Working nine to five, five days a week, is not a schedule that all industries can adopt, because many jobs experience high and low periods that cannot be supported by a steady schedule. This is the case for many of the nearly 25% of the North American workforce whose jobs require shiftwork (according to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety), as well as many seasonal workers in various industries.
Managing these types of schedules can be complicated, which is why averaging agreements exist to help better manage the pay that results from irregular hours of work. A common misconception about averaging agreements is that they are like flexible work schedules or even flex time, which is not the case.
Averaging agreements are legislatively governed agreements that an employer may enter into with an employee or a group of employees that average hours over two or more weeks rather than the standard single week for the purpose of determining overtime pay. The averaging agreement comes in response to irregular hours of work, but does not establish those hours. The primary benefit employers stand to gain from using averaging agreements is limiting the amount of overtime that is paid out.