An Annualised Hours system is essentially one in which employees are contracted to work a certain number of hours per year rather than the traditional approach of hours per week with any excess paid as overtime. Typically:

  • Hours are calculated on an annual basis
  • Hours are rostered over the year to match business demand
  • Holiday is often rostered or partially rostered
  • Overtime is usually eliminated or substantially reduced


The principles and benefits are well documented and there are numerous case studies on the process of implementation. However, it can be difficult for somebody , unfamiliar with the concept, to work out how to apply the principles to their own application just through reading case studies. There are broadly three types of Annualised Hours systems and, although the underlying principle is the same, the rules are many and varied.

  • Stable patterns of business demand (for example in continuous processes, 24/7)
  • Predictable variations in demand (for example, seasonal peaks and troughs)
  • Unpredictable variations in demand


The key to unlocking the benefits of Annualised Hours is through the construction of  shift patterns to efficiently match the workload and the selection of a suitable set of rostering rules. We can help with all stages of the process of introducing annualised hours from workload analysis to establish staffing level requirements, through to shift patterns, discussions with staff or union reps, negotiations, communication with the workforce and, finally, implementation, including software. We have a number of blue chip companies using our rota administartion software, RotaView, for keeping track of hours worked. Please contact us and one of our advisors will give you a ring to discuss your requirements.