Contractors' Use of Altered Work Schedules for Their Employees--How Is It Working?

PSAD-76-124: Published: Apr 7, 1976. Publicly Released: Apr 7, 1976.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

In recent years there has been considerable interest in the use of altered work schedules, such as flexible and 4-day work schedules. Under some altered schedules the 40-hour workweek of five 8-hour work days is compressed into four 10-hour workdays or three 12-hour workdays. Other altered schedules give employees flexibility in choosing their hours of work.

Altered work schedules can improve employee morale and attendance; reduce overtime expenses; increase employee productivity; increase the use of capital assets; reduce energy comsumption; enable better service to the public; permit better use of transportation and recreation facilities; and open job opportunities for additional persons. However, altered work schedules also can be detrimental: employee fatigue can result; work scheduling can become more difficult; overtime costs can increase; and productivity may decrease. The use of altered work schedules is more difficult for Government contractors than for other employers because of legislation which requires payment of overtime premiums when emplyees work more than 8 hours a day. Strict adherence to fixed 5-day schedules is not always to the advantage of employee and employers.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: When considering proposed amendments to current legislation Congress should include provisions which require Government contractors to: (1) use compressed schedules for their employees to pay overtime premiums when a 4-day schedule is used and the number of hours worked exceeds 10 a day or when 3-day schedule is used and the number of hours exceeds 12 a day; and (2) use flexible work schedules, allowing employees to bank and borrow time by working more or less than 8 hours a day without being required to pay overtime for hours worked at the employees convenience. As a long-range objective Congress should consider establishing more uniform Federal policies on overtime requirements in view of the advantages of altered work schedules.


Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Oct 10, 2018

Oct 9, 2018

Sep 5, 2018

Jul 16, 2018

May 9, 2018

Feb 8, 2018

Dec 21, 2017

Dec 7, 2017

Nov 20, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here