Lets talk about shift premiums
We work with a lot of different agencies and, in the process, have seen a lot of different ways of handling overnight shifts and shift premiums. This week’s article will share some of our data on the most common rules and give some recommendations on how they could be handled.
First off, some statistics! (note: we can’t publish our source data due to confidentiality):
Sleep shift: Average shift time is from 11PM – 7AM
Regular Day shift: Average time is from 7AM – 5PM
Evening premium: Average time starts at 5 PM
Premium pay: On average, ranges from $0.50 to $2.00 (depending on the nature of the premium)
Weekend premium: Offered by approximately 25% of agencies
We found that there was a very large variance between agencies, so don’t worry if your rules are a little off. Different provincial regulations and union agreements have affected these numbers significantly, but they’re still interesting to look at and see how your agency compares.
We also realize that many agencies are bound by collective bargaining agreements that restrict your ability to change premium rules. If you ever do have the opportunity, however, the following recommendations are worth considering.
Recommendation one: Keep it simple. It’s an age old adage that applies perfectly to pay rules. Do employees get a bonus for working Fridays? What about for coming in at exactly 5:22 PM and wearing a red shirt on the night of a full moon? If either of these sound familiar, it might be time to consider simplifying your pay rules. Employees shouldn’t have to keep track of complicated premium rules to know how much they’ve earned, and managers and administrative staff will also appreciate the reduced complexity. From choosing which employees get to work premium to logging premium hours, to payroll – it’s a hassle for everyone. I’m not suggesting you get rid of the full moon red shirt bonus, but, if possible, distribute it evenly throughout all shifts in that home – the reduced complexity could be appreciated by everyone involved.
Recommendation two: Unify the rules within your agency. All your group homes could have the same shift times and premium rates (for similar work). This could greatly simplify your payroll calculations and stop workers from choosing their shifts based on where they’ll get paid the most. Sometimes it is necessary to offer an increased incentive to work at a specific home, but this should be made as a deliberate decision – not because of a bargaining agreement.
Recommendation three: Use an agency management system to reduce administrative work. The Inclusion system is a great way to increase your productivity and reduce time spent on administrative tasks. After creating an online schedule and approving shifts worked, your pay code calculations are computed automatically based on your agency’s rules. The system is capable of handling any number of pay rules (even the full moon red shirt bonus) and will make sure your employees are paid the right amount.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s fresh idea. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback and article suggestions in the comments below!
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