Blanchard & Walker Weekly

Topic of the Week  Flexible and Predictive Scheduling

In some occupations, the inability to have a flexible and predictable schedule has made it increasingly difficult for workers to balance other commitments, like providing child care, getting or keeping a second job, and accessing or receiving needed medical care, among other things.

 Workers who want to advocate for more predictable and stable schedules may fear retaliation if they do so. However, some employers permit employees flexibility in creating their schedule within parameters set by the employer. This flexible and predictive scheduling page explains current laws and trends in flexible and predictive scheduling.

What is flexible scheduling?

Flexible scheduling is an alternative to the traditional 9 to 5, 40-hour work week. It allows an employee to work hours that differ from the normal start and stop time. Flexible scheduling gives employees stability in their schedule as well as opportunities to balance other commitments.

What is predictive scheduling?

Predictive or Predictable scheduling refers to employers providing employees advance notice of their work schedule, and minimizing alterations to an employee’s schedule once it is posted. Predictive scheduling operates to protect hourly workers, typically food service, retail, and hospitality employees, from unpredictable schedules, which can pose difficulties for employees trying to maintain a work-life balance.

What are the different types of flex-time scheduling?

Traditionally, there are different types of flexible scheduling that companies may consider for their workers to use. Common types include: 

-Flex/Alternative Work Schedule: A flex or alternative work schedule allows employees to vary start and end times on a weekly or daily basis. This, however, does not alter the total number of hours worked per week.

-Compressed Work Week: A compressed work week allows for an employee to work a 40-hour workweek but in less than the typical five workdays. For example, this can be four ten-hour work days.

-Flexplace/Telecommute: A flexplace or telecommute arrangement allows an employee to work remotely.

What are the effects of unpredictable scheduling practices?

The lack of stability and predictability in scheduling for employees in occupations like retail, food service, and hospitality makes it difficult to balance other commitments, like providing child care, getting or keeping a second job, and accessing and receiving needed medical care, among others responsibilities.

Thought of the Week

"On average, Latinx workers have suffered greater economic distress than their white counterparts since COVID-19 began spreading. These outcomes have been driven by the fact that Latinx workers already had lower pre-pandemic wages, income, and wealth, as well as less access to health care and other important job-related benefits. This lower pre-pandemic level of economic security was in turn driven by a host of factors—including a bigoted immigration regime that has aimed to keep Latinx immigrant workers disempowered in the workplace. As the pandemic has spread, another symptom of this labor market disempowerment—inadequate workplace safety—has loomed particularly large."

–Elise Gould, Daniel Perez, and Valerie Wilson| Economic Policy Institute

Weekly Comic by Jerry King

Weekly Comic by Jerry King

Blog of the Week

Top Five News Headlines

    List of the Week

    from Economic Policy Institute

    Latinx workers—particularly women—face devastating job losses in the COVID-19 recession

    • Latina workers experienced the largest increase in unemployment between February and April, an increase of more than 15 percentage points.
    • One in five (20.2%) Latina workers were unemployed in April. By June, the Latina unemployment rate had significantly recovered, but still remained 10.4 percentage points over its February level.
    • Even before the pandemic struck, Latinx workers received, on average, lower income and wages, as well as less access to health care and other important job-related benefits.

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