Shift Operation: What you need to know

Shift operation is a system that allows employers to schedule work around the clock by using the right work organization, supervisory coverage, and pay policies. Shift schedules work best where employees understand and buy in to the operation. While shift operations always involve having employees working outside the normal workday, devising the best shift schedule requires looking beyond the obvious issues of shift duration and time-off scheduling. An economic analysis of the business to determine the best way to deploy resources is the first step when starting or reorganizing shift operations.
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Management should define its business needs for instituting or reorganizing shift operations. These may include decreasing costs, increasing production, increasing safety, and improving the deployment of skilled personnel across shifts. Various schedule models can then be devised. Employees can give valuable input on features such as start times, shift lengths, and day-off patterns. In addition to better compensation, shiftworkers desire better days off, better alertness and health, and more predictability in the work schedule. The ideal goal is a schedule that best blends business needs and employee desires.
Extra pay for working weekends or nights is a matter of agreement between the employer and the employee (or the employee's representative). The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require extra pay for weekend or night work. However, the FLSA does require that covered, nonexempt workers be paid not less than time and one-half the employee's regular rate for time worked over 40 hours in a workweek. To make up for the significant interference with their ...

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