Rest periods and right to take leave

Working hours shall be arranged in such a way that during each 24-hour period, starting from the beginning of the working day, the employee receives at least 11 hours of continuous rest. Work may not be arranged in such a way that the working period exceeds 13 hours, and the rest shall be granted during the period from 23:00 to 06:00, if possible. Under special circumstances, when it is necessary to protect items of value, a work session may be extended to as many as 16 hours, in which case, without exception, a rest period of 11 hours shall be granted immediately following the work, without any reduction of the employee’s right to regular wages for daytime work.

If employees are specially asked to report for work before the 11-hour rest period is up, then the rest period may be postponed and granted later, in such a way that a right to take leave in the form of 1.5 hours (of daytime working time) accumulates for every hour by which the rest period is shortened. It shall be permitted to pay ½ hour (of daytime working time) of the leave entitlement, should employees so request. In no case may 8 hours of continuous rest be reduced.

If the employee works for such a long time preceding a holiday as to make it impossible to have 11 hours’ rest before the normal beginning of the working day, the situation shall be handled in the same way as above.

Weekly day off
During each 7-day period, the employee shall have at least one weekly day off, connected directly to the daily rest period. For this purpose, the week shall be taken as beginning on Monday. The weekly day off may, by agreement with the employees, be postponed when special circumstances necessitate such a deviation from the norm. If there is specific need for such an arrangement a collective wage agreement must be created to cover it. In such a case, the taking of days off may be arranged in such a way that 2 days off are taken together every second weekend.

Maximum weekly working hours
Workers’ maximum working hours per week, including overtime, may not exceed 48 hours, on average, during each four-month period. These hours are calculated based on active working hours (e.g. only hours worked, not refreshment breaks,) with added minimum vacation pay (24 days,) illness, maternity/paternity leave, and paid vocational studies.

It is preferable that the working hours do not change much in between weeks.

Employers are not allowed to have employees work more than the maximum working hours stated above, according to the Act on Working Environment, Health, and Safety, No. 46/1980.

More about variations and the right to take leave in chapter 2.4.2 of the wage term agreement.