Twenty years ago, 60% of workers in the health and residential care sectors were full-time
From 2008, there has been a meteoric rise in part-time workers, so that now there are more part-time than full-time workers in health services and only four workers in 10 in residential care that are full-time, according to the BankWest/Curtin Economics Centre report “To Health and Happiness”.
The balance of part-time and full-time work is sharply different for women compared to men. Just over half of the 136,190 women in the health and social assistance sector are working in part-time roles, compared to around 18% of men.
Part-timers work in shifts, and often these are on rotation.
It means healthcare organisations need sleek workplace management systems in place to keep track of a constantly moving workforce. This to ensure greater flexibility and to maximise the efficiencies when it comes to rostering and staff management.
Rostering software that makes managing part-time workers easier
Allocate can support this part-time workforce with solutions that accommodate both these workers’ and their employers’ needs.
Allocate Software’s APAC Managing Director Matt Durston says one of the challenges in managing a large part-time workforce is being able to utilise all their contract hours.
“Managing workforce vacancies and contract hours is more complex than simply filling shifts,” Durston says. “Fortunately this can be managed through Allocate’s rostering solution”.
Durston said there’s no need to go to outside solutions, as the Allocate rostering suite as it all in one neat package. It ensures fairness in the rostering process, compliance of workplace rules and better control of the staff cost.
Knowing the skills and preferences of your working staff
Allocate’s rostering solution gives managers full visibility to part-time staff. It knows their skills and preferences: when they are already working, whether they are available to fill a shift and when they want to work.
With the platform, managers can fill gaps in rosters quickly and effectively by sending a text message to those part-time staff who are suitably qualified and available to pick up additional shifts without incurring in additional overtime or the need to go to agency.
“It’s important to manage part-timers in a way that they are utilised to a health service’s fully contracted hours to optimise dollars.
“Part-timers need to be looked after and managed carefully as they allow more flexibility and more options of resources that could work different shifts and fill vacancies in rostered work.”
However, at times, a specific health service, residence or clinic may not have available shifts to offer to the part-timer staff in order to meet those contracted hours, incurring in unused hours of care, therefore a cost. At the same time that this is occurring in one site, there might be another side located at no more than 5km away, that is skill or staff shortage. If only they could have an integrated view of the demand and supply on their cluster, both sites would end up in a better staffing and cost situation.
In the UK, Allocate introduced CloudStaff, a Collaborative Staff Bank that pools casual workers from participating health services (NHS Trusts), allowing the health service to offer available duties to workers from other organisations, and these workers the possibility to directly book the vacant shifts. It enabled the efficient filling of available shifts helping to improve shift fill rates and reduce the reliance upon agency workers.
The Allocate Me app is the enabler to this revolutionary way of managing part-time and casual healthcare workforce. AllocateMe is a great way to keep nurses connected to their places of work.
The mobile app empowers part-time staff to manage and book work at their own convenience. It makes it easy for them to book and swap shifts, secure leave and make requests to work when and where they want.
Sharon is Allocates Australia and New Zealand Customer Success Manager. She has worked with Allocate for 5 years, 4 years of those as an Implementation Consultant. Prior to joining Allocate she worked in the Aged Care sector. Among other initiates she managers the Success Programme. This programme ensures Allocate cloud customers receive premium outcomes for their Allocate Solution.