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Unpaid leave in exchange for working longer hours

Certain collective agreements or local workplace practices allow for unpaid leave in exchange for working longer hours. This applies to salaried employees who work full-time and whose regular working hours are 40 hours per week. In such cases the working time is reduced usually by 100 hours (12.5 days per year) of unpaid leave.

Each collective agreement has its own regulations concerning unpaid leave for working longer hours. You should check the further details from your own collective agreement. 

Most of Pro's collective agreements allow for cumulative accumulation of unpaid leave for working longer hours. In such cases the leave is accumulated from the regular working days you have completed and from other days comparable to them. The amount of accumulated leave is specified in the collective agreement. Cumulative system is used in, for example, the collective agreements of several industrial fields as well as in construction industry. 

Primarily you can get one unpaid leave in exchange for 17 completed regular shifts. However, collective agreements differ slightly from each other regarding the amount. 

According to some of Pro's collective agreements, the unpaid leave for working longer hours is accumulated every quarter of the year. Please check your own collective agreement for more information or contact your local shop steward or Pro expert. 

Each collective agreement has its own detailed regulations on how unpaid leaves for working longer hours are given. The following contains some general rules:  

The employer decides the timing for the unpaid leave and they are primarily given at least one shift at the time. Most of the collective agreements allow for agreeing locally otherwise. 

Unpaid leaves for working longer hours or part of them can be placed in advance to the calendar (working hours system). Otherwise the timing of the leave must be told to the salaried employee according to the period of notice mentioned in the collective agreement. This varies, depending on the agreement, between one to two weeks. 

Unpaid leave for working hours and annual leave cannot be issued on top of each other because in such a case the unpaid leave would not reduce the average working time (annual leave is counted as a period which reduces working time and partially equalizes the working time to the amount specified in the collective agreement)

If unpaid leave for working longer hours is given simultaneously to the whole company or one of its units, the salaried employee is considered to have had the unpaid leave even though they would not be at work during the day in question, for instance because of falling ill. 

Collective agreements regulate the period during which the unused unpaid leaves for working longer hours have to be used. Primarily the leaves have to be used by the end of April or May of the following year. If there still are unused leaves after the period specified in the collective agreement has expired, it is compensated as any other unused leave, such as weekly overtime. 

During termination of employment, the employment must pay the salary from those unpaid leaves for working longer hours, which have been accumulated according to the collective agreement, but have not yet been used-.

When determining the length of annual leave, the days when a salaried employee has been on unpaid leave for working longer hours are counted as comparable to normal working days. 

Before issuing unpaid leaves for working longer hours, the employer has to negotiate with the shop steward  representing the salaried employees on how the working time is reduced. 

After the negotiations the employer must inform the salaried employee about the system according to which the unpaid leave for working longer hours is determined. Possible disagreements are negotiated by following the standard negotiating procedure.

Labour Court of Finland has confirmed in several judgments that employees working part-time due to part-time pension have the right to leave for working longer hours.  In such cases the unpaid leave has to be issued proportionally to the working time.

For instance a salaried employee working 60 percent of the normal working time due to part-time pension should be given 60 per cent of the total amount of annual leaves for working longer hours.

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