Overtime means working time that exceeds the employee’s regular working time and additional work. As a rule, working overtime requires a separate consent from the employee on every occasion. This means that the employee cannot commit to working overtime as needed in their employment agreement.

What is overtime?

In following the general working time regime, daily overtime consists of working time that exceeds 8 hours per day. Weekly overtime consists of working time that exceeds 40 hours per week without being daily overtime.

In following the average regular working time regime, daily overtime consists of work performed in addition to the regular daily working time entered in the work schedule. Weekly overtime consists of work performed in addition to regular working time that is not daily overtime. When the average working time averages at less than 40 hours per week, work performed in addition to weekly 40 working hours is regarded as overtime.

In period-based work, overtime consists of work in excess of the regular maximum working time. In period work, regular maximum working time is generally 3 weeks/120 hours or 2 weeks/80 hours, but this may have been agreed otherwise to ensure the practical organisation of work or shifts.

In following the flexible working hours regime, daily overtime consists of work in excess of 8 hours per day and weekly overtime of work which is performed on days entered in the work schedule as days off and which exceeds 40 hours without being daily overtime. Work performed on the orders of the employer in addition to fixed working hours, due to which the maximum accumulation is exceeded at the end of the reference period, is also regarded as overtime. At the end of the reference period, the accumulated excess hours may not exceed 60 hours.

In following the flexiwork regime, daily overtime consists of work in excess of 8 hours per day and weekly overtime of work that is performed during the weekly rest period agreed in the flexiwork agreement without such work being daily overtime. In flexiwork, the weekly regular working time may not average more than 40 hours over a period of four months.

Working overtime requires the initiative and approval of the employer. The consent of the employee is required separately for each occasion that the employee works overtime. However, employees may consent to overtime for short set periods when necessary for the organisation of the work. Employees may not agree to work overtime as needed in the employment contract.

However, when additional work or overtime are essential due to the nature of the work or for extremely compelling reasons, public servants and officeholders may not refuse such work.

Overtime pay

Pay plus 50% for the first two hours worked and pay plus 100% for each subsequent hour must be paid for daily overtime. Pay plus 50% must be paid for weekly overtime.

In the case of period-based work which has continued for an entire two-week or three-week period, the remuneration for the first 12 or 18 hours of overtime, respectively, shall be pay plus 50% and for hours of overtime in excess of these, pay plus 100%. When the period has been interrupted due to the expiration of the employee’s employment relationship or the inability of the employee to work due to holiday, illness or other acceptable reason, the number of hours by which the average working time in the interrupted period is longer than eight hours in the days spent working shall be calculated. For the first two average overtime hours in this number of hours, pay plus 50% shall be payable and for the subsequent hours, pay plus 100%.

When regular working time is based on a collective agreement or a derogation permit, the agreement or permit shall mention the criteria for calculating the premium payable for overtime.

Provision of additional work and overtime pay during leisure time

According to Section 21 of the Working Hours Act, pay for additional and overtime work can be agreed to be partially or fully agreed to be exchanged for leisure time during the employee's regular working hours. The length of free time given for overtime is determined on the basis of overtime pay, i.e. free time cannot be given on an 'hour for hour' basis for overtime work.

As a rule, leisure time must be given and used within six (6) months of the additional or overtime work. The employer can determine the time off if the employer and the employee do not agree on a date together. However, the employer cannot determine the time of leave if the employee demands additional or overtime compensation in cash. Leisure time can be transferred to a working time bank in accordance with the Working Hours Act or combined with a salary savings leave.

Please note that the information on this page is based on Finnish legislation. The collective agreement applicable to your employment relationship may contain different rules.

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