Working hours in the context of temporary agency work

Working hours in the context of temporary agency work

The working hours of agency workers depend on the Finnish Working Hours Act and any applicable collective agreement. More detailed provisions on working hours can also be laid down in individual workers’ employment contracts.

Keeping a record of working hours is the temporary agency’s responsibility.

Overtime hours can only be accrued on the user company’s orders and with the worker’s consent. Consent must be sought separately each time. Agency workers cannot be asked to work overtime without notifying their agency, as the agency is responsible for keeping records of their employees’ working hours and any overtime accrued by them as well as for paying any overtime remunerations due to the workers whom they employ.

Shift rosters must be communicated to workers well in advance

As a rule, a new shift roster must be communicated to workers at least one week before the next roster period is due to begin. Once a shift roster has been communicated to the workers, it can only be changed with the workers’ consent or if the changes are absolutely necessary in order to organise the work. Some collective agreements contain more detailed provisions on shift rosters.

In practice, there may be circumstances in which it is impossible to prepare a shift roster a week in advance. In these cases, the workers must be notified of their shifts as soon as possible.

Shift cancellations must be agreed with the temporary agency

User companies and temporary agencies can agree that the user company has the right to cancel shifts for which they have already booked workers. In such cases, the user company must notify both the worker concerned and the agency of the cancellation as soon as possible.

The temporary agency can then find alternative work for the cancelled worker on the basis of their employment contract. The worker must accept any such alternative work offered or risk losing their wages for the cancelled shift. If no alternative work can be offered, the worker must be paid for the cancelled shift.

Keeping a record of working hours is the temporary agency’s responsibility

Keeping records of agency workers’ working hours is the agency’s responsibility. If the shift rosters are prepared by the user company, it is the user company’s responsibility to provide the temporary agency with the information needed for their records.

Depending on what has been agreed, the hours worked are reported to the agency either by the user company or the workers themselves. In most cases, the user company must sign off on agency workers’ working hours before they can be reported to the workers’ employer.