Regular working hours

It is important to agree on working hours when signing the employment contract.

‘Regular working hours’ as defined in the Working Hours Act refer to the daily and weekly hours worked by the employee. Under the general provision in the Working Hours Act, regular working hours shall not exceed eight hours a day or 40 hours a week. The ‘day’ and ‘week’ are defined as the calendar day and calendar week, respectively, unless otherwise agreed. The general provision does not prohibit working hours arrangements where the working hours are shorter than the above. The general provision also allows for averaging working hours over a longer period of time, allowing for a six-day working week.

Average working hours

Working hours may be arranged on the basis of an average over a longer period of time. In this arrangement, weekly working hours may be arranged so that they work out to no more than 40 hours per week on average over an adjustment period of 52 werks. The adjustment period may also be shorter.

Period-based work

Working hours may be arranged as period-based work in the sectors listed in the Working Hours Act. In period-based work, working hours are principally arranged so that they do not exceed 120 hours during a three-week period or 80 hours during a two-week period.

Derogations may be made to the above in order to organise work in a practicable way or to avoid shifts impractical for employees. In such a situation, regular working hours may be arranged so that they do not exceed 240 hours during:

- two consecutive three-week periods or
- three consecutive two-week periods.

Regular working hours shall not exceed 128 hours during either of the three-week periods or 88 hours during any of the two-week periods.