What are the standard working hours in Finland?

Posted by | 14th October 2012 | Finland Immigration, Why Finland, Work in Finland

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 – government agencies and most institutions follow these hours – banks are open until 16:30 and most business is done Monday to Friday.

However, shops are generally open during the weekend too as follows: on Saturdays from 9 am to 6 pm and on Sundays from 12 pm to 21 pm. Of course, exceptions apply according the the laws of each shopping centre or area.


Overtime in Finland

Overtime in Finland is paid extra.

If extra work is required in addition to the agreed hours of work, but hours of work that do not exceed the regular working hours approved by law, then a separate agreement between employer and the employee is required. Also these extra working hours are required to be paid at least at the rate they agreed for regular working hours.

Overtime work is allowed in Finland, and represents any work done extra the maximum regular working hours, to a maximum of 138 hours in a 4 months period and a total of 250 hours per a calendar year. This has to be agreed on each occasion, and the employee is entitled to refuse to do overtime if his employer is a private one.

How much is overtime paid in Finland?

Normally this is paid one time and a half (so a 50% bonus) is paid for the first 2 hours of extra daily regular work, and double pay (a 100% bonus) for the overtime hours required above the 2 hours extra. A bonus of 50% is paid for hours of work in excess of regular weekly working hours or working hours in periodic work.

Night Work

In Finland night work is defined as the working hours between 11pm and 6am. Special compensation is required to be paid to the employee for these working conditions. Usually night work is usually used as part of shift work, which can be arranged in 2 or more shifts.

finland at night

Night shifts in Finland are considered shifts between 11pm and 6am.

Night work usually forms part of shift work, which may be arranged in two or more work shifts.

Sunday Work

By law, in Finland Sunday work represents work done on a Sunday, some public holidays, the 1st of May and on 6th of December (Finland’s Independence Day)

If you are required to do Sunday work, a bonus of 100% (double pay) has to be paid to the employee, and a schedule of work shifts needs to be provided to each employee specifying clearly the times (when they start and when they end) of regular working hours.

Each schedule of work shift has to be handed to the employee at least a week before the work period begins. Work shifts can be changed, of course with the employee’s consent, or when special occasions appear and the employer is unable to let the employee in advance.

Rest time

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 schedule at the beginning or at the end of a working day. Each rest time regulations may be found in collective agreements or they can be agreed individually between each employer and employee.

The law in Finland requires at least 11 hours rest time between shifts, or no less than 9 hours in periodic work. Of course, the 2 parts, employer and employee, can agree to different rest times.

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.

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