Different working-time arrangements help you to better respond to changes in the operating environment, to increase the effectiveness and wellbeing of the work community and to improve customer service. Working-time arrangements include the beginning and end of shifts, flexitime and reduced working hours.
For more detailed information on working hours and obligations under working hours legislation, see
- the Working hours page in Tyosuojelu.fi
- the Working hours page of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health’s wesite (in Finnish and Swedish).
Due to the situation caused by coronavirus, the content of this page may not be up to date. Up-to-date information is available at Federation of Finnish Enterprises’s website Kaikki koronasta yrittäjälle (only in Finnish).
Working hours include all the time your employees use for working. Note that the collective agreement applied to your sector often has more specific regulations about working hours.
Working hours also include the time during which your employees are available at the workplace even if no work tasks can be offered to them. Breaks during which your employees are free to leave the workplace on the other hand are not usually included in working hours.
According to the Working Hours Act, regular working hours are eight hours per day and 40 hours per week at the most. Regular weekly working hours may also be an average of 40 hours over 52 weeks.
Period-based working hours can be applied to work in sectors that allow period-based work. According to the Working Hours Act, period-based working hours are 120 hours at the most over a period of three weeks or 80 hours at the most over two weeks.
Flexible working time arrangements can be applied to tasks that are not tied to a specific time of day, day of the week or place of work. The weekly regular working hours shall not exceed 40 hours on average over a period of four months.
Remember to give the employee breaks and rest periods in accordance with the Working Time Act and the collective agreement to be followed.
Shift work is work in which the shifts change on a regular basis and in periods that have been agreed in advance. As a rule, the work is similar in all shifts and all employees do different shifts. However, take into account the different life situations and health of individual employees when planning the shifts.
Night work is work carried out between 23.00 and 6.00. Night work is permitted only in the types of work and situations mentioned in the Working Hours Act. Night work is carried out in the healthcare sector, transport, factories and in the public cleansing sector. You do not usually have to ask for your employee’s specific consent for night work. However, take into account that if your employees work at night you are required to pay attention to the harmful effects of night work and organise regular health examinations for the employees who work at night.
You can have your employees perform Sunday work only if the nature of the work requires it to be performed regularly on Sundays. It must also be agreed in the employment contract, or the employee must have given his or her consent to it. Sunday work is common for example in restaurant and retail business. Remember that as a rule you always have to pay double pay for Sunday work.
Your company may adopt flexitime, which means that your employees have the right to decide when they start and leave work within agreed limits. All working hours exceeding the regular working hours can be seen in the accumulated working hours. Agree with your employees how these are compensated for.
If your company uses a working hours bank, your employees may, if they wish, save in the time bank hours they have worked, the time off they have earned and the holiday or overtime pay they have converted into time off.
- Your employees can use those working hours them later as paid leave.
- Your employees accumulate hours in the working hours bank by working long days when your company is busy.
- When your company has less work to offer, your employees can use the paid days off they have accumulated in the reserve.
- The order of using the hours saved in the reserve is not monitored and there is usually no deadline for their use. Your employees can thus use the hours they have saved in the working hours bank over many different calendar years.
You can also offer your employees the opportunity to work remotely, which means that they work in their chosen place within the agreed times.
If an employee would like to work reduced working hours for social or health reasons, try to make it possible. Remember that you cannot deny your employee partial child care leave if the employee is entitled to it according to the Employment Contracts Act.
You may have an employee perform additional work or work overtime only if the employee agrees to it. Pay your employees for the completed additional work and overtime.
According to the law, you have to draw up a shift roster for your employees. The applied collective agreement may have more specific regulations about the roster.
The roster must show the beginning and end of your employees’ working hours and the rest periods such as days off. Draw up the shift roster for a period that is as long as possible. Make the roster available to your employees in writing at least a week before the period starts.
Note that you can make changes to the roster only with the employee’s permission or if there is a compelling reason related to the arrangement of work.
Record all working hours completed by your employees and the remunerations for them for each employee in the working hours register. Good working hours registration practices are helpful if any disagreements arise about the working hours completed by your employees and the remunerations paid for them.
Take into account that your employees have the right to get a written account of the information registered on them in the shift roster and the working hours register.