Compressed Work Schedule
Compressed work schedule allows an employee to work full-time hours in fewer than the normal number of days per time-period (e.g. 40 hours within a 4 day work-week).
This arrangement may not be suitable if your work requires set hours or involves daily deadlines. Compressed work schedules may not be feasible if all your employees need to be present at the job site at all times.
Creative scheduling involves work schedules that are flexible and meets needs of specific employee teams. It may be implemented to accommodate existing employees’ personal and family needs, or to attract employees with needs that do not fit into traditional work schedules.
For example, industries may have a variety of shift patterns which appeal to different employee groups allowing companies to improve recruitment and retention.
Employees Choice of Days Off
Employees choice of days off allows employees to plan their work schedules and determine their day(s) off. Balloting may be used to ensure that daily operations run smoothly and fair allocation of day(s) off.
This option is particularly relevant for certain industries (e.g. retail, where employees are required to work on weekends and are able to choose their day off on weekdays).
Flexi-hours is an arrangement where employees are contracted to work a certain number of hours over an accounting period (e.g. 20-hour work week). Under this arrangement, employees can work at any time of the day, as long as they complete the stipulated hours within the work week.
Flexi-hours is more common in jobs where activities are not dependent on meeting colleagues or clients at specific times of the day.
Flexi-shift is an arrangement where employees specify the days or hours they can work, and are scheduled accordingly (e.g. caregivers of school-going children may opt for three to four hours in the afternoon while the children are at school, or during weekends when other caregivers are available).
This work arrangement may overlap with part-time work or job sharing (e.g. two or more cashiers share one full-time position throughout the work week).
Staggered time allows employees to vary their daily start and end times to suit their work and personal commitments. Typically, there is a core time during which employees must work (e.g. 10am to 4pm). Staggered time is useful in multinational organisations that deal with different time-zones.
Time banking is an arrangement where an employer and employee agree on a fixed number of work hours to be completed over a specified time period (e.g., 24 hours a week). If an employee is required to work additional hours, these are accumulated in a ‘time bank’ and may be taken as time off in-lieu.
*Under normal business situations, employers cannot use this arrangement for employees who are covered under the Employment Act (EA) as these employees are entitled to be paid for overtime work or work done on their stipulated rest days.
Given the extraordinary times now, faced with the Covid-19 pandemic, the Tripartite Advisory on Managing Excess Manpower encourages companies to implement a Flexible Work Schedule (FWS) which allows employers to optimise the use of manpower resources when they go through cyclical troughs and peaks in manpower demands; and employees are assured of a stable monthly income during the period of FWS. Under FWS, employers can reduce weekly working hours without adjusting wages, by creating a ‘time bank’ of unused working hours. These banked hours can then be used to offset the increase in working hours in subsequent periods.
Employers who wish to implement FWS should refer to the Tripartite Advisory on Managing Excess Manpower for guidance as well as seek the support of the unions and employees and thereafter apply to the Commissioner for Labour. More details on the qualifying conditions can be found on the MOM website.