In order to deal with long operating hours and unpredictability at workplace, a strategy has been employed. The strategy in sue is abandoning a fixed working hour pattern, which leads to temporal flexibility. In UK, three categories of working hours are following: zero hours, flexitime and annual hours. We will read about these 3 types of working hours in details.


Employees can start their work and finish it at different times. In the defined core hours, which are generally from 10 am to 12 noon and 2 pm to 4 pm, everyone has to be present but apart from that, there can be flexibility in working hours. There are some systems which require a definite number of hours to be worked each day, while there are some other systems which provide people with such a flexibility that they can work for different lengths of time on varied days but the necessary condition needs to be met, i.e., they should fulfil the quota for the complete week or complete month. This implies that someone is allowed to take a half-day off or a full day off when they have worked sufficiently.

There are many advantages of this system. Employees can control their working hours and can take offs for recreation. If we consider things from the employer’s point of view, this system leads to utilization of time and saves time from being wasted. So, it is a win-win situation for both the parties.

Annual hours

This scheme is the extension of flexitime principles for a year and helps the organization to decrease costs and enhance the performance because it complements the hours people are working and the business profile of the organization. Unlike flexitime, this offers less choice to the employees.

According to the terms of the agreement, people employed full-time need to work for that period which is mentioned in the contract. For calculation purpose, the working hours’ contracts are changed to annual hours; for instance, an average of 38-hour in a week will become 1,732 hours annually, considering the provision of holiday of five weeks. The entitlement of five week holiday is covered in this. The holidays can be added to the off weeks and a vacation can be planned without working overtime. This pattern is used in manufacturing sectors. In order to deal with fluctuating levels of seasonal demand, variations need to be incorporated.

All aspects need to be considered before changing over to annual hours. An organization should move to the strategy of annual hours after considering all the aspects. Managers need to know all the consequences and proceed accordingly.

Zero hours

This has been in practice for a long time. In this type of scheme, individuals are employed on a casual basis and they are not guaranteed fixed hours of work. They are called in according to the needs and emergencies. This form of contract is followed in nursing and acting institutes but in the recent times it has spread to retailing. It helps employers to be prepared for an unforeseen emergency but affects employees because their life becomes unpredictable. A disadvantage associated with this form of contract is the lack of security. This lack of security associated with such an arrangement of zero hours increases the unfavourability of this kind of a job.

Flexible Working Hours 5


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