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Finland Updates Working Hours Act
The Finnish Parliament passed the new Working Hours Act of Finland on March 13, 2019. The Act entered into force on January 1, 2020. The Act provides the following requirements of the Working Hours Directive and its interpretations.
Average Working Time
Prior to the amendment, the maximum amount of overtime was 250 hours per calendar year, with a possibility of additional overtime of 80 hours per the calendar year. However, overtime cannot exceed 138 hours over a period of four months.
Under the new Act, the provisions concerning the maximum amount of annual overtime will be replaced with a maximum amount of total working hours, including overtime. An employee’s working time, including overtime, must not exceed an average of 48 hours per week over a 4-month period.
Working Hour Bank
The new Act allows for the introduction of a statutory working hours bank for all workplaces, even in cases where an employer is not a party to any collective agreement. The following may be transferred to the working time bank by the employee for each occasion or with the consent of the employee for a limited period:
- Additional and overtime hours;
- Hours worked in a floating hours system, up to a maximum of 60 hours in a four-month follow-up period;
- Cash benefits, whether statutory or contractual, after first being converted into a term.
Employees are entitled to a minimum of 2 weeks’ savings per the calendar year in a working time bank. However, if the Working Time Bank has been saved for more than 10 weeks, the employee shall be entitled to at least one-fifth of the accumulated working time bank per year. The employee is entitled to cash compensation instead of the time off.
The Act is comparably unbiased in relation to where the work is carried out. Since in a lot of industries work is not tied to a certain place or time anymore, the functionality of the new Act does not require work to be carried out in a certain location.
In accordance with the New Act, the employer and the employee may agree on Flexi working hours so that the employee may, within agreed limits, determine their daily working time. When adjusting the sliding hours, at least:
- One continuous fixed working time;
- The daily sliding limit for working time and the location of the sliding time;
- Placement of rest periods;
- The maximum accumulated excesses and undercuts of regular working hours.
In Flexi hours, regular daily working hours may be reduced or extended by a maximum of 4 hours. The average weekly working time shall not exceed 40 hours on average over a 4-month period, which may be exceeded or exceeded within the sliding limits. The employer and the employee may agree that the accumulated excess of working time will be reduced by the amount of paid time off for the employee.