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20.03.2024 13:04

What’s important for summer workers to know about shifts?

In the summer, we at PAM get asked lots of questions about changes to shift lists and cancelled shifts. These are common issues, especially in the hotel, restaurant and leisure industry and the commerce sector. You can avoid a lot of hassle if you keep close track of your shifts during your summer job.

Shift lists available in advance

The shift list (or roster) states the starting and ending times of shifts, the breaks or rest times during the working day, and days off.

The collective agreement specifies when shifts lists must be given to workers. For example, commerce sector workers must get their shift list no later than two weeks in advance. In the hotel, restaurant and leisure industry, shifts must be announced at least one week before the start of each three-week period.

Make sure you get your shift list in time and keep it in a safe place. If your employer doesn’t give a shift list to everyone in person and it is displayed on the noticeboard, for example, take a picture of it for yourself on your phone.

Summer workers must get their wages, come rain or shine

When shift lists have been drawn up, employers are not entitled to change them on their own. Rainy weather and few customers is not a valid reason for changing a shift list without agreement by both sides. Workers must always be paid wages for shifts entered in a list even if their employer cancels the shift.

A collective agreement may include an agreement on changing shift lists. For example, in the hotel, restaurant and leisure industry changing a shift list always requires agreement by the worker and the employer. In the commerce sector, shift lists can also be changed by the employer if there is a compelling reason having to do with organisation of the work.

Keep a record of your working hours

Workers must always be offered at least the number of working hours promised in their employment contract. If you don’t get all those hours, you may not get the earnings you expected from your summer job. That’s why it’s important to make sure you get at least the number of working hours agreed in your employment contract.

Keep a record of all your working hours. One way to do this is to use this ready-made form(in Finnish) by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The most important thing is that you have a record of when you started and ended your shifts (date and time) and how many hours you have worked.

When you have the shift list and the actual hours you’ve worked, it makes it easier check on payday that your wages and any supplements have been paid correctly.

What do I do if I fall ill?

If you’re sick, you must tell your employer straight away. Your employer will give you more detailed instructions on what you need to do. If your employer requires a medical certificate, you need to visit a doctor and send the doctor’s certificate to your employer.

You should check the rules around sick pay with your employer and in the collective agreement. These also apply to fixed-term contracts, like summer jobs and seasonal work.