Why your HR system needs to manage multiple working time patterns

Chatting to a friend over coffee last week, it quickly became clear that not all HR systems are smart enough when it comes to coping with staff on different working time patterns.

She wanted to be able to avoid a chaotic homeward commute, and to have a bit more time for herself. Her company to oblige. They let her end her working day a little earlier, at 4.15pm instead of the usual 5.30pm, and change to a four-day week. Getting sign off to the change in hours had been the simple bit. Finding out what that meant in terms of her holiday entitlement, so she knew whether she’d still have enough leave to cover the summer holiday she’d already booked, had proved something of a nightmare – especially as the change had come halfway through the holiday year.

The problem was that their HR system just wasn’t equipped to manage this sort of calculation – and their over-stretched HR administrator was struggling to figure out how to apply the UK’s legislative requirements to calculating her revised holiday entitlement.

The trend towards different working patterns

Having at least some employees with different working time patterns is a reality for most companies today. Business requirements, legislative change, international expansion and the need to retain an increasingly diverse workforce by offering a better work life balance, means that few companies today operate a standard working day for all of their employees.

For example, in their latest report, UK Labour Market: April 2016, the Office for National Statistics reported that the number of employees working part time had risen by 71,000 over the previous year to 8.43 million people, with 22.98 million people working full-time.

However, as my friend’s experience showed, managing multiple employees with different working time patterns, can present real challenges for HR.

What Cezanne HR lets you do


With Cezanne HR it’s easy set up as many different working time patterns as you need, then allocate employees against them. For example, you may have some staff that work just four days a week, others that cover different days (perhaps including weekend working), and some that work a shorter working day.
Working time patterns can be defined in terms of days, hours and minutes – and can take into account public holidays or other non-working days on a country or regional basis.

That means you have the option to allow employees to book time off in hours, instead of days or half days; or record that they left work 45 minutes early because they were ill, rather than forcing them to show a full or half day lost from work due to illness.

If an employee changes their working time pattern during the year, the system can calculate their new holiday entitlement based on their new hours, relevant public holidays and your company rules.

Working time patterns also feeds through in to Cezanne HR’s integrated timesheet module, so staff can easily see and log their time against their hours, or record overtime where appropriate.

For busy HR teams, this flexibility saves an enormous amount of time for everyone. Information is more accurate, calculations automated, employees have a clear view of their hours, and management teams benefit from better tracking and reporting.


To learn more about how Cezanne can help with tricky calculations, check out this blog from the archives:

Calculating holiday entitlement for part-time workers with your Cezanne system

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