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How to calculate your average working week hours

To determine your weekly paid leave benefit amount, we’ll need to know the average number of hours you work per week. 

We will use your average work week hours to establish your prorated benefit rate for intermittent and reduced leave claims. This will determine how much we'll pay you for time off during an intermittent leave. 

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How to calculate your working hours

To determine your weekly paid leave benefit amount, we need to know about your work schedule. 

Paid leave benefits from PFML are based on weeks. The average number of hours you work in a week is how we determine how many weeks of leave you are taking. For example, if you work an average of 30 hours per week and you take 45 hours of leave, that’s 1.5 weeks of leave.

If you have worked a consistent weekly schedule for the last year, you can use that to determine your average working hours. If your schedule varies, here’s how to find your average hours worked in different situations.

Calculating your current average work week hours

When to use this:

If your work schedule is not consistent week to week, you need to enter the average number of hours you work per week when you apply for paid leave.

We will use your average work week hours to establish your prorated benefit rate for intermittent and reduced leave claims. This will determine how much we'll pay you for time off during an intermittent leave.

What is my average work week?

The average hours you work per week is the average number of hours you worked during your highest earning quarters in the 12 months before you apply for paid leave. It’s important that this number is as accurate as possible. To calculate this, follow the steps below.

Because work schedules may vary from week to week it is important that you follow these steps and do not use an estimate. You can review your pay stubs or ask your employer to help with steps 1 and 2. The Department will confirm the average hours you work per week with your employer as part of the application review process.

How to calculate your current average hours

  1. Determine the two highest earning quarters in the 12 months before you submit your application for paid leave.

  2. For each of those two quarters, determine the total hours you worked during that quarter.

  3. Add up the total number of hours you worked in the two highest earning quarters in the 12 months prior to your application.

  4. Divide the number of total hours by 26 (the number of weeks in two quarters).

  5. The resulting number is the average number of hours you work per week.

Use this number when asked for the average number of hours in your work week.

For example:

Dan works a rotating schedule that changes every 2 weeks. In his two highest earning quarters in the last 12 months before he submits his paid leave application to DFML, he worked a total of 520 hours.

Dan worked 520 hours in his two highest earning quarters. Dan works an average of 20 hours per work week (520 divided by 26 weeks)

Calculating the hours you would have worked when you took previous leave

When to use this:

If you are reporting leave that you took in the past, before the start of your paid leave from DFML, you need to report how many hours you would normally have worked. This is the number of hours you would have worked during those weeks, if you did not take leave.

How to calculate hours you normally worked for previous leave

  1. If you took a period of leave for a qualifying reason since a year before your start date, figure out which days you took leave.

  2. Figure out how many weeks those days stretched across. Calculate weeks from Sunday to Saturday.

  3. For each of the weeks you had any leave, record the number of hours you would have worked if you were not taking leave.

  4. Add up the number of hours from each week to get your total.

  5. Divide by the total number of weeks.

  6. The resulting number is the average hours you would have worked during weeks when you took your previous leave.

Use this number when asked for the number of hours you normally worked when you took previous leave.

For example:

Maria took medical leave starting on Thursday, March 4, 2021. She was off work until Wednesday, March 10, 2021. The days she took off were Thursday, Friday, and Wednesday.

If she was not taking leave, Maria would have worked 30 hours in the week of February 28 – March 6. She would have worked 40 hours in the week of March 7 – March 13. Even though she took off three days in those two weeks, we are looking for the number of hours she would have worked if she did not take off those three days.

Maria would have worked 70 hours over 2 weeks if she was not on leave. (30 hours in week 1 plus 40 hours in week 2.)

Maria’s normal hours she would have worked per week is 35. (70 hours divided by 2 weeks.)

Contact

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Get answers to your questions in English, Español, and Português. Translation services for up to 240+ languages are also available. (833) 344-7365

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Department of Family and Medical Leave - Hours of operation: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m - 5 p.m.

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