Planning and monitoring

Planning and monitoring -alasivu - UUSI laki

In order to plan and organise work and monitor employees’ working hours, employers must draw up

  • a working hours adjustment schedule
  • a shift roster, and
  • a record of working hours.

How does a working hours adjustment schedule work with average working hours and period-based work?

Employers who apply the average working hours provisions or period-based work provisions of the Working Hours Act or a collective agreement must have a working hours adjustment schedule in place. The schedule must show employees’ regular working hours for at least every week in the adjustment period. No adjustment schedule is necessary if employees have flexible working hours or are subject to flexible working time arrangements.

Adjustment schedules must be prepared in advance and cover the period within which employees’ regular working hours must average out at the statutory or agreed average number. The employees or their representatives must be reserved an opportunity to comment on the employer’s adjustment schedule or any changes introduced to the schedule. Employees must be notified of any changes to the adjustment schedule well ahead of time.

There can also be provisions on working hours adjustment schedules in collective agreements. Employers must comply with the provisions of the applicable collective agreement.

What is a shift roster?

Employers must draw up shift rosters in advance. Shift rosters must show the beginning and end times of each employee’s regular working hours and the times of their daily breaks. If average working hours or period-based work schedules are used at the workplace, each shift roster must generally be prepared for the same period of time as the working hours adjustment schedule. However, shift rosters can cover a period shorter than the adjustment period if covering the entire adjustment period would be unreasonably difficult due to the length of the adjustment period or the irregular nature of the work. Nevertheless, shift rosters should always cover as long a period as possible and in any case at least one week.

In the event that employees always work the same regular hours, the same shift roster can be used indefinitely. This is also the case if employees work flexible hours or are subject to flexible working time arrangements. A written agreement concerning flexible working hours or 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.

There can also be provisions on shift rosters in collective agreements. Employers must comply with the provisions of the applicable collective agreement.

When should employees be given a new shift roster?

Each shift roster must be communicated to employees in writing well ahead of time and in any case no later than one week before the start of the period it covers. Once a shift roster has been issued, it can only be changed with the employees’ consent or if the changes are absolutely necessary in order to organise the work.

Any employees on variable working hours whom the employer wants to work shifts beyond their minimum hours must be given a deadline by which they can let the employer know the extent to and the conditions on which they are prepared to accept extra shifts. The deadline cannot be earlier than one week before the employer is due to draw up the shift roster in question.

Do shift rosters need to be kept?

It is the employer’s duty to keep any shift rosters that contain information that has not been entered into the record of working hours. In these cases, shift rosters must be kept at least until the deadline for filing claims under section 40 of the Working Hours Act.

Content and management of records of working hours

Employers have a duty to keep records of the hours worked by and the remunerations paid to each employee. The working hours of any employees who are subject to flexible working time arrangements also need to be recorded. The same applies to the balances of employees’ working hours accounts if there is a working hours accounting system set up pursuant to the Working Hours Act in place. The record of working hours must be kept at least until the deadlines for filing claims under sections 40 and 41 of the Working Hours Act.

The Working Hours Act does not specify how records of working hours should be kept. What matters is that the records are accurate and contain all the necessary information.

There are two alternative ways in which employers can record their employees’ working hours:

Option 1

They can record their employees’ regular working hours and any hours of additional work, overtime, emergency work and Sunday work as well as the remunerations paid for each category.

Option 2

They can record the total number of hours worked by their employees and enter any hours of overtime, emergency work and Sunday work separately along with the increments paid for the latter.

Recording additional work

If working hours are recorded according to the first option, additional work must be entered separately. If the second option is used, any hours of additional work are already included in the total number of hours worked and need not be recorded separately.

Additional work must not be entered as overtime even if a higher rate was paid for these hours or if the applicable collective agreement refers to additional work as overtime.

Recording overtime

Overtime within the meaning of the Working Hours Act must be recorded on the basis of the actual hours worked regardless of the way in which records are kept. In other words, the way in which employees are remunerated for working overtime is irrelevant. Overtime hours within the meaning of the Working Hours Act must be unambiguously stated in the record so that they do not need to be calculated separately.

Daily and weekly overtime hours should ideally be entered separately due to the different ways in which they are remunerated. It is also recommended that daily overtime hours and any overtime hours worked by employees who have a period-based work schedule be itemised according to the rate of the increment paid, i.e. either 50% or 100%.

In the event that an employer has agreed to reimburse individual employees for any additional work, overtime and Sunday work separately each month under section 38 of the Working Hours Act, the record of working hours must show an estimate of the amount of additional work, overtime and Sunday work each month.

Records of hours worked by employees subject to flexible working time arrangements

Employees who are subject to flexible working time arrangements are responsible for providing their employer with a list of all the hours they have worked during their regular working hours during each pay period, including information on their weekly working hours and weekly free time. It is the employer’s responsibility to enter the information provided by the employees for each pay period into the record of working hours. It is also the employer’s responsibility to make sure that employees who are subject to flexible working time arrangements provide the necessary information.

Working hours accounting and records of working hours

If there is a working hours accounting system established under section 14 of the Working Hours Act in place, the employer must keep records of their employees’ account balances and any time off taken by employees on the basis of the system.

Failures to keep records of working hours

Employers should bear in mind that they can be penalised under the Criminal Code of Finland for failures to keep records of working hours pursuant to section 32, subsections 1 and 2 of the Working Hours Act or for abusing the system. Employers can be penalised for

  • failing to keep records of working hours
  • not recording hours properly
  • altering records
  • destroying or concealing records, and
  • rendering records illegible.