Worker Availability Planning
Now that Worker’s profiles have been created in the system and that they have the relevant Contracts (and therefore Rates) attached to them it’s now time to enter the first Rostering element into the system – Worker Availability.
Worker Availability is also known as Shift Planning, as it literally lets you create ‘Shifts’ for your Workers based upon a pattern. Shifts represent the availability of your Workers to be allocated care work, not the work itself. Adding someone a Shift of 7am to 11pm does not mean that you are going to cram them with Visits all day long, merely that the system will understand that they should be available to pick up additional work if they are required to.
The system allows you to recreate real life patterns of work, the most common of which is likely to be ‘weekend on, weekend off’. In this case we can create a weekly pattern of work for the first week, then repeat the process for the second week, amending appropriately for the days off or days of unavailability.v
- Navigate to Worker > Shift Planning
- The top section of the screen is where we build a Worker’s availability pattern. Click New.
- The bottom section of the screen displays previously booked Shifts. This is where ad hoc availability is entered, as well as holidays and sickness. These are not recurring events and so are not included in the Normal Pattern of Work; we will look at this in a future article in the Live Rostering section
- Enter the name of the recurrence in the Details field. If you have a rolling rota in place you may want to include which week of the rota this configuration will apply to (e.g. Week 1 or Weekend Off).
- Set the Shift Type to Standard Shift. All other Shift Types relate to Unavailability and recording reasons why the worker is not at work.
- Select which Group and Worker Contract this Shift applies to, as well as Location if required
- Set the Start and End time for the Shift. Workers will not be able to be rostered outside of these times. Again, it does not mean that Workers will be crammed full of work during these times, only that the system sees them as available.
- Enter if you require the worker to wait a certain amount of hours between Shifts and select if you will Allow Overtime during this Shift
- Be wary of setting the system to allow overtime, especially if you set the Worker Contract to pay by Actual Time.
- Click the Recurrence Tab
- Set the Start Date for the recurrence pattern, ensuring that the date chosen is on the first day of your working week. In other words if you work Monday – Sunday, make this date a Monday. If this is a new Worker of an existing project, set this to the Monday of their first week. If a new project, any date in the past will do.
- Select Occurs Weekly and select which days the worker will be available on by ticking them. Select how many weeks this pattern recurs over, e.g. every 2 weeks for a 2 week rolling rota such as Weekend On, Weekend Off.
- Remember that this is only for the times selected in the first screen, if the worker is available at different times on different days you will need separate entries by repeating the process. You can tick different days for the different times.
- Click OK to save the pattern and repeat the process for Week 2 if necessary.
- If building a rolling rota ensure the second week Start Date is exactly one week after the date selected for the first week and so on.
Note: The Start Date of the recurrence and the ‘recurs weekly every x weeks’ are the most important parts here, and parts that people often forget.
A weekly pattern that is the same every week will only have the one recurrence start date, which should be set to a Monday. It will recur every 1 week
A two weekly pattern will have 2 entries. One for week 1 and one for week 2. Week 2’s recurrence start date will be exactly a week after the date entered for week 1. Both with recur every 2 weeks.