Working hours - Yleistä UUSI laki

 

General information on topic

Please note: A new version of the Finnish Working Hours Act entered into force on 1 January 2020. The information on this page is based on the new Act. You can find the content according to the old Act here.

‘Regular working hours’ as defined in the Working Hours Act refer to the daily and weekly hours worked by the employee. The ‘day’ and ‘week’ are defined as the calendar day and calendar week, respectively, unless otherwise agreed.

Differing provisions on working hours may have been agreed in the collective agreement. The employer must thus consult the applicable collective agreement concerning working hours.

If the work to be done involves transport, in determining the principles for working hours the employer must consider the provisions of the Working Hours Act on the working hours of motor vehicle drivers and the driving times and rest period of motor vehicle drivers.

If there are employees aged under 18, the employer must take into account the provisions of the Young Workers Act regarding maximum working hours and the timing of working hours.

What is considered working hours?

The time spent on work is considered working hours. The time an employee is required to be present at a place of work at the employer’s disposal is also considered working hours. In other words, when an employee is required to remain at the workplace, even if he/she is not doing any work, this counts as working hours if the employee is ready to resume work immediately if needed.

There may be more specific provisions concerning working hours in collective agreements.

The ‘workplace’ may be defined as not only the regular or principal workplace but any location where the employer assigns the employee to perform work.

What is not considered working hours?

Principally, the following are not considered to be included in working hours:

  • daily breaks, if the employee is free to leave the workplace during these times, and
  • travel time, if it does not constitute work performance in itself.

The Labour Council has issued statements concerning whether training, health examinations and social functions should be included in working hours. Whether or not a particular time is considered to be included in working hours should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Sunday work

Employees can only be asked to work on a Sunday or a religious holiday if this is provided for in their employment contract or with their consent. Employees’ consent is not needed if the work by its nature is regularly performed on Sundays. For example, work carried out in restaurants or shops can be determined as such statutory work regularly carried out on the said days due to its nature.

The wage payable for Sunday work performed as part of regular working hours is the regular wage with a 100% increment. The Sunday increment cannot be included in the employee’s basic wages. Sunday work bonuses or parts thereof can be converted to time off in lieu by agreement.

Working hours - Työntekijälle UUSI laki

 

Instructions for employee

Flexible working hours accumulations

If you have a flexible working hours arrangement, ensure that you remain within the accumulation limits defined. For instance, if it has been agreed that the number of extra hours may not exceed 60 hours, then it is your responsibility to ensure that that maximum is not exceeded.

If your accumulation is at the maximum and your work requires working a longer day, ask your supervisor whether you could continue your work on overtime.

Before you agree to a flexible working time arrangement

Make sure that the terms of the arrangement are laid down in writing. Flexible working time arrangements are not designed to allow you to work more but to enable you to arrange your working hours more flexibly across each adjustment period. Even with a flexible working time arrangement, there is still a maximum average number of working hours that cannot be exceeded. It is your responsibility to make sure that your working hours average out at no more than 40 hours per week during each four-month period. Also remember to provide your employer with a list of your regular working hours during each pay period as agreed with your employer. The list must show your weekly working hours and free time.

Number of hours worked

You should keep a record at least of the overtime you have worked so that you can verify that your pay has been correctly calculated.

Entering information into a working hours accounting system

Always check the rules agreed for the working hours accounting system at your workplace before you consent to your employer’s entering information into your working hours account. If your employer’s working hours accounting scheme is based on a collective agreement, check the relevant provisions in the collective agreement.

Employees are entitled to be given details from the record of working hours concerning themselves.

An employee or a third party authorised by that employee is entitled to receive from the employer a written statement on the details concerning the employee himself/herself in the shift roster and the record of working hours. 

If you need this information, you may use the form: Document request to employer (in Finnish).

If you are not given this information despite asking for it, contact the occupational safety and health division at your local Regional State Administrative Agency. An occupational safety and health inspector may, with your consent, take monitoring action to obtain the information in question.

Working hours - Työnantajalle UUSI laki

 

Instructions for employer

Preparing and publishing the shift roster

The employer must prepare and publish the shift roster in good time. The employer must comply with the provisions of the applicable collective agreement in preparing the shift roster. A shift roster is of great importance in work where working days and working hours change constantly. It is important for employees to know about their working hours beforehand for time management reasons.

The employee must be able to trust that the published shift roster will be followed without changes. Therefore, a shift roster once published can principally only be amended with the consent of the employee(s) concerned.

Working hours of employees subject to flexible working time arrangements

Although work should, as a rule, only be performed on weekdays, employees who are subject to flexible working time arrangements can also be asked to work on Sundays. The rate payable for any work performed on Sundays depends on whether working on a Sunday is the employee’s choice. If an employee chooses to work on a Sunday instead of a weekday, a normal rate is payable for the work. If, however, it is the employer’s requirement that the employee works on a Sunday, a Sunday work bonus must be paid.

Entering information into a working hours accounting system

It is the employer’s responsibility to seek employees’ consent before entering any information into their working hours accounts. Employees can give their consent for each entry separately or for a fixed period of a short duration.

Correct keeping of the record of working hours

It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that their employees’ working hours are recorded correctly. Correct documentation of working hours is of crucial importance if disagreements concerning hours worked and compensation paid need to be resolved after the fact between employer and employee.

Employees who are subject to flexible working time arrangements must provide their employer with a list of the regular hours that they have worked for each pay period as agreed with their employer. The list must show each employee’s weekly working hours and free time. It is the employer’s responsibility to make sure that they get a list from each employee and enter the information into the working hours register.

If a working hours accounting system has been put in place, the record of working hours must show the account balances of each employee and any time off taken by employees on the basis of the system.

In cases where the employer has neglected to keep a record of working hours or is keeping it incorrectly, courts tend to rely on the employee’s reports and notes presented as grounds for claims for overtime pay.

Employee’s right of access to details in the record of working hours concerning themselves

The employer must take into account that an employee or a third party authorised by that employee is entitled to receive from the employer a written statement on the details concerning the employee himself/herself in the shift roster and the record of working hours.

Presenting the record of working hours and other working hours documents

The record of working hours and any written agreements on regular working hours must be presented on demand to the occupational safety and health inspector. The shop steward and occupational safety and health representative at the workplace are also entitled to see these documents.

The employer must, on demand from the occupational safety and health inspector, provide copies of:

  • the record of working hours,
  • written agreements concerning working hours,
  • the working hours adjustment schedule, and
  • the shift roster.

Working hours - Sanasto

Glossary

Shift roster A written list prepared by the employer, showing the beginning and end time of the regular working hours for each employee and the time of the daily rest period.
Flexible working hours Flexible working hours is an arrangement where employees may, within set limits, determine when to arrive at work and when to leave.
Flexible working hours accumulation A positive or negative number representing the difference between regular working hours and actual hours worked. The maximum and minimum are agreed beforehand.
Additional work Work done at the employer’s initiative and in addition to the agreed working hours, and which does not exceed the statutory regular working hours. Working hours shorter than the statutory working hours can be based either on the employment contract or the collective agreement.
Overtime Work performed at the employer’s initiative and with the employee’s consent that exceeds the maximum regular working hours specified in the Working Hours Act. Overtime may be calculated on a daily or weekly basis. In period-based work, overtime is defined as working hours exceeding the regular weekly working hours specified in the Working Hours Act.

Working hours - Muualla verkossa UUSI laki