Annualised hours contracts: the way forward in labour market flexibility?


Bell D & Hart RA (2003) Annualised hours contracts: the way forward in labour market flexibility?. National Institute Economic Review, 185 (1), pp. 64-77.

Under annualised hours' contracts (AHCs), workers and management agree to the length and scheduling of working hours over a 12-month period. Such contracts have been widely seen as a potentially important way of achieving greater labour market flexibility and enhanced efficiency in work organisation. There exists very little empirical work on these contracts and this study is intended to provide insights into their British labour market role and potential. Especially for workers who are not in management or a profession, the costs of switching to AHCs are substantial. The enterprises that are likely to gain from the switch are those that (a) experience significant fluctuations in output/service demand and (b) desire to utilise plant and space more intensively over the calendar year. In this latter respect, plants incorporating complex shift operations are particularly associated with AHCs.

National Institute Economic Review: Volume 185, Issue 1

Publication date31/07/2003
PublisherSAGE Publications / National Institute of Economic and Social Research