Working time rules are useful for keeping track of when and how much your employees work. This can help you keep compliant with the local labor regulations.

This article will give more details about:

What is a Working time rule and how does it work?

In Planday, you can set up a working time rule to track a large number of Schedule related aspects, per employee. When a rule is not respected by your Schedule, a warning will be triggered by the rule you have set up, to let you know what is wrong and for which of your employees you'll need to address it.

Working time rules give you the opportunity to build an advanced warning mechanism, for your planning needs.

Working time rules represent guidelines and give you a way to monitor how your schedule fits within the guidelines you set up. A working time rule cannot block you from creating or assigning a Shift, even if it breaks its guidelines.

If you are looking for a way to enforce limitations or contractual obligations in your schedule, you should also consider the Contract rules feature. You can find out more about Contract rules in this article.


How to choose the right working time rule?

When choosing a working time rule to fit your scheduling needs, you should first narrow it down to what the rule needs to monitor.

Currently, you can choose between 10 different rule structures, that are based on:

  • tracking working hours as:
    - Shift duration
    - Working hours in a period of time
  • tracking working days (days with at least one shift) as:
    - Working days in a calendar week
    - Consecutive working days
    - Working days in a period of time
    - Repeating Shift type series in a period of time
  • tracking time off (time in between scheduled shifts) as:
    - Group of days off in a period of time
    - Hours off between shifts
    - Continuous hours off in a period of time
    - Time off after consecutive shifts

Both the category for monitoring working hours and the one for tracking working days in your schedule take into account the information about the Shifts in the Schedule, like their duration or Shift type.

In a similar way, the rules for tracking time off gather information about the Shifts in your schedule focusing on the time difference between the end time of one Shift and the start time of the next one.

If you need to use either one of the rule structures above and you can't find it under Settings > Schedule > Working time rules > Create, please reach out to our support team for assistance.

If you need more information about what each working time rule can be used for, you read through some examples of common scenarios for tracking time off in this article, or for monitoring the time spent working by your employees, in this article.

Once you've decided which working time rule you need, you're ready to start setting it up.


How to set up a Working time rule?

To set up a working time rule, you'll first need to create one starting from the structure that fits best with your needs.

Go to Settings > Schedule > Working time rules > Create.

This will open a new window for you to choose which type of rule you want to start setting up.

All rule types will need you to:

  • set a name for the rule. With this name, you will be able to distinguish between all the rules set up for your organization, in the overview list.
    The name is required. You should choose something indicative of what the rule is tracking for your schedule and keep in mind that you cannot use a name for more than one rule.
  • who and what it applies to within your organization. You can define this through:
    - Employee groups
    - Employee types
    - and Shift types. By default, a rule will apply to all Shift types. The setup form allows you to select which Shift types to exclude.

    You need to select at least one group, employee type, and leave at least shift type, depending on what you need the rule to monitor and trigger a warning for, in Schedule.
    As an example, you cannot exclude all the Shift types because the working time rule needs at least one parameter to know which Shifts to take into account, from your Schedule.

Here is an example of how the setup form looks like for a working time rule that can be used to monitor shift length.

Besides the general details needed for a rule, there will be specific details to fill out, depending on the rule type.

Once all the details of a rule are filled out, click Create and the rule will automatically trigger a warning from the next Shift you create or modify.

For instance, taking the Shift duration working time rule, there is one field left to fill out: the Maximum number of hours. This allows you to set how long a Shift can be in your Schedule.

Specifically, the picture below shows the setup for a working time rule that will trigger a warning when you will attempt to create a Shift that is longer than 8 hours, excluding Shifts that have a Travel Shift type.

You can also see that the rule is now called Shift length as a reference and that it applies to all employees within the organization (all Employee groups and all Employee types).

Consider the Shift length rule in place, and the 2 Shifts shown in the image below.

Modifying or attempting to create a new Shift in the schedule that is not a Travel Shift will trigger a warning similar to this:

As mentioned before, the working time rule cannot block you from creating or editing a Shift, which is why you can choose to:

  • ignore the rule
  • edit the Shift, to align it with the working time rule guidelines
  • or cancel creating the Shift (or dismissing the changes that triggered the warning).

Each working time rule structure allows you to set different guidelines for your schedule.

Read more about working time rules monitoring working hours or working days in our article highlighting common scenarios for those rules.

You can also learn more about working time rules tracking time off for your employees in this related article on our help center.

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