Workshop I: “Working time models”

  • (3) – SHOTT CR, a.s. Czech Republic
  • (1) – SCHOTT Fiber Optics CR, a.s. Czech Republic
  • (1) – SCHOTT Solar CR, s.r.o. Czech Republic
  • (1) – SCHOTT Flat Glass CR, s.r.o. Czech Republic
  • (2) – SCHOTT AG , Germany
  • (1) – SCHOTT forma vitrum kft., Hungary
  • Date: July 24, 2008
    Place: Valašské Meziříčí, Czech Republic
  • To map the situation in the area of labor relations:
    • working hours in SCHOTT units
    • shift schedule
    • legislative provisions
  • To share practical experiences from different sites, models of shift schedules in Europe
  • To point out critical points
  • Possible conclusion of a SCHOTT company agreement concerning the creation and modification of shift schedules

Workshop topics

  • Working hours (daily, weekly)
  • Flexible working hours planning, working hours account
  • Shorter working hours and part-time work
  • Rest periods and lunch/snack breaks, safety breaks
  • Continuous rest between two shifts
  • Overtime

Information sources

  • Directive 2003/88/EC of the European Parliament and European Council concerning certain aspects of the organization of working time
  • Labor Code of the Czech Republic no. 262/2006 as amended (national legislation)
  • Questionnaires completed by EuroForum members in the Lotus Notes database
    • 19 questionnaires sent, 11 replies received, 57.9 % response rate
  • Web Sites:
    • Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic ( )
    • EURES Internet portal –
    • European Union portal ( )
    • Internet browsers (google, tiscali, seznam, centrum)

Shift schedules

Shift schedules
  • There are different kinds of shift schedules in the SCHOTT company.
  • Employees work in one-shift, two-shift, or continuous operation; very different shift schedules within one company.
  • Creation of an ideal uniform shift schedule for all employees of the SCHOTT Group is not feasible.
Shift schedule modification
  • Basic question: Do you think it necessary to change the shift schedule in your company?
  • The key task of trade unions or employees councils is to seize the opportunity and be in contact, take an active approach and communicate with the employer.
  • Making requests and active approach on the part of employees
  • Monitoring of requests and their presentation to the company’s management
  • Department drawing up the shift schedule must define the need of its modification, number of positions, take into account requests made by employees
  • To prepare more proposals (solutions, modules)
  • To present solutions to employees
  • To agree on the test period
  • Important:
    • continuous contact and communication
    • participation in the process
    • proposing solutions
Recommendations for creating shift schedules
  • Respect the laws of the respective country
    • Take into consideration ensuring smooth course of production
    • Activity of trade unions or employees councils
  • Recommendations for creating shift schedules according to scientific knowledge:
    • Short shift is the healthiest because the biorhythm is not disturbed. In contrast, every continuous operation has a negative influence on the organism.
    • Permanent night shifts only in specific and exceptional cases
    • Shortest possible series of night shifts (usually not more than two to four subsequent night shifts)
    • Sufficient periods of rest between two shifts
  • Regular free weekends in the continuous shift system
    • (two days minimum, one of them Saturday or Sunday)
  • Increased stress of shift workers should be compensated with extra time off
  • No working period of eight or more working days
  • Adaptation of shift length to the degree of physical and mental stress; always consider the health aspect
  • Night shifts must always be shorter than morning or swing shifts
  • The sequence of shifts in the continuous shift system should always move forward (first the morning shift, then the swing shift, and finally the night shift)
  • The morning shift should start as late as possible, the night shift should finish as early as possible
  • Regularity in the shift sequence
  • In creating the shift schedule, commuter traffic should be taken into account
  • Timely information of employees about the shift plan
  • Reduction of the working hours length (given by legislation, danger of work accumulation with consequent impairment of employees’ health)
  • Possibility of meeting individual requests concerning working hours
Alternative arrangements for working hours, breaks and overtime
  • Skilled workers can usually vary their working hours to some extent, depending on the legislation of the respective country:
    • Flexible working hours scheduling
    • Working hours account
    • Shorter working hours
    • Part-time work
  • Breaks:
    • Rest period and lunch/snack break
    • Safety break
  • Overtime
    • Number of hours
    • Rules for overtime orders

It would be helpful to have the same working time regulations in all European countries.