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Flexible working hour arrangements

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Flexible working hour arrangements

Flexible working hour arrangements allow you to choose when and where you work, whereas the employer determines the tasks and aims as well as the overall timetable for the work in question. The employee and the employer can agree to use flexible working hour arrangements in carrying out tasks where at least half of the work is such that it is not tied to a specific period time or location. The purpose of flexible working hour arrangements is to respond to the increasing need for flexibility, especially in jobs requiring high level of expertise.

The employee and employer can agree to use flexible working hour arrangements in tasks where the employee can independently decide the location and placement of at least half of their working time.

Agreement on flexible working hour arrangement must be done in writing. The agreement can be made when negotiating the employment contract or after the contract has been signed. Written agreement on flexible working hour arrangement also replaces the roster when the principle on how the working time is placed is included in the arrangement.

The employer monitors the working time, but the location and placement of working time can be primarily decided by the employee. Flexible working hour arrangements cannot be used in tasks where the employer regularly decides on the location and time used for work. This includes, for example, customer service in employer’s facilities that is tied to the opening hours of the business.

The weekly regular working hours of employees who are subject to flexible working time arrangements must average our at no more than 40 hours within a time frame of four months. Flexible working hour arrangement do not increase the working time but instead allow for more flexible placement of working time within the adjustment period. An adjustment period is the period of time over which an employee’s weekly working hours are averaged out.

The days of the week, which the employee is to work. The starting point is that work should be done only during weekdays. You can also agree that you have more than five weekly working days or, alternatively, that you have only four weekly working days.

Placement of employee’s weekly rest. Sunday, for example, can be excluded upon agreement from working time placement, which allows the employer to know that the employee’s weekly rest takes place always on Sundays. It is also possible to agree that the employee works on all days of the week.

Possible fixed working hours. Fixed working hours cannot take place at night between 11 pm and 6 am. The employer may occasionally need to require employees to be physically present or otherwise contactable. This does not prevent flexible working time arrangements as long as the employer can decide on how to place at least half of their regular working hours. Fixed working hours can be a part of a working day or, for example, a certain day of the week.

Applicable working hours after the arrangement ends. If not agreed otherwise, employer and employee will follow the general working hours specified in the collective agreement or the Working Hours Act.

The employee has to be given at least 11 hours of continuous rest within the 24 hours starting from the beginning of each shift, not including the work conducted as being on-call. In flexible working hour arrangements, a daily rest period can be reduced by employees own initiative to 7 hours. Flexible working time does not however affect the regulations on weekly rest periods. The working hours must be arranged so that the employee can have a period of 35 hours of uninterrupted rest once every seven days. If possible, the rest period should be given on Sundays.

Weekly rest can also be organised as 35-hour period within a period of 14 days. The rest period should be at least 24 consecutive hours within each period of seven days.

In flexible working hour arrangements work that exceeds 8 hours per day is counted as overtime. Weekly overtime is constituted by work that is conducted during a weekly rest period but does not count as daily overtime. Additional work includes work that is done in addition to the regular working hours without being overtime. Additional work and overtime  require employer’s specific initiative in flexible working hour arrangements.

Flexible working hours can include Sunday work upon agreement. How Sunday work is compensated depends on whether the employee can freely decide on the placement of work on Sunday. If the employer can freely decide whether the work is done on a weekday or on a Sunday, they will receive normal salary for Sunday work. If the employer requires the work to be done on a Sunday, the applicable compensation should be paid for it in addition to the normal salary.

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