Target hours definition

Target hours are the average weekly working hours that an employee should work. They are often subject to working time models in workforce planning.

How is target hours defined for employees?

  1. The agreed working hours is explicitly expressed in the employment contract.
  2. The target hours is also defined based on the nature of employment. For example, part-time workers, student interns, freelancers etc.
  3. The Working time regulation act in UK has some guidelines on the target hours.

Types of target hours calculation in practice

There are several methods of calculation:

  1. Daily target hours: The weekly hours’ obligation is distributed irregularly or regularly to the days of the week.
  2. Monthly Roster target: The monthly target hours are determined based on the duty roster.
  3. Fixed monthly target: The target hours per month can be calculated from the calculated annual target.
  4. Annual target hours: This means the average calculation for the whole year.

How is the actual work hours calculated?

In practice, the actual hours are accounted for based on employee time tracking. There are many types of time tracking such as –

  • Browser-based time tracking. This is useful for employees who perform their duties on a computer. Most helpful for remote working employees.
  • iPad or tablet device time tracking. This is useful in workplaces like restaurants, production floor/factories, etc. The device is stationary and employees can clock-in and out with ease.
  • Automatic time tracking from scheduled roster plans. For employees whose nature of work involves shifts and rotas, this method of time tracking is useful.

The difference between target and actual hours are called lag hours. In some places, they are also referred to as work hour shortages. Working hour information need to be communicated transparently to employees. As a best practice, most companies store them as part of the employee profile.

In Papershift you can set the target hours for your employees in the employee profile. The target and actual hour are also differentiated based on color for quick understanding and overview.

To have a deeper understanding, take a look at our helpdesk article on target hours.

Papershift workforce planning software provides HR managers the relief and assurance. Managers can regulate time tracking as per the working time regulations act. It removes the need for complicated documents and records management on spreadsheets and online drive. Sign up for a free demo here.