environment.
So pro rata estimates were invalid because the shift pattern did not remain continuous for the whole year. Hence I had to take the recorded hours they had worked, then the holiday they had taken into account plus the hours they were due to be scheduled on when they moved off the shift pattern. So a lot of maths later I had a logically sound answer.
So how much holiday would you give a person who is on a 37.5 hour week, and is due to be moved off the rota on 1st December? He is entitled to 30 days of holiday plus Bank Holidays. The rota accounted for only 30 days during the year. He has worked 1580 hours (or scheduled to work including sickness) up until 1st December. Then he moves onto an office shift pattern. He has also had 37.5 hours of training and taken 24 hours of holiday in addition to the holidays included shift pattern.

So what’s the answer?

Well first we need to know how many hours he will be scheduled to work on an office shift pattern. There are four weeks and three days in December. So that would be 172.5 hours.
Then we work out how many hours he should have been scheduled for during the year. 1,955.25 hours.
He has worked 1,641.5 up until 1st December.
So the holiday that was included in the rota was 1,955.25-1,641.5-172.5=141.25 hours
So he was entitled to 285 hours of holiday during the year. He has taken 24 hours and been scheduled for 141.25 hours of holiday. Therefore logically he is entitled to 119.75 hours of holiday in December. There are two Bank Holidays in December so that takes care of 15 hours of holiday (two days of 7.5-hours). But that still leaves 104.75 hours or 11 days.
That is half of December!
So your options are,
  • Force him to take holiday before moving to the new post
  • Schedule him to be off on some shifts before December
  • Pay overtime
  • Carry over holiday
  • Buy back the holiday

You may be asking how the answer could be so high. Well it’s a holiday included shift pattern. So while over the year he would have worked the correct number of hours, you have to allow for him being rostered off for more time during part of the year. So because he is being removed mid cycle his hours do not represent an average amount.
So swapping people on and off a holidays included shift pattern mid cycle could leave you with high overtime bills!

If you need help working out staffing costs or shift pattern drop us an email at alec@visualrota.co.uk or call on +44 (0) 1636 816466

Friday, 9 October 2015

Christmas Rota

There’s just 10 Fridays to go before Christmas!

The Snow Queen's table photographed at
Waddesdon Manor
So have you given any thought to whom will be on your Christmas Rota?
Working at Christmas is a necessary requirement for many organisations but it needs special management, which is why we often recommend that companies employ a special Christmas Rota.
Christmas is a time for families to get together and add cheer to the long winter months. So everyone wants to have some time off during the holiday season. You can’t give everyone the same time off unless you close up your business with a shutdown. But how do you say no to that holiday request? Who do you say yes to and how do you justify your answers?
Being a manager is not easy. You have to have patience, be seen to be fair, make the hard choices and stick by them as well as doing the job you are paid to do. You can never be liked by everyone and people’s opinion of you will be swayed by your next decision depending on if it is in their favour or against them.
So don’t let personal feelings cloud your judgment. Make up a set of rules which cover nearly every eventuality you can think of. Make sure everyone is aware of what you will and will not allow and stick to it. That way you will not always be liked but everyone will always say you dealt fairly with them.
When it comes to allowing holidays it is even more important to judge everyone the same and not let personal bias effect your judgment. So you set up rules like first come first served. Plan ahead how many of each skill you will allow off at any time or how you will cover missing skills. Set up the rules before any holiday requests are made. If you need help setting up your rules then read our book Holiday Management available from Amazon UK and from US Amazon
A Christmas Rota is a great way of organising your employees. This means that you can control who works Christmas and who doesn't. So in order to be fair you set it up for two years at a time (sometimes we do it for as many as 10 years), therefore if a person worked Christmas last year, they will not have to work it this year etc. Also if they work Christmas then they get New Year off and vice versa. This is often contentious, and therefore you need a fair and equitable system.
The advantages of a Christmas Rota, are:
  • You can equalise everyone's hours,
  • You can equalise everyone's shifts,
  • You can equalise everyone's nights,
  • You can have better control of holidays,
  • Better cross team communication,
  • Opportunity to equalise payments,
  • Opportunity to swap teams,
  • Equalise skills, and provide an equal level of service over the holiday period.