Select Page

The Persistent Rise of Fair and Predictive Scheduling

Apr 2, 2024

Deskless Worker
Paul Kramer

Paul Kramer

Director of Compliance

The concept of fair and predictive scheduling has been a consistent trend in workplace culture and remains the focus of attention for workers, employers, unions, and the government. It calls to ease burdensome work schedules have led to sustained media coverage as well as some new actions being taken by businesses and governments alike. But what is fair and predictive scheduling and why is it so important?  

When implemented properly, predictive scheduling is a win-win for workers and businesses alike as it provides opportunities for greater work/life balance and workforce agility. Still, scheduling is already a significant and demanding task. As the call for more fair scheduling practices grows, it becomes clear that many organizations may not be equipped to meet the emerging requirements that new scheduling laws would impose.  

This article provides context for current best practices that sustain fair and predictive scheduling. We’ll also spotlight the benefits these practices can have for a business and how to better support predictive scheduling technologies with workforce management technologies.  

What is Predictive Scheduling?

Fair and predictive scheduling includes laws, regulations, policies, and rules geared toward providing employees with more predictable and stable work hours. It is meant, among other things, to ensure workplace schedules reduce stress and promote employee well-being.  

Key elements of fair and predictive scheduling may include: 

  • Providing employees with a written, good faith estimate of their work schedule at the time of hire. 
  • Allowing workers to state a preference for the location and hours of work, including requests not to work at a particular time or place. 
  • Providing employees with a written work schedule before the schedule begins (commonly 14 days preceding the first day of the work period). 
  • Offering additional work hours to existing employees before hiring workers from outside the company.  
  • Giving fair notice to employees before changing their schedule. 
  • Granting premium pay to employees if their schedule is changed on short notice, unless the change is caused by unforeseen circumstances such as natural disasters, public utility failures, and voluntary shift trading. This is sometimes known as “predictability pay.” 
  • Providing a rest period of several hours between shifts unless the employee agrees in writing to work during the rest period. 
  • Paying employees at a higher rate if they are required to report to work for fewer hours than normal, such as three hours or less, and are available to work longer.  
  • Allowing workers to work a flexible schedule if they need to provide care for a child or a family member with a serious health condition or to attend to a personal event.  

Employee Benefits of Predictive Scheduling

Employees benefit greatly from fair and predictive scheduling. It leads to an improved work-life balance, enabling workers to plan their non-work hours more effectively. The reduced likelihood of last-minute scheduling changes alleviates stress and prevents disruptions to employees’ personal lives. Additionally, the predictable income and hours provided by such scheduling practices help workers better manage their finances, further minimizing stress levels. This serves to give employees more input into setting their schedules and increase job satisfaction. Workers feel more valued by their employer when they have a say in their work arrangements. 

How Does Predictive Scheduling Benefit Businesses?

Beyond the core benefits for employees, fair and predictive scheduling unlocks powerful operational advantages for businesses. By implementing intelligent scheduling systems, companies can quickly scale their staffing up or down to meet fluctuations in customer demand. Automated scheduling tools give managers powerful capabilities to efficiently coordinate schedules and staffing levels. Allowing employees to easily swap shifts or pick up open shifts through mobile apps enables organizations to seamlessly cover busy periods while giving workers more autonomy and flexibility over their own schedules.   

Additionally, this leads to a more diverse distribution of work hours among employees resulting in less overtime compensation being paid. This elevated level of scheduling agility positions companies to deliver excellent customer service without overworking employees. Productivity improves because employees are more satisfied with their jobs. Second, satisfied workers are less likely to leave their jobs, lowering costly turnover and training costs for employers. 

Implementing fair and predictive scheduling is vital for organizations trying to improve workplace equality, employee satisfaction, productivity, and the bottom line. It also enhances a company’s brand, which attracts new talent who want to work for an employer who offers these capabilities as well as customers who appreciate fair treatment of workers. This trend is likely to persist and employers who adopt fair and predictive scheduling practice will be prepared to support a new generation of workers.  

Get the 2024 State of Compliance report–your guide to the latest trends shaping U.S. and Canadian employment laws.

Subscribe to The WorkForce Blog

Subscribe to The WorkForce Blog

Learn the art and science of maintaining productive, happy, engaged employees.

Discover More

This site is registered on as a development site. Switch to a production site key to remove this banner.