Finland

Labor Compliance Guide

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

The standard working hours in Finland are 8 hours per day, adding up to 40 hours per week. Business hours are generally from 08:00 to 16:15. The regular weekly working hours can also be arranged in such a way that the average is 40 hours over a period of no more than 52 weeks. The Working Hours Act, Sec 6,9,12.

Overtime

The remuneration paid on additional work must be at least as much as the wage paid for the agreed working hours. The maximum amount of overtime during a four-month period is 138 hours, though 250 hours must not be exceeded in a calendar year.

 

When regular working hours are determined the wage payable for the first two hours of overtime above the daily regular working hours shall be the regular wage plus 50 percent and for additional 8 hours the regular wage plus 100 percent. The regular wage plus 50 percent is payable on hours exceeding the regular weekly working hours.

 

In the case of period-based work which has continued an entire two or three week period, the wage payable on the first 12 or 18 hours in excess of regular working hours, including preparation and completion work, shall be the regular wage plus 50 percent, and that payable on any further hours is the regular wage plus 100 percent.

 

If the period has been interrupted because of the employee’s employment relationship has ended or because the employee has been unable to work due to leave, illness or some other valid reason, the average working hours in excess of 8 hours per workday during the interrupted period must be calculated. The wage payable on the first two of these average overtime hours is the regular wage plus 50 percent and on the following hours, the regular wage plus 100 percent.

 

The Overtime pay rate is 50 percent of the normal hourly wage. Wages payable for overtime can be partly or completely converted into corresponding free time during regular working hours. The Working Hours Act, Sec 19-23.

Breaks

If the total working hours in a day are 6, then the employee is entitled to have at least 30 minutes rest time. This rest time may not be scheduled at the beginning or at the end of a working day. Each rest time regulations may be agreed individually between each employer and employee or by means of collective agreements. The Working Hours Act, Section 28-32.

 

Employees are entitled to at least 11 hours rest time between shifts, or no less than 9 hours in periodic work.

 

During a week (7 days) there should be a continuous period of no less than 35 hours rest time. Preferably this will include a Sunday where possible, provided that the weekly time off is no shorter than 24 hours. The Working Hours Act, Sec 28-32.

Sunday Work

Employees can be required to work on a Sunday or church holiday only when the work concerned is regularly carried out on the said days due to its nature, or when agreed upon in the employment contract, or with the separate consent of the employees.

 

Sunday work is another category of work that refers to work done on a Sunday, on some other public holiday, on the First of May and on Finnish Independence Day (Dec. 6). A pay rate increase of 100 percent (double time) is payable for Sunday work. The Working Hours Act, Sec 33.

 

Public Holidays

Public Holidays in Finland are:

  • 1 Jan – New Year’s Day
  • 6 Jan –  Epiphany
  • Varies – Good Friday
  • Varies – Easter
  • Varies – Easter Monday
  • 1 May – Vappu (May Day)
  • 10 May – Ascension Day
  • 20 May – Whit Sunday
  • 22 Jun – Midsummer Eve
  • 23 Jun – Midsummer
  • 3 Nov – All Saints’ Day
  • 6 Dec – Independence Day
  • 24 Dec – Christmas Eve
  • Tue 25 Dec – Christmas Day
  • 26 Dec – Boxing Day

Under the guideline of the Parliament, Saturday and Sundays are official non-working days in Finland. Working Hours Act, No. 605 of 1996 (as amended), § 33.

 

Amendments to Annual Holidays Act

According to the new amendment to the Finnish Annual Holidays Act, employees would be able to take an additional holiday if they have earned less than 24 days of annual leave because of absence from work. The Government submitted its proposals to amend the Annual Holidays Act to Parliament on November 1, 2018. The change relates to the implementation of EU legislation and it is expected to enter into force from April 1, 2019.

 

Under the Act, employees have the right to 4 weeks of paid annual leave, even if they have been absent from work due to sickness or medical rehabilitation. Additionally, employees whose annual holiday has been postponed due to incapacity for work will have the right to their summer holiday during the holiday period and their winter holiday before the start of the next holiday period, with some exceptions.

Annual Leave

For every full month worked employees are entitled to 2.5 days holiday, giving 30 days of holiday a year, equating to five weeks (six holiday days being taken up for each full holiday week). This entitlement is reduced to two days for each full month if employment has been for less than 12 months.

 

In Finland there are two holiday seasons. The summer season runs from 2 May till 30 September wherein employees may take up to 24 days of their annual leave entitlement during this period. The winter holiday season is from 1 October to 1 May. To qualify for the entitlement, employees must work a minimum of 14 days or 35 hours during the month in question. The Annual Holidays Act, Sect 1-30.

 

Amendments to Annual Holidays Act

As a result of the amendments planned to the Finnish Annual Holidays Act, employees would be able to take an additional holiday if they have earned less than 24 days of annual leave because of absence from work. The Government submitted its proposals to amend the Annual Holidays Act to Parliament on November 1, 2018. The change relates to the implementation of EU legislation and it is expected to enter into force from April 1, 2019.

 

Under the Act, employees have the right to 4 weeks of paid annual leave, even if they have been absent from work due to sickness or medical rehabilitation. Additionally, employees whose annual holiday has been postponed due to incapacity for work will have the right to their summer holiday during the holiday period and their winter holiday before the start of the next holiday period, with some exceptions.

Minimum Wage

Finland has no statutory minimum wage, and the terms of employment typically are determined by collective bargaining agreements.

Special Leave

Maternity Leave

Female employees are entitled to a total maternity leave duration of 105 working days. Compulsory maternity leave comprises of total 4 weeks – the 2 weeks before the expected time of birth and the 2 weeks after giving birth. The maternity allowance term begins at the earliest 50, and at the latest 30, weekdays before the expected time of birth. Employment Contract Act, Chapter 4 -Sec 1, 2,8 & Health Insurance Act, Chapter 9-Sec 2-5.

Paternity Leave

Employees are entitled to a Paternity leave duration maximum of 54 working days in total. After the child is born, fathers are allowed to take 18 days of leave with benefits during the maternity leave period. An additional 12 days can be taken (as part of the 158 days parental leave allowance). The father can have up to another 24 days off if he takes at least the last 12 days of the parental leave allowance. The parents can take either part-time or full-time parental leave for no more than 158 working days in total. Health Insurance Act, Chapter 9-Section 7-10.

Child Care Leave

Employees are entitled to two periods of full-time child-care leave to care for your child aged less than 3 years. The minimum duration of a period of child-care leave is one month. You are entitled to temporary child-care leave when you are looking after a child aged less than 10 who has unexpectedly become ill and who lives in the same household with you. The maximum duration of temporary child-care leave is 4 working days at a time.Employment Contract Act, Chapter 2- Section 6.

Sick Leave

There is no annual limit on the number of days of sick leave that an employee can take. Employees are entitled to a total of nine days of sick leave with full compensation during each working year and 50 % compensation if employed for less than a month. Employment Contract Act, Chapter 2- Section 11 & Health Insurance Act, Chapter 11.

Study Leave

The maximum length of study leave is two years over a period of five years which can be taken in one or two periods. Study Leave Act 1979, Section 4-6.

Job Alteration Leave

It is an arrangement enabling the employee to take a temporary leave of absence from work lasting from 100-180 calendar days. Act on Job Alteration Leave 2002.

Last updated on: May 15th, 2019