TOOLS: Preparing a Reduced Work Hours Agreement
|There are a number of things to consider when proposing a move from full-time to part-time employment as the implications for both you and your employer can be quite significant. The likelihood of your employer agreeing to change your hours of work depends on the strength of the case you put forward and your ability to prove that you have considered the impact on all stakeholders and have a viable plan for addressing them. Donít expect your manager to do the work for you. Consider the following questions and craft a written proposal that addresses all the items that are relevant to your particular job.|
- Meet with Human Resources to make sure you understand how moving
to part-time status affects your eligibility for your companyís
pension and benefits programs. In some companies the employee cost
of benefits is higher for part-time employees than full-time
employees (e.g. 50% of premiums paid by the part-time employee
versus 25% for full-time employees). How are vacation entitlement
and sick day benefits affected? How is statutory holiday pay
affected? If a business change leads to the elimination of your job,
how will your part-time status and reduced income affect your
severance? Will severance be calculated on your current reduced
salary? Document what youíve learned in your proposal so your
manager can confirm the details and be assured youíre entering into
this new employment arrangement understanding the implications.
- What days are you proposing to work? Will you work the same
days each week or are you prepared/able to be flexible in response
to changing business needs (e.g. if an important training program is
scheduled for one of your normal days off, would you be willing to
change your schedule for that week?)
- What hours will you work? Are there core business hours or busy
periods during the day and how will your scheduled hours ensure that
business gets done when it needs to get done? What happens during
peak vacation periods? Are you prepared to help out by working
full-time hours during these times?
- How will the work youíve been doing in 5 days get done when youíre
working reduced hours? Will the company need to hire another part-time
employee? Have you found a job sharing partner? Can the work be done
over a longer time period so that no additional staff is required?
- How will you keep yourself informed about whatís happened at the
office on your days off? How will your reduced hours affect colleagues
and customers? How will you ensure their needs are met on a timely
basis? Put yourself in your colleaguesí shoes. If you propose working
Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday will this make it impossible for your
co-workers to take a Friday and Monday off and enjoy the occasional long
- Are there benefits to the company to you moving to reduced work
hours? Will they be able to save salary dollars? Benefits expenses?
- Consider proposing a trial period for both you and the company.
Suggest giving it a try for a 3 month period. Take the initiative to
schedule monthly review meetings with your manager to discuss how things
are going and whether changes need to be made to the agreement to meet
either of your needs. In your proposal, provide the opportunity for
either you or your employer to end the arrangement if itís not working
out for either party. Be sure to specify how much notice is required to
change the arrangement.
- Think about what happens when youíre ready to go back to work
full-time. Remember, most organizations are working with business plans
that specify how many FTEs (full-time equivalents) are budgeted for.
Just because youíre ready to increase your hours doesnít mean the
company has the business need for you to work more hours or the budget
to pay you. What will be the process for getting you back to full-time
work? Will you continue to work part-time until a full-time position is
posted? Document the answers to these questions in your proposal.
Once youíve developed your proposal, the next steps include:
- Book a meeting with your manager to review your proposal and give him/her a copy to review in advance of the meeting.
- Make note of any changes your manager has suggested and turn the proposal into an agreement document.
- Have the agreement signed by you, your manager and your managerís boss.
- Ensure a copy of the agreement is placed in your official personnel file. If your manager moves on, or a reorganization finds you in another department, itís important your new manager is able to review the written record of this arrangement.