Idle Time: Types, Treatment and Control

Plant managers, engineers, and superintendents are all concerned with idle time. A production manager or production engineer oversees the day-to-day operations of each shift in their facility. They track how much product is produced per hour or day, and how long it takes to complete tasks. They also track what equipment needs to be repaired or replaced, so it’s important for them to calculate and track idle time. Planned idle time, also known as normal idle time, refers to the time when a machine operator does not use an asset for production.

(v) The time lost when production is interrupted for machine maintenance. This represents the time, the wastage of which cannot be avoided and, therefore, the employer must bear the labour cost of this time. But every effort should be made to reduce it to the lowest possible level. Idle time variance illustrates the adverse impact on the profitability of an organization as a result of having paid for the labor time which did not result in any production. Idle time variance is therefore always described as an ‘adverse’ variance. To see all of this in action, sign up for a free trial of When I Work and find out how you can get your labor costs under control.

A company operates a factory which employed 40 direct workersthroughout the four-week period just ended. Direct employees were paidat a basic rate of $4.00 per hour for a 38-hour week. Total hours of thedirect workers in the four-week period were 6,528. Overtime, which ispaid at a premium of 35%, is worked in order to meet general productionrequirements. In the production process, lost time may occur for several reasons. The idle time is the difference between hours paid and hours worked.

In any business, there’s what you’re capable of producing and what you’re actually producing. Please note that the information on our website is intended for general informational purposes and not as binding advice. The information on our website cannot be considered a substitute for legal and binding advice for any specific situation. While we strive to provide up-to-date and accurate information, we do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of the information on our website for any purpose. We are not liable for any damage or loss arising from the use of the information on our website.

  1. Unless you’re standing directly over the shoulders of your employees, the best way to do this is with a time-tracking tool.
  2. Retail and other specified businesses must also pay overtime for work on Sundays and holidays.
  3. Maybe you thought they were lazy, procrastinating, or didn’t care.
  4. This is especially true for human resources, where more workers are hired for an expected high demand.

The fragmented work process leads to missed deadlines, inefficient resource utilization, and a sense of ineffectiveness. This can impede the organization’s ability to meet goals and deliver quality results. Downtime can also occur when too many people are away from the office, say, on vacations or out sick. In that case, unlike idle time, a job can’t just be done whenever everything is ready, as the key tools—in this case, the people—are completely offline. Responsibility for personal development doesn’t sit squarely on the shoulders of management. Rather than pretending to be busy, employees can use their idle time to learn something new or advance their existing skills, such as through online classes, certification courses, or mentoring.

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Planned idle time can be a waste of money, and resources like energy, materials, and space. However, certain states like California or specific union agreements might require it. Before we get started, keep in mind that according to the FLSA, a workweek is considered to be seven consecutive 24-hour periods. You don’t have to have the same workweek for every employee group or location, but it does need to be documented and regular once you’ve selected it. Actual output during the year was 38,000 units which took 4,180 hours to make.

When workers have to work beyond their normal duty hours, the additional period is treated as Overtime. Overtime is an extra time over and above the scheduled hours of work or beyond the usual working hours. When workers are detained for overtime, they are normally paid at double the usual rate for extra hours. When employees are not engaged in productive activities it can have serious implications for employers. According to a 2018 study from the Harvard Business School, 78.1% of workers find themselves on a weekly basis with involuntary idle time, which costs employers an estimated $100 billion per year. When an asset is waiting to run or not scheduled to run, the time spent waiting is called idle time.

Empower your maintenance team

There are many common causes for unproductive hours in a manufacturing setting, including problems in the supply chain or poor planning. The time spent waiting for the delivery of raw materials is considered idle, as is the unexpected absence of employees due to illness or employee strikes. Machine downtime or planned preventive maintenance tasks count as idle time, as well. Idle time means the amount of time the workers remain idle in a normal working day. It is that time for which the employer pays, but from which he obtains no production. In other words, idle time is the difference between the time shown by the time card and job card.

Idle time vs overtime in cost accounting?

The difference between scheduled productive time and actual production time is your idle time. For example, if your asset was meant to run for 12 hours but only ran for 3, your idle time would be 9 hours. What this means is that employers may have daily or weekly overtime laws to follow. The FLSA only addresses workweek difference between idle time and overtime total hours, while states may address daily totals. It’s easy to see how being short staffed can quickly lead to exploding overtime costs, so for employers, it’s important to stay on top of overtime to reduce overtime expenses. Employers sometimes offer double time pay in order to fill unpopular shifts.

Join over 140,000 other people and get valuable business tips delivered right to your inbox. It is important to try to identify why people leave an organisationand to distinguish between avoidable and unavoidable causes of labourturnover. In an examination you will be given clear instructions on any bonusscheme in operation.

We looked at time-based systems, the most common remuneration method, at the beginning of this chapter. There are two basic approaches to remuneration, time-related oroutput-related. Another example is a piece of equipment  breaking down during a shift. If not reported fast enough, the next shift might show up only to realize they can’t do any work—or without any instruction on what to do in the meantime. If you’ve ever played the game telephone, you know how much a message can change from sender to receiver.

Human factors, such as strikes and unexpected personal events, also have an impact on productivity, as do maintenance tasks – both planned and unplanned. Idle time should not be confused with idle capacity or idle facility. Idle capacity is the unused capacity of a plant, equipment or department which cannot be utilised profitably. Idle capacity is related to the unused production potentiality whereas idle time is related to the time not utilised on production. Idle facility refers to that part of the production facilities available which remains unutilised. (vi) The time lost due to waiting for job, instructions, drawings, the prints, material etc. or due to machine set-up time which are normal to production.

Double time is sometimes paid for working on federal holidays or when hours exceed the normal workweek or workday, depending on employer policy. It’s unrealistic to expect employees to reduce time spent waiting to zero, and downtime can be good for employees’ health, so it’s critical you have a benchmark. These are important questions to answer before you can begin cracking down on inefficiencies and optimizing your processes. Downtime can be planned, with examples including government-mandated employee break times, time outside their contracted hours, and machine downtime caused by scheduled maintenance. But it is unplanned downtime, covering impromptu breaks, employee strikes, machine failure, and underutilization, that can lead to lost productivity when managed poorly.

What does mean by Idle Time and Overtime of Workers?

D) Overtime worked on account of abnormal conditions such as flood, earthquake etc. should not be charged to cost but to costing P/L A/c. C) If overtime is worked in a department, due to the fault of another department, the overtime premium should be charged to the latter department. Both overtime and paycheck are spelled as a single word, so remember this similarity next time you need to use either over time or overtime.

The Kentucky Labor Cabinet website may have additional specific information on wage laws in the state. $12.75 with an automatic 10 cent increase in the event that the federal minimum wage equals or exceeds the state rate. Performing preventive maintenance tasks on a regular basis contributes to an overall longer asset lifespan and can help keep your machines in the best shape. This reduces downtime due to unforeseen breakdowns and also less idle time in the entire production process. ToolSense’s asset management solution helps you keep track of all upcoming maintenance tasks by allowing you to set up scheduled reminders for recurring tasks and inspections.

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