Employee scheduling in service industries with flexible employee availability and demand
Omega : The International Journal of Management Science
We consider an employee scheduling problem arising in service industries with flexible employee availability and flexible demand. In the system to be planned, there is a given set of service requirements and a set of employees at any time. Each employee belongs to one of various skill levels; each service requirement specifies the requested employee skill level, timing of the service delivery, and a weight that indicates its priority. Employees have individual flexible contracts with the
... ation, which are characterized by weekly/monthly contracted work hours, days the employee is available for work and availability of overtime. Furthermore, there are regulations on maximum work hours and minimum rest requirements of employees enforced by the government and the labor union. The problem that we investigate is to generate an assignment of employees to service requirements, which (i) ensures that the maximum weighted number of service requirements are met, (ii) satisfies government and labor union regulations, (iii) honors individual employee contracts with minimum deviation from the contracted work hours, and (iv) ensures a fair balance between employee schedules in terms of work assignments on holidays. We model the problem as a mixedinteger programming problem and discuss a reformulation strategy, which allows us to * Corresponding author 1 solve practical problems in a reasonable amount of time. We also report our experience in a large health-care organization in Belgium.