Lähetetty työntekijä - Työaika

The Working Hours Act specifies the maximum working hours per day and per week, and also overtime, rest periods between shifts and the requirement for keeping a record of working hours. Flexible working hours or an adjustment system over a longer period of time may be agreed upon, as long as the arrangements agreed upon comply with the Working Hours Act and the applicable collective agreement.

Regular working hours

‘Regular working hours’ as defined in the Working Hours Act refer to the daily and weekly hours worked by the employee. Under the general provision in the Working Hours Act, regular working hours shall not exceed eight hours a day or 40 hours a week. The ‘day’ and ‘week’ are defined as the calendar day and calendar week, respectively, unless otherwise agreed.

It is important to agree about the working hours on signing the employment contract.

The general provision does not prohibit working hours arrangements where the working hours are shorter than the above. The general provision also allows for averaging working hours over a longer period of time, allowing for a six-day working week.

Average working hours

Working hours may be arranged on the basis of an average over a longer period of time. In this arrangement, weekly working hours may be arranged so that they work out to no more than 40 hours per week on average over an adjustment period of 52 weeks. The adjustment period may also be shorter.

When using average working hours, the use of working time must be planned in advance and the adjustment system must be drawn up in advance.

When average working hours are applied, the daily and the weekly working hours may be longer than what is stated in the Working Hours Act as a rule, if this has been agreed in the collective agreement generally binding for the branch.

An employer applying the average working hours provision or period-based work provisions of the Working Hours Act must have a working hours adjustment system in place. The system must show the regular working hours for at least every week in the adjustment period.

The adjustment system must be prepared in advance at least for the period within which the regular working hours must average out to the statutory or agreed average number. Employees must be notified of any changes to the adjustment system well ahead of time.

Examples of the provisions in collective agreements on the average working hours:

 

Sector Maximum regular working hours Duration of
Adjustment period
Daily working hours Weekly working hours
Food industry clerical workers

10 hours

50 hours

12 months

Energy sector workers

10 hours

50 hours

12 months

ICT-sector clerical workers

12 hours

Not regulated

12 months

Trade sector workers

10 hours (or more)

48 hours

26 weeks

Real estate services workers

10 hours

Not regulated

26 weeks

Hotel and restaurant industry workers

10 hours

Not regulated 6 months
Construction workers

10 hours

50 hours

6 months

Electrical installation workers

10 hours

50 hours

26 weeks

Technology industry workers Not regulated Not regulated

12 months

Technology industry clerical workers

12 hours

Not regulated

12 months

Additional work

Additional work is work done in addition to the employee’s agreed regular working hours that does not exceed the maximum regular working hours specified in the Working Hours Act. Additional work is work done at the employer’s initiative and with the employee’s consent.

People running on a clock.Example:

  • The agreed regular daily working hours of an employee are six hours.
  • The employee works an eight-hour day.
  • The difference between the agreed working hours and the actual working hours, two hours, counts as additional work.

Over time work

Overtime is defined as working hours exceeding the regular weekly working hours specified in the Working Hours Act. However, work done beyond regular working hours is only considered overtime if it is done at the employer’s initiative and with the employer’s approval.

Overtime also always requires the employee’s consent, and this consent must be specifically and separately obtained for each occasion. Therefore an employee cannot be ordered to work overtime and may not commit in the employment contract to working overtime whenever required.

Daily overtime is work that exceeds the maximum daily regular working hours specified in the Act. Weekly overtime is work that exceeds the maximum weekly regular working hours specified in the Act but not the maximum daily regular working hours.

Planning and monitoring of working hours

When planning and monitoring working hours, it is important to keep in mind the definition of working hours and only record the actual hours worked in an unambiguous manner. Working time records and payroll records must be kept separate.

The employer must inform the employee of future working hours by drawing up a shift schedule for the workplace. According to the Working Hours Act, the shift schedule must indicate the start and end of regular working hours and the times of daily breaks, and it must be communicated to the employees at least one week before the start of the period referred to therein. When using average working hours, the shift schedule must, as a rule, be drawn up for the same period as the working hours adjustment plan. When drawing up the shift schedule, it must be taken into account that the national collective agreement may contain provisions that deviate from the Working Hours Act.

There are two ways to keep records of working hours. The first option is to record the regular working hours and the working hours for additional work, overtime, emergency work and Sunday work, and the increase components paid for each of these. The second way is to record all working hours and then enter separately the working hours for overtime, emergency work and Sunday work, and the remuneration increments paid for the latter. If shift schedules are not retained, the start and end times of the working day and the times of daily breaks must also be entered in the working time records.

Maximum number of working hours during each adjustment period and per year

There is a mandatory provision on the absolute maximum number of employees’ working hours in the Working Hours Act. An employee’s working hours cannot exceed an average of 48 hours per week during an adjustment period. This also limits how much work a posted worker can do during the posting.

The ceiling for total working hours applies to all work regardless of how working hours are organised, including, for example, flexible working hours schemes and flexible working time arrangements. The ceiling is calculated on the basis of all hours worked, regardless of whether they are regular working hours, additional work, overtime, emergency work or handovers.

Working hours cannot exceed an average of 48 hours per week during an adjustment period.

Working hours are calculated per employee and across adjustment periods the length of which must be determined in advance. Each adjustment period is treated as a separate entity. The Working Hours Act does not specify a time as of which adjustment periods must be observed or the way in which the start dates and lengths of adjustment periods should be regulated by national collective agreements.

Pursuant to section 18 of the Working Hours Act, the rule of thumb is that employees’ total working hours, including any overtime, must not exceed an average of 48 hours per week over a four-month period.

However, national collective agreements can provide for an adjustment period of six months or, for technical or practical reasons, up to 12 months. Correspondingly, the maximum number of hours that employees can work depends on the length of the adjustment period, which can thus vary from 4 to 12 months.

The starting point of the adjustment periods can be agreed in whichever manner is the most practical in the sector in which the employer operates. From the perspective of compliance with the Working Hours Act and keeping track of employees’ working hours, the starting point should be that the ceiling for total working hours is monitored over regular four-month periods. Temporary workers’ hours have to be monitored from the start of their contract, and even during an employment relationship lasting less than 4 months, the average working hours may not exceed 48 hours.

In the view of the occupational safety and health authority, the same principle must be followed for short-term postings as for fixed-term employment relationships. The monitoring of the maximum number of working hours starts when a posted worker starts working in Finland, and the working hours may not exceed an average of 48 hours per week during the posting. This way, the ceiling on the maximum number of working hours limits the working hours of posted workers even if the posting lasts under 4 months.

The calculated total working hours during the posting period may not exceed 48 hours x the number of working weeks. If annual holidays land on the posting period, they reduce the number of working weeks used for the calculation.

Overtime under the Working Hours Act:

Overtime
Work exceeding the maximum regular working hours (8 h/days and 40 h/week) under the Working Hours Act

Daily overtime
Work exceeding the maximum regular daily working hours.

Weekly overtime
Not exceeding the maximum regular daily working hours, but exceeding the maximum regular weekly working hours.

Maximum overtime
138 h/4 months or 250 h/calendar year

Additional work
Work exceeding the maximum overtime (250 h/calendar year).
Maximum 80 h/calendar year. Local agreements on the work place.

Maximum overtime based on agreement on additional overtime work
330 h/calendar year


Further information:
Tyosuojelu.fi: Working hours

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