How to calculate your full-time equivalent workforce?

The number of employees in a company is not an easy concept to define. Staff movements can be numerous depending on your activity, the economic context, the contract of each of your employees and the size of your company. Beyond its impact on your obligations and costs, knowing your workforce will allow you to plan the right resources at the right time and optimise their volume according to the context. Among the methods of calculating the number of employees, the full-time equivalent (FTE) is an important unit of measurement for establishing a reliable budget and managing your business strategy. How do you calculate it? What data should you use? Are there different methods? We have studied the subject for you.

Calculating your full-time equivalent workforce: what data to  take into account

Any company needs to know its workforce for social, financial and strategic management reasons. The full-time equivalent is one way of looking at your company's workforce and will allow you to measure the workload and work capacity of an employee over a year.

In order to calculate your full-time equivalent as well as possible, here are the main data to collect and their particularities.

Differences between contracts

As the full-time equivalent is a smoothed method of counting your workforce, it is important to distinguish between the types of contract in the calculation. Employees on permanent contracts, whether in a company or at home, count as one unit . Thus, 20 employees on permanent contracts = 20 full-time equivalents. On the other hand, all other employees will be considered according to their time of presence during the last 12 months. This includes :

  • Employees on fixed-term contracts
  • Temporary employees
  • Employees made available by an external service provider if they have been working on the premises for at least one year
  • Temporary workers from temporary employment

Thus, 3 employees on fixed-term contracts for a period of 2 months each will represent : (3x2) / 12 = 0.5 full time equivalent.

Work time of every employee

La durée du travail est aussi un indicateur important dans le calcul de l’équivalent temps plein.  Elle sera importante à prendre en compte dans le calcul de votre effectif mensuel moyen en ETP. La durée mensuelle légale du travail est comptabilisée sur la base de 52 semaines de 35 heures. Elle sera donc égale à : 35 x 52 = 1820 heures / 12 mois = 151,67 heures
Par ailleurs, tous vos salariés n’effectuent pas 35 heures par semaine. C’est le cas notamment des salariés à temps partiel.
Ainsi, prenons le cas de l’un de vos salariés embauchés à 20 heures par semaine. Il comptera alors pour : 20/35 = 0,57 équivalent temps plein. 

Note: if some of your employees have both a fixed-term contract and a part-time job, then both rules are taken into account. Thus, for an employee working 17.5 hours per week for a period of 2 months, we will count: 17.5/35 x 2/12 = 0.125 full-time equivalent.

Cases to exclude from the calculation

Veillez à exclure du calcul de votre effectif en équivalent temps plein : 

  • Les salariés en CDD, mis à disposition ou en intérim qui remplacent un salarié absent ou dont le contrat est momentanément suspendu (dû à un congé de paternité/maternité, d’adoption…) 
  • Les apprentis
  • Les titulaires d’un contrat de professionnalisation
  • Les titulaires d’un contrat d'insertion type initiative emploi 

Other methods to calculate your workforce full-time equivalent

The larger your company, the more data you will need to aggregate and the more complicated the formulas for calculating your workforce full-time equivalent will become. This is mostly the case if your company has several establishments. If your company is a large account, there are other ways to help you save time and simplify this process. In all cases, you should choose the most efficient solution for your company, taking into account the financial and time investments.

Using an online calculator

You can enter all your data into an online tool that will take care of everything for you. Simple and efficient.

Developing a tailor-made tool

You can also ask your IT department or an external service provider to design a customised software package for you. In this case, be sure to check the specifications to ensure that the project is feasible. Compiling HR data is a real job!

Calling on an expert consultant

Calling in a legal or tax professional can also be a solution. You will need to trust this professional because he or she will need to have access to all your company's tax and HR data.


Simplify your replacement management with Andjaro

Humans are at the heart of organisations, but if they are missing, how can operations continue? Variations in activity, absenteeism, labour shortages and staff turnover all too often lead to outsourcing and job insecurity. It is against these methods, and to solve urgent situations of understaffing, that the Andjaro replacement solution was created in 2016.

Andjaro provides a real-time view of all available pools of employees, both internal and external. With just a few clicks, managers can mobilise the nearest willing person based on their skills, or ask their staff to provide backup at other sites. The SaaS software integrates with the organisation's HRIS to facilitate administrative management by human resources managers. From the expression of a need to contractualisation, the entire staffing process is digitalised and secured.
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