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Shift roster (the old Act)

Permits and notifications - Shift roster - VANHA laki

Exemptions from shift roster requirements

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 The information on this page is based on provisions that have now been repealed. You can find the content according to the new Act here.

As a rule, every workplace must have a shift roster. However, occupational safety and health authorities can grant partial or full exemptions from the rule if drawing up a shift roster is particularly impractical due to the highly irregular nature of the work.

Occupational safety and health authorities determine the scope of any necessary exemptions on a case-by-case basis. Even where a full shift roster is an impractical solution, it may still be possible to record, for example, the start and end times of employees’ work and their rest periods or their weekly free time.

Applying for exemptions

Exemptions from shift roster requirements can be sought from 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.

Form (pdf, in Finnish): Application for exemptions from shift roster requirements

Extensions to exemptions

Exemptions are always granted for a fixed period of time. Unless there has been a significant change in the employees’ working conditions since an exemption was granted, either the employer or the shop steward or another representative of the employees within the meaning of section 10 of the Finnish Working Hours Act can decide to continue the irregular arrangement.

If the parties cannot agree, the employer can apply for a formal extension from occupational safety and health authorities.

Permits and notifications - Shift roster - Lainsäädäntö - VANHA laki



Working Hours Act (605/1996)
  • Section 10 – An agreement on regular working hours based on a universally valid collective agreement
  • Section 35 – Work schedule
  • Section 36 – Derogation permit