15 Aug 2023

9 day fortnight calculator

Use the calculator below to easily generate your own compressed hours based work schedule.

What is a 9 day fortnight?

The 9-day fortnight is a flexible working arrangement where employees work their full fortnightly schedule in nine days instead of the usual ten.
image of a clock hanging on a white wall
This results in one extra day off every two weeks. Some organisations offer a version of the 9 day fortnight that slashes fortnightly hours versus compressing them as seen below.

How to calculate the 9 day fortnight working schedule?

  1. Calculate weekly hours. First, establish how many hours your employee is contracted to work each week.
  2. Calculate fortnightly hours. Multiply the weekly contracted hours by 2 to determine the total hours your employee should work over a two-week (fortnight) period.
  3. Calculate daily hours in the 9 day pattern. Divide the total fortnightly hours by 9 to figure out how many hours your employee needs to work each day in a 9-day fortnight schedule.

One example of this is

Sally’s regular work schedule is 40 hours a week, which translates to 80 hours over a two-week period (fortnight) when she works 5 days a week.

She now wants to work a 9-day fortnight, meaning she’ll work for nine days over two weeks, taking every other Friday off.

To maintain her total of 80 work hours within the nine days, she needs to divide the 80 hours by 9 days, which results in approximately 8.9 hours per day.

Previously, Sally worked from 9AM to 5PM with a one-hour lunch break. Now, in her 9-day fortnight pattern, she will need to extend her workday to 8.9 hours.

Starting at 9AM, she will finish her workday at approximately 5:54PM instead of 5PM. Her one-hour lunch break remains unchanged.

This new schedule allows her to enjoy a full day off every other Friday while still fulfilling her 80-hour work commitment over two weeks. Use our 9 day fortnight calculator above to try this out yourself!

Complications and concerns around the 9 day fortnight

Overtime laws in the UK, such as the working time directive, outline that employees should work no more than 48 hours a week. Attempting to alter your work schedule to fit the 9 day fortnight might mean that your employees violate overtime laws some weeks. It is possible for those outside of certain industries to opt out of the overtime restrictions but this must be directed in writing and cannot be forced by an employer.

Overtime regulations aside, working longer hours every week, even with an extra day off, may not be a feasible way to work. There is every indication that your employees’ happiness, productivity and work life balance will fall off kilter after nine intense days of work. A World Health Organisation study has even indicated that people who work 55 or more hours a week are 35% more likely to have a stroke, or die of health disease.

Your employees may not even feel the added benefit of an extra day off, if they have been roped into an excessively gruelling work schedule. Indeed, many employers, with data backed results from a 9 day fortnight model, have not asked their employees to work the 9 day fortnight in a compressed manner. Instead they offer a day off every fortnight, with no slashing of renumeration – a method that seems to have boosted productivity.

How to promote wellbeing whilst working a 9 day fortnight?

Taking a day off work should be an opportunity to rest, recharge, and rejuvenate. This is especially the case for employees that are working in a compressed or condensed hours pattern. To maintain the highest levels of wellbeing possible, we have put together a few tips for employers to promote throughout their workforce.

Disconnect from work

To stay balanced and make the most of your day off, it’s essential to establish boundaries and plan activities that align with your needs. Start by disconnecting from work – silence your work phone, avoid checking emails, and let your colleagues know you are unavailable.

Practice self care

Spend time engaging in activities that nurture your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. This can include activities like exercising, meditating, reading, cooking a nutritious meal, or engaging in hobbies that bring you joy. Don’t overburden yourself with errands or household chores; instead, allocate some time to simply relax and do nothing.

Cultivate your relationships

If possible, spend quality time with loved ones, as meaningful social interactions can significantly boost your mood. Remember that taking care of yourself isn’t selfish – it’s a necessary part of maintaining your overall well-being and ensuring you can bring your best self to work and other areas of your life.