Permits and notifications - Working hours - Yleistä - UUSI laki
Exemptions from the rules on regular working hours
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.
Pursuant to the Working Hours Act, employees’ regular working hours must not, as a rule, exceed eight hours in each 24-hour period or 40 hours per week. The regular weekly working hours of an employee can also be arranged in such a way that they average 40 hours over a period of no more than 52 weeks. The rule on weekly working hours can be deviated from by national collective agreements.
The Working Hours Act also specifies certain sectors of the economy where working hours can be period-based. In the case of period-based work, working hours should, as a rule, be arranged so as to not exceed 120 hours in any three-week period or 80 hours during any two-week period.
If the nature of an employee’s work requires them to mostly work outside their normal daily working hours, occupational safety and health authorities can waive the rules on regular working hours and daily rest periods.
Occupational safety and health authorities can also, in special circumstances, permit employers to introduce period-based working hours for jobs other than those listed in the Working Hours Act, if a period-based schedule is necessary in order to organise work in a practical way.
Exemptions can be sought by sending an informal written application to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health of the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southwestern Finland. See here for contact information. An opinion by the employees’ representative must be appended to the application.