Scheduling instability can lead to income instability. When workers don’t know whether they will work 10 hours or 40 hours in a given week, it is nearly impossible for them to budget for expenses like food, housing, childcare, and education, and to make ends meet.

When combined with low wages, workers facing volatile schedules often find themselves in need of income support from public benefits programs, such as cash and nutritional assistance and unemployment insurance programs.

Yet, the very job scheduling issues that contribute to many workers’ financial insecurity often create obstacles to accessing these benefits. Changes to program rules and regulations, as well as fair job scheduling practices and policies, could help to alleviate these barriers to vital public programs.