How do I create and use Work Schedules?

Work Schedules are collections of Shift Rules that, together, make up an employee’s working pattern. Unlike the Rota, which is designed for employees whose schedules change week to week, Work Schedules are for predictable, repeating patterns of work. 

Each approach has its strengths and weaknesses. The Rota allows for much more flexibility, but with higher upkeep needed. Work Schedules are much more rigid, but will also look after themselves indefinitely. There is also a hybrid method, where you can use Work Schedules to form the base building blocks of your Rota. 

Generally speaking, if the employee’s working pattern is predictable, even if the pattern alternates week to week, a Work Schedule is the way to go.

This guide will look at:

  • Creating a standard 7-day Work Schedule
  • Allocating a Work Schedule to an employee
  • Offsetting a Work Schedule

Creating a standard 7-day Work Schedule

  1. Select ‘Rules’ from the Menu Bar.
  2. Select ‘Work Schedules’ from the Rules Tree.
  3. Select ‘Create New’.
  4. In the Basic section, give your Work Schedule a ‘Code’ (this is what will appear against the shift on a timesheet).
  5. Give your Work Schedule a ‘Name’ (this should be instantly recognisable as it will appear in several places in Focus, including in the list of all Work Schedules).
  6. If required, give your Work Schedule a ‘Description’.
  7. ‘Days’ will default to 7 (a standard week).
  8. Add a Shift Rule (shift) to the Work Schedule. This is done by selecting a cell in Schedule A* and choosing the required Shift Rule from the drop-down list.
  9. Continue to add Shift Rules until Schedule A is complete.
  10. Save.

* Schedule A is the one that an employee is expected to be working. 

Allocating a Work Schedule to an employee

  1. Navigate to the required employee.
  2. Select the ‘Rules’ tab of their Employee Form.
  3. In the ‘Work Schedule’ section, select ‘General’ and choose your newly-created Work Schedule from the drop-down list.
  4. Save.

Offsetting a Work Schedule

If you have another group of employees who work the same shift pattern (eg. EARLY five days on and two days off) but start their schedule on a different day, rather than creating a new Work Schedule, you can use the ‘Offset’ function.

In the Employee Form, once an employee has been assigned a Work Schedule, the option to give them an ‘Offset’ start day will appear. Simply choose how many days you wish to make the offset. For example, an offset of 1 day will start the employee’s Work Schedule on Sunday instead of Monday.

Additional information

 Example of a 21-day Work Schedule:

Example of a more complex Work Schedule:

In this example, the employee’s usual work pattern is Schedule A. However, assuming all the Shift Rules have ‘Auto Allocate’ time bands applied, the employee can clock in for any of the shifts from Schedules B or C and Focus will apply the appropriate rules for that shift instead.

Automatically Pay Schedule A if Absent:
Tick this box if you wish the employee to be paid the rate for Schedule A if they do not clock in on a day that they are supposed to be working.

Related Articles

How do I create a Shift Rule?

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How do I build a Rota using Shift Rules?

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