Working time is any time that you use for working, or when you are required to be at your workplace or available to your employer at a workplace.
Travelling time does not generally count as working time under the Working Time Act unless it is also regarded as work, for example if you have agreed with your employer that you will work during work-related travel.
You should also check the specific working time rules for your own work in your employment contract or collective agreement, as these may differ from the general rules established by law. There may also be working time rules agreed for your specific workplace in some cases.
Regular working time may not exceed eight hours per day and 40 hours per week. Weekly regular working time may also be arranged as an average of 40 hours over a period not exceeding 52 weeks. Collective agreements generally provide for shorter working time.
Working time may be agreed locally at workplaces within the limits prescribed by law and collective agreement. The employer and the employee must comply with the agreed working time.
Your employer must prepare a schedule of work shifts showing the start and end of your regular working time and your rest periods. The schedule of work shifts must cover the longest possible period.
Your schedule of work shifts must be provided no later than one week before the work period begins unless otherwise provided in a collective agreement. Your employer may then only change your work shifts if you agree, or for pressing reasons related to the organisation of work.
A working time arrangement is a new approach to working time that took effect in 2020, allowing you to make your own decisions as to when and where you work for at least half of your working time. The arrangement is based on an agreement that you make with your employer.
The employer remains responsible for monitoring your working hours. You must give a list of the regular working hours that you have worked to your employer for inclusion in official working time records. The employer is also responsible for ensuring that you enjoy the weekly rest period required by law, and that your working time does not exceed the maximum set by law or collective agreement.
Additional work is any work that you do at your employer’s request that is not required under your employment contract, but does not exceed the regular working time prescribed by law. You are entitled to turn down additional work. Some collective agreements include more detailed rules on additional work.
Unless otherwise provided in the collective agreement, your pay rate for additional work must be at least the same as for regular working time.
Overtime is work that you do at your employer’s request in excess of legal regular working time.
Overtime must be separately agreed in each case, and you are entitled to refuse it. Public servants and officials may not refuse overtime or additional work that is essential owing to the nature of the work and for highly compelling reasons.
Your maximum working time must not exceed 48 hours or an average of 48 hours per week over a four-month period. This tracking period may be prolonged by collective agreement to six months or up to 12 months in exceptional cases. This maximum working time includes all working time, i.e. regular working time, additional work and overtime.
You will earn special compensation for working overtime. A pay rate increase of 50 per cent (“time and a half”) is paid for the first two hours of work exceeding the maximum regular daily working time, and 100 per cent (“double time”) is paid for subsequent hours. Your hourly pay rate increases by 50 per cent (“time and a half”) for hours worked in excess of the maximum weekly regular working time and working time in periodic work. Some collective agreements include special alternative arrangements for overtime compensation.
You may agree with your employer to exchange all or part of your overtime pay for an equivalent increase in time off.
Some collective agreements include more detailed rules on overtime and overtime compensation.
Work that you do between 11 pm and 6 am is night work. Collective agreements specify when special compensation is payable for night work. Night work is often associated with shift work involving two or more work shifts. Employers may arrange temporary night work in any industry, but regular night work is only permitted in certain sectors.
Sunday work is work done on Sundays, other church holidays, Finnish Independence Day (6 December) or May Day (1 May). A rate increase of 100 per cent (“double time”) is paid for Sunday work.
Collective agreements may include special alternative compensation arrangements for Sunday work.
You are entitled to take a rest period of at least 30 minutes if your daily working time is longer than six hours. This rest period may not be scheduled for the beginning or end of your working day. Regulations governing rest breaks may be found in collective agreements, or they may be agreed locally at workplaces.
You are entitled to at least 11 hours of uninterrupted rest between work shifts.
Your daily rest period in periodic work may be reduced to nine hours for exceptional reasons related to the organisation of work. Your daily rest period may be reduced to seven hours at your own request when applying flexitime or a working time arrangement. The employer and an employee representative may also agree to reduce your daily rest period on a temporary basis with your consent. The Working Time Act also identifies specific circumstances in which the rest period may be reduced to five hours over a maximum period of no more than three consecutive daily rest periods.
You are entitled to a weekly rest period of at least 35 hours of uninterrupted time off every week. This should be scheduled to include Sundays where possible. The weekly rest period may also be scheduled to take place over a two-week period, provided that your weekly time off is not less than 24 hours.
Some collective agreements include alternative arrangements for daily and weekly rest periods.
Part-time work is any system of working time that falls short of full-time work.
Your employment benefits in part-time work may not be less favourable than those of full-time employees merely because you are working on a part-time basis, but they may be proportioned to your working time.
A part-time employee who is seeking to work on a full-time basis must be given first refusal of additional work if the workplace requires more labour in duties that are suitable for the employee. Training must be provided as required for employees transferring to full-time work if this can be reasonably arranged, given the aptitude of the employee concerned.
Workplaces may agree to introduce a working time bank based either on the Working Time Act or on a collective agreement. An employee representative usually agrees the detailed terms and conditions of the working time bank with the employer.
Deposits to a working time bank may include additional work and overtime, but not work-related travel or other compensations. The employer may transfer additional working hours, but not regular working time to a working time bank based on the Working Time Act alone.
Worked hours are deposited in the bank in the same proportion as their associated pay. For example, any overtime work deposited in the bank must include the associated overtime compensation percentage. You must always consent to any transfer of your working time to a working time bank.
The aim is to grant the balance of deposited working time as time off, but cash compensation may be paid in certain circumstances.
The terms and conditions of a working time bank established by collective agreement may differ from those of a bank based on the Working Time Act alone.