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What’s an alternative work schedule?
It’s a schedule other than the standard 80-hour pay period. Alternative work schedules come in two basic types: flexible and compressed.

A flexible work schedule breaks the workday into components of flexible time bands and core time. During the flexible time bands, the employee selects arrival and departure times for the workday. The core time is the period in the schedule during which the employee must be present at work or account for those hours with leave, credit hours, or compensatory time off.

Under a compressed work schedule, full-time employees fulfill the 80-hour biweekly work requirement in less than 10 days by increasing the number of hours in a workday. The two most common compressed work schedules are the 4-10 and the 5/4-9 schedules. Employees on a 4-10 schedule work four, 10-hour days each work week. Employees on the 5-4/9 schedule work nine hours each day for eight days and work eight hours for one day. In addition to their weekends, the employees get one additional day off each pay period.

In union-represented workplaces, terms typically are negotiated.

Certain special rules apply to benefits based on work scheduling such as Sunday pay and night pay; see Chapter 8, Section 2 of the Federal Employees Almanac.

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