Planning and monitoring
The employer must prepare the following in planning and arranging working hours and for monitoring actual working hours:
- the working hours adjustment system,
- the shift roster, and
- the record of working hours.
How does the working hours adjustment system work with average working hours and period-based work?
An employer applying the average working hours provision or period-based work provisions of the Working Hours Act must have a working hours adjustment system in place. The system must show the regular working hours for at least every week in the adjustment period.
The adjustment system must be prepared in advance at least for the period within which the regular working hours must average out to the statutory or agreed average number. Employees must be notified of any changes to the adjustment system well ahead of time.
What is a shift roster?
The employer must prepare a shift roster in advance. It must show the beginning and end times for each employee’s regular working hours and the times of the daily breaks. If average working hours or period-based work is applied at the workplace, the shift roster must generally be prepared for the same period of time as the working hours adjustment system. However, a shift roster may be prepared for a period shorter than the adjustment period if its preparation would be unreasonably difficult because of the length of the adjustment period or the irregularity of the work concerned.
The shift roster must be issued to employees in writing well ahead of time, no later than one week before the start of the period it covers. After the shift roster is published, it may not be amended except by consent of the employee(s) concerned or for compelling reasons having to do with the reorganisation of work.
Collective agreements also contain provisions on working hours adjustment systems and shift rosters. The employer must comply with the provisions of the applicable collective agreement.
Content and management of the record of working hours
The employer must keep a record of working hours, itemised by employee, and the remunerations paid. The employer must retain the record of working hours at least until the end of the period for claims specified in section 38 of the Working Hours Act.
The Working Hours Act does not specify the technical means for how the record of working hours should be kept. It may be kept as part of payroll accounting or as a separate entity.
There are two ways of managing the record of working hours; the employer may choose which is best suited.
Enter the regular working hours and the working hours for additional work, overtime, emergency work and Sunday work, and the remuneration paid for each of these. This alternative is recommended for salaried employees.
Enter all working hours and then enter separately the working hours for overtime, emergency work and Sunday work, and the remuneration increments paid for the latter. This alternative is recommended for employees paid by the hour.
Recording additional work
If the record of working hours is kept according to alternative 1, additional work must be separately entered. If the record of working hours is kept according to alternative 2, the working hours for additional work are already included in the total working hours and need not be recorded separately.
Additional work must not be entered in bookkeeping as overtime, even if a wage increment is paid or even if the applicable collective agreement refers to additional work as overtime.
In both of the above alternatives, overtime as defined in the Working Hours Act must be recorded at the actual time when the work was done. In other words, overtime must not be recorded according to when and how it was remunerated.
It is recommendable to record daily and weekly overtime hours separately because their remuneration is calculated differently. It is also recommendable to itemise daily overtime hours and period-work overtime hours by increment percentage, i.e. 50% and 100%.
The important thing about the record of working hours is that all the necessary information must be clearly entered. Overtime hours as per the definition of the Working Hours Act must be clearly legible in the bookkeeping without performing any calculations.
It must be possible to observe in the bookkeeping that the maximum limits on overtime according to the statutory four-month accrual period or any accrual period specified in the applicable collective agreement and in the calendar year have been complied with.
If the flexible working hours system is in use at the workplace, the record must include ‘cutoff hours’, i.e. the hours worked in excess of the maximum positive accumulation of flexible working hours.
Neglecting to keep a record of working hours
It is an offence punishable under the Criminal Code for an employer to:
- neglect to keep a record of working hours,
- keep the record incorrectly,
- alter the record,
- destroy or hide the record, or
- render the record illegible.