Flexible working time arrangements

Working hours - Flexible working time arrangements - Yleistä

Employers can agree on flexible working time arrangements with individual employees. This means allowing employees to choose the times when they work and the locations in which they perform their work independently in respect of at least half of their working hours. Some collective agreements contain provisions on the percentage of hours that employees can work flexibly. However, flexible working time arrangements within the meaning of the Working Hours Act can be agreed upon irrespective of the provisions of the applicable collective agreement. 

When can flexible working time arrangements be made?

Flexible working time arrangements can only be made in the context of certain kinds of jobs, namely those that are not, as a rule, tied to a specific time of day, day of the week or location. The most obvious example is information-intensive work. Flexible working time arrangements are also possible in the context of other kinds of work that is not tied to a specific time or place, such as high-level consultancy and sales. The employee’s job description must also make it possible for them to choose the times when they work and the locations in which they perform their work independently in respect of at least half of their working hours. Flexible working time arrangements are not possible in the context of work the timings and locations of which are, as a rule, determined by the employer.

What needs to be agreed and how?

Flexible working time arrangements must be agreed in writing, either in connection with the signing of the employment contract or at a later time during the employment relationship. A written agreement concerning a flexible working time arrangement that specifies the rules according to which an employee’s hours are to be worked also acts as the employee’s work schedule.

The agreement must specify at least

  • the days of the week during which the employee is to work
  • the free time that the employee has each week
  • any fixed working hours, which must not be between the hours of 11.00 pm and 6.00 am, and
  • the working hours to which the employee is to revert if the flexible working time arrangement is terminated.

The starting point should be that employees only work on weekdays. However, an employee can also agree to work on more than five days of the week. Squeezing all of the week’s work into four days is also possible. Weekly free time can be arranged, for example, by designating one day of the week, such as Sunday, as a day off.

What does agreeing on fixed working hours mean?

It may be necessary for the employer to also have employees who are subject to flexible working time arrangements physically present at the workplace or otherwise contactable at certain times. This can be arranged by agreeing on fixed working hours that employees must work each day or on a specific day of the week. Employees’ fixed working hours cannot be between the hours of 11.00 pm and 6.00 am, as these hours count as night work.

Can a flexible working time arrangement be terminated?

Flexible working time arrangements call for a high degree of trust. This is why such arrangements can be terminated by either party if they feel that the arrangement is no longer tenable. A flexible working time arrangement comes to an end at the end of the adjustment period following the adjustment period during which notice is given to terminate it.

What is an adjustment period?

An adjustment period is the period of time over which an employee’s weekly working hours are averaged out. The weekly regular working hours of employees who are subject to flexible working time arrangements must average out at no more than 40 hours during each four-month period.

How do employers monitor working hours and weekly free time entitlements?

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. The list must show their weekly working hours and free time. The employer enters each employee’s information into the working hours register and checks that they have taken all the rest periods to which they are entitled and not exceeded the ceiling set for their total working hours.

Working hours - Flexible working time arrangements - Työntekijälle

 

Instructions for employee

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.

Working hours - Flexible working time arrangements - Työnantajalle

 

Instructions for employer

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. 

Keeping the record of working hours correctly

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.