Organising Staff Rotas

Use this Skills Check to review how to make basic shift-related calculations. These examples offer you an opportunity to use knowledge and skills relating to:

  • four rules of arithmetic (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division)
  • time (calculations involving hours and minutes)
  • money (calculations involving pounds and pence)
  • simple fractions (e.g. 1⁄4 , 1⁄2 , 3⁄4 )
  • decimal fractions (e.g. £1.50)

No overall score is awarded. The point of the Skills Check is to see how you get on with the different problems.

You may use a calculator but you should still note your workings, which will help you understand the answers afterwards.

Instructions

Spend about 15 minutes on the Skills Check and don't worry if you can't do one or more of the problems -- just move on to the next. If you haven't finished after 15 minutes, stop anyway and review the work you were able to complete.

Before you go through the answers (all the workings and answers can be found below), take a minute to reflect on the Skills Check and how easy/difficult it was for you to complete. Did you find the questions easy to work out? Was it relevant to your work? Would you like to learn more about schedule calculation or budgeting?

Sample Question

You work five days a week. You drive five miles to work and five miles back home each day.

How many miles do you drive to and from work each week?

Sample workings

5 + 5 = 10 miles

10 x 5 days = 50 miles

Answer: 50 miles

Now that you've seen an example, let's get started!

 

Quiz Questions

  1. Your service users need 24-hour care, seven days a week. To give them that care, your organisation operates three 8-hour shifts: a morning shift, an afternoon shift and a night shift. For the last seven days, your organisation needed eight people on mornings, six on afternoons and three on nights every day.

    How many individual shifts did that add up to over the seven days altogether?

  2. Altogether over the next seven days you need to cover 140 individual shifts. You have ten full-time staff and 19 part-timers. Over the seven days, the full-time staff will each work five 8-hour shifts. Sixteen of the part-timers will each do three shifts. Three will only work two shifts.

    How many shifts does that leave without cover?

  3. One week you are short-staffed: seven and a half 8-hour shifts are without cover. You are allowed to offer extra hours to part-time staff and six of them will each do an extra four hours while two will each do an extra six hours.

    (a) How many hours cover does that give you?

    (b) Do you need to buy any agency hours? If so, how many?

  4. Tomorrow there are 25 care staff on the rota. On the morning shift there are five full-time staff, three part-time staff and two agency staff. On the afternoon shift there are two full- time, four part-time and one agency staff. On the night shift there are two part-time and one agency staff. Each shift lasts eight hours and most staff are being paid at £5.62 per hour. However, the part-time staff on the night shift are both working overtime. Overtime is paid at the higher rate of £8.56 per hour. Agency staff cost £25 an hour.

    (a) Calculate the total cost for staffing the three shifts at these hourly rates.

    (b) How much could you save by replacing agency staff with normal staff on overtime?

 

Answers

Note: The workings-out below show possible ways to arrive at correct solutions. There are other ways to solve these problems.

1. Setting up a rota

Your service users need 24-hour care, seven days a week. To give them that care, your organisation operates three 8-hour shifts: a morning shift, an afternoon shift and a night shift. For the last seven days, your organisation needed eight people on mornings, six on afternoons and three on nights every day.

How many individual shifts did that add up to over the seven days altogether?

Workings

8 + 6 + 3 = 17 individual shifts per day

17 shifts x 7 days = 119 individual shifts

(7 x 7 = 49, 7 x 10 = 70, 49 + 70 = 119)

Answer: 119 individual shifts

2. How many staff?

Altogether over the next seven days you need to cover 140 individual shifts. You have ten full-time staff and 19 part-timers. Over the seven days, the full-time staff will each work five 8-hour shifts. Sixteen of the part-timers will each do three shifts. Three will only work two shifts.

How many shifts does that leave without cover?

Workings

10 full-time staff x 5 shifts = 50 shifts covered

16 part-time staff x 3 shifts = 48 shifts covered

3 part-time staff x 2 shifts = 6 shifts covered

50 shifts + 48 shifts + 6 shifts = 104 shifts covered

140 shifts needing cover – 104 shifts covered = 36 shifts left without cover

Answer: 36 shifts without cover

3. Short-staffed

One week you are short-staffed: seven and a half 8-hour shifts are without cover. You are allowed to offer extra hours to part-time staff and six of them will each do an extra four hours while two will each do an extra six hours.

(a) How many hours cover does that give you?

(b) Do you need to buy any agency hours? If so, how many?

Workings

6 part-time staff x 4 hours = 24 hours

2 part-time staff x 6 hours = 12 hours

24 hours + 12 hours = 36 hours covered by extra hours worked by part-time staff

Answer (a): 36 hours

7.5 shifts without cover x 8 hours = 60 hours without cover 60 hours without cover – 36 extra part-time hours = 24 hours without cover

Answer (b): Yes, you need to buy 24 agency hours

4. Cost of care staff tomorrow

Tomorrow there are 25 care staff on the rota. On the morning shift there are five full-time staff, three part-time staff and two agency staff. On the afternoon shift there are two full- time, four part-time and one agency staff. On the night shift there are two part-time and one agency staff. Each shift lasts eight hours and most staff are being paid at £5.62 per hour. However, the part-time staff on the night shift are both working overtime. Overtime is paid at the higher rate of £8.56 per hour. Agency staff cost £25 an hour.

(a) Calculate the total cost for staffing the three shifts at these hourly rates.

(b) How much could you save by replacing agency staff with normal staff on overtime?

Workings

MORNING SHIFT

5 full-time + 3 part-time staff = 8 staff working 8 hours each; 8 x 8 = 64 hours

64 hours x £5.62 = £359.68

2 agency staff = 16 hours @ £25 = £400.00

£359.68 + £400.00 = £759.68

Morning shift costs £759.68

AFTERNOON SHIFT

2 full-time + 4 part-time staff = 6 staff working 8 hours each; 6 x 8 = 48 hours

48 hours x £5.62 = £269.76

1 agency staff = 8 hours @ £25 = £200.00 £269.76 + £200.00 = £469.76

Afternoon shift costs £469.76

NIGHT SHIFT

2 part-time staff each working 8 hours = 16 hours

16 hours x overtime rate of £8.56 = £136.96

1 agency staff = 8 hours @ £25 = £200.00 £136.96 + £200.00 = £336.96

Night shift costs £336.96

£759.68 (morning) + £469.76 (afternoon) + £336.96 (night) = £1566.40

Answer: (a) £1566.40

Total hours worked by agency staff = 32 hours (four 8-hour shifts)

32 hours @ £25 = £800.00

32 hours @ overtime rate of £8.56 = £273.92

£800.00 - £273.92 = £526.08

Answer: (b) Savings total £526.08

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