Set up rules for your employees

How many hours are your employees allowed to work per week? Are there certain days where your employees should not work? Or should they have a certain break between their shifts? Then it might be relevant for you to set up rules for your employees.

In the article we will go through how you can:

After you have chosen a period of time for your rota you can begin setting up rules by clicking on “Setup rules for employees”:

General rules

You can set up rules for all of your employees and for a single employee. Under “General settings” you can set up the rules that should apply to all of your employees:

The rules are grouped in different categories.

Time distribution contains rules regarding the number of working hours and their limits for a predefined time period (such as a day or a week). This is also where you will find a rule regarding the breaks in between shifts.

The section Working days refers to rules about consecutive work days, the preferred amount of work days per week as well as work on weekends.

Absence settings contains rules about all kinds of absences, that the Assistant should take into consideration. Meaning: requests that the employees have submitted for the rota, approved absences for the employees as well as rules about the employees’ days off.

You get to decide which rules Smartplan should take into consideration. Only add check marks next to the rules you want to be followed.

Deactivated rules are normally being hidden to give you a better overview. You can display them by clicking on "[X] deactivated rules". If you want to hide them again, just click on "Hide deactivated rules".

If you want to change a number of hours or days simply click on the number to the right and write the correct number:

As soon as you have made your changes you can just click on “close”, as your changes already have been saved automatically:

Rules for a specific employee

In the menu to the left you can get an overview of all your employees. If you want to make specific rules for an employee that are deviating from the general settings, you can just click on that person:

You can now choose the same rules as under “General settings” and once again you can click on a number or day to change it. Then simply put check marks next to the rules you want to be followed.

When you are making rules for a specific employee, you have an additional section available. In Rules for weekdays you can define the days and times of the week, where the person in question is not able to work in general. Simply click on the days and fill out the timespan:

If needed, you can choose here, if this rule should apply in all weeks or only in the even or odd weeks of the year.

When you are finished, click on “Save weekday rule” and Smartplan will now follow this rule:

Broken rules

Once you have set up your rules Smartplan will begin keeping track of them. It might happen that some of the rules are not being respected when you are planning your rota. If this is the case, Smartplan will make you aware of it.

Beneath, I have made a rule that says that Daniel can not work on Mondays. If I give Daniel a shift anyway Smartplan will tell that there is a broken rule:

If you click on “Show” you can see which rules have been broken:

By clicking on the broken rule you will be led to the specific place in the rota, where the breach of rule has occurred.

There is a difference between broken rules and conflicts. Broken rules refer to the rules you have set for your staff, such as "Max. hours per day" or "Assign a day off per weekend shift". Conflicts, on the other hand, arise when you assign a shift to someone even though that person is already working during that period.

You can find out more about how to avoid conflicts in this article.

A rota with existing conflicts in it cannot be published. However, you can publish a rota even though it contains broken rules. Smartplan is simply making you aware of them and then you can decide if you want to take them into consideration or not.

When you have created all the rules for your employees and defined your staffing-need you can even let Smartplan make the rota for you.

Here is an article on how this can be done: Automatic planning

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