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Christmas and New Year – working hours, extras and pay

You can check working time rules and working time-related and other extras over the Christmas and New Year period here.
Click the link below to go to your own sector.

All sectors: annual holiday at Christmas
Retail
Hospitality services
Facility services
Private security
Pharmacies
Ski resorts
Activity programmes


Annual holiday at Christmas

If an employee is on annual holiday in weeks 52 and 1, you should note that Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day are not counted as holiday days. Sundays also do not use up annual holiday days.

Example:
An employee has 6 annual holiday days to take. He/she starts his/her holiday on 24.12.

Since Christmas Eve (24.12.), Christmas Day (25.12.) and Boxing Day (26.12.) cannot be annual holiday days, his/her annual holiday is moved forward by three days. The period 27.-29.12. is counted as annual holiday days (3 days).

The Monday of the next week is New Year’s Eve and is an annual holiday day (1 day).

New Year’s Day (1.1.) is a public holiday and cannot be counted as an annual holiday day.

Holiday continues on 2.-3.1. (2 days).

So the employee’s last annual leave day is 3.1.

Sectoral instructions in the sections on the retail sector (averaging schedule) and the facility services sector (midweek public holiday compensation).

Retail

Shops can be open every day of the year.
Work shifts can be entered for employees in the retail sector on all days in the Christmas and New Year period. However, public holidays reduce working time either within the annual leave system or within the midweek public holiday system. Workplaces must use one of these systems.

Annual leave system
In the annual leave system, annual midweek public holidays (church festivals) are counted within so-called annual leave. The employee is allocated days off based on the number of hours worked, but the time when these are taken is not tied to public holidays. You can find more information on the annual leave system here.

Midweek public holiday system
Instead of an annual leave system, an employer can use a midweek public holiday system in all or part of the company. At the turn of the year 2019-2020, midweek public holidays that shorten working time are Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day and Epiphany.

Employees are entitled to a midweek public holiday working time reduction if their employment relationship has lasted at least one month before the midweek public holiday.

For full-time employees, working time is reduced by 1 day per midweek public holiday. The reduction is made in the week concerned, in the two previous and two following weeks or during the averaging schedule:

  • 7 hrs 36min of working hours in a 38 hr schedule or
  • 8 hours in a 40 hr schedule.

Part-time employees (working less than 37.5 hrs) are given a working time reduction for a week with a midweek public holiday either as paid time off during the reduction period or as a monetary payment in addition to hours worked. Payment should be made with the payment for the reduction period.

The monetary payment or working time reduction are calculated by dividing the weekly working time agreed in the employment contract by 5.

A working time reduction is made by giving a day off:

  • in a week with a midweek public holiday
  • in the 2 previous weeks
  • in the 2 following weeks or
  • in an averaging schedule.

For clerical employees, reduction in working time in an averaging schedule requires agreement at the workplace in accordance with Section 23 of the collective agreement.

If Saturday is a fixed day off, it is also a day off in a week with a midweek public holiday.

For example (full time, 6 week averaging schedule)
A salesperson’s average weekly working time is 38 hours.
“Normally” the number of working days is 30 during a six-week averaging schedule and working time is 37.5 x 6 = 228 hours.
In the 6-week averaging schedule there are midweek public holidays in the third (week 52), fourth (week 1) and fifth (week 2) week.
The reduction is made by decreasing the number of working days in the averaging schedule by 4 and (7.6 x 4 = 30 hours 24 minutes), thus the employee can be given 197 hours and 36 minutes of work within 27 working days.

For example (full-time, working time schedule not in use)
A salesperson’s average weekly working time is 40 hours.
In week 52 there are 2 midweek public holidays which reduce working time (Christmas Eve and Boxing Day). The reduction in working time can be done by giving 2 accrued days off between weeks 50 - 2. In the reduced-time weeks there are 4 working days and 32 hours of working time.

Days off on eve of public holidays
(Collective agreement section 12.4)
Permanent employees in the retail sector get two days off out of four on the eve of a public holiday. The eves are Easter Sunday, Midsummer’s Eve, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

If you have not got these days off, your employer must compensate you for the eves you did not get off by paying 100% increased wages for the regular work done (collective agreement section 7.8.3.).

Working time bonuses
Under the links below you will find a table of bonuses and working time compensations that should be paid on year-end public holidays.

Shops (In Finnish)
Warehouses (In Finnish)

Examples:
Sunday 22.12.2019
A shop worker’s working shift starts at 12 o’clock and ends at 8 p.m.
The employee gets double pay for the hours worked, and between 6 and 8 p.m. the evening extra is paid double.
- The shift is Sunday work, so the employee is paid at the double rate for the hours worked.
- For Sundays in November and December the evening extra is double between 6 p.m. and midnight.

Evening bonus
A. Helsinki 8.20 €/hr
B. Rest of Finland 7.84 €/hr

Christmas Eve
A shop worker’s working shift starts at 7 a.m. on Christmas Eve and ends at 2 p.m.
The employee is paid wages for the work done at the single rate.
If the employee had worked after 6 p.m., he/she would have been paid extra for the evening of the eve of a public holiday (eve of a church festival from 6 p.m. to midnight)
The extra for the evening of the eve of a public holiday is (same as Saturday extra, collective agreement section 12.4):
A. Helsinki 5.35 €/hr
B. Rest of Finland 5.17 €/hr

Boxing Day 26.12.2019
A shop worker’s working shift starts on Boxing Day 26.12.2019 at 4 p.m. and ends at 11 p.m.
The employee is paid at the double rate for every hour worked, and for working hours between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. an evening extra, because:
- Pay is at the double rate for church festivals.
- Normal evening extra is paid on Sunday, on church festivals, May Day and Independence Day (6 p.m.-midnight) at the single rate regardless of opening hours (collective agreement section 12.3).

The evening extra is
A. Helsinki 4.10 €/hr
B. Rest of Finland 3.92 €/hr.

ANNUAL HOLIDAY
Check the general instructions here.
Collective agreement section 20: “public holidays, Easter Saturday, May Day, Midsummer’s Eve, Independence Day and Christmas Eve are not counted as holiday days”.

For example (3-week averaging period)
A full-time employee takes 6 days of annual holiday at New Year.Working time in the averaging period is 3 x 37.5 hours = 112.5, but because the employee is on holiday for a week, the employer can put him/her to work for 75 hours. The table can be found here in Finnish.

Hospitality services

Employees in the sector can be put to work on all days of the year.
Also, no midweek public holidays are specified in the sector.
In the annual leave schedule e.g. annual midweek public holidays (church festivals) are calculated within so-called annual leave. The employee gets leave days based on the hours worked, but the dates of these are not tied to public holidays, for example. So they do not have to be placed on public holidays, but they can be. Take a closer look at the annual leave schedule here (in Finnish).

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Evening shifts on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day must, however, be given as leave if an employee so requests a week before the work schedule that includes Christmas is drawn up. However, these days off do not have to be provided in accommodation establishments, seasonal and transport restaurants, hospital and service station cafes and staff canteens.

Wages for working on eves of public holidays and on public holidays
If an employee is at work on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve after 3 p.m., basic wages and evening work and licensee’s deputy’s bonuses are paid increased by 50 %.
On Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Epiphany wages are paid increased by 100%.

Facility services sector

Working times from Monday 24.12.- Sunday 12.1. in the facility services sector

An employee’s working shifts can be placed on any day of the week, unless otherwise agreed.

Saturday off
Under the collective agreement, the Saturday of the week of New Year’s Day and the Saturday of the week of Epiphany must be given as a day off. In 2020 these off days are 4 January and 11 January. If a company’s service offering is uninterrupted, as for example in hotel housekeeping, an employee can be assigned working shifts on these days too.
If an employee works on these days, his/her wages for them are paid increased by 50%.
However, in uninterrupted three-shift work wages are not increased.

Midweek public holidays

A monthly paid employee gets a day off if according to his/her work schedule a midweek public holiday would be a working day, plus his/her normal monthly wages.

Midweek public holidays in the period 24.12.- 6.1 are:

  • Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day
  • New Year’s Day
  • Epiphany
  • Hourly paid employee

An hourly paid employee gets a so-called midweek public holiday compensation if his/her employment relationship has lasted at least 3 months before the midweek public holiday concerned and if the midweek public holiday would have been a working day according to his/her work schedule for which he/she would have been entitled to be paid wages.

Average weekly working time
If a workplace uses a so-called average weekly working time schedule, leave days on midweek public holidays are not days equivalent to working days when total working time for the period is calculated. Therefore midweek public holidays do not accrue total working time, and the employee must work a number of hours corresponding to them later.

Amount of compensation for midweek public holidays
For an employee whose regular working time is 37.5 hours a week, midweek public holiday compensation based on 7.5 hours.
For an employee whose regular working time is 40 hours a week, midweek public holiday compensation based on 8 hours.
For an employee whose regular working time is less than 37.5 hours a week, midweek public holiday compensation calculated on a relative basis.
a) If an employee’s weekly working time is fixed
Midweek public holiday compensation hours are calculated by dividing the weekly working time by 5.
b) if an employee’s weekly working time varies

Midweek public holiday compensation hours are calculated as follows: working hours in the quarter are divided by 63. However, working days during periods of absence due to annual holiday or one’s own or a child’s illness are subtracted from the figure of 63.

For example:
An employee has worked 216 hours during a quarter. He/she has been ill for 4 working days and on winter holiday for a week (6 weekdays of holiday). Midweek public holiday compensation is calculated as follows:
63 – (4 + 5) = 54 (denominator)
216 / 54 = 4
The employee is paid midweek public holiday compensation for 4 hours.
The amount of the compensation is based on average hourly earnings.

At work on a midweek public holiday
If an employee has been at work on midweek public holidays, he/she is paid wages increased by 100% for work done on those days.
Midweek public holiday compensation is not paid for hours worked. However, it is paid based on the amount by which work done on a midweek public holiday is less than the midweek public holiday compensation.

For example:
A full-time (37.5 hrs/week) employee works 4 hours on a midweek public holiday, and gets wages for 4 hours increased by 100 per cent and additionally a 3.5 hour midweek public holiday compensation.

Annual holiday at Christmas time
Check the general instructions here.

Note, however, that there is no entitlement to midweek public holiday compensation if you start your holiday on Monday 23 December for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day because due to the annual holiday it is not considered to be the employee’s working day. See the table here in Finnish.

Private security

Employees can have working days on all days in the Christmas period.
For monthly paid employees there is a so-called annual leave system. In it, annual midweek public holidays are calculated within annual leave. Based on the hours worked, an employee accrues leave, but on dates that are not tied to public holidays, for example.

The annual leave system only applies to monthly paid employees. Leave is accrued at a rate of 11.25 hours per calendar month. So during a year around 17 work shifts of leave are accrued, if a shift is 8 hours long.
You can find more information on the annual leave system here (in Finnish).

If a part-time employee works on a midweek public holiday, he/she accrues a maximum of 8 hours of paid leave. Under the collective agreement for the private security sector, Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and Epiphany are considered midweek public holidays in the Christmas period.

Accrued leave is entered in the work schedule during which leave is taken. Wages are paid for the leave as midweek public holiday compensation according to average hourly earnings (KTA).

For work done on a midweek public holiday, wages are paid normally subject to the exceptions below.

Wages
• For work done after midnight on Christmas Eve, 100% Sunday compensation is paid
• For work done after midnight on New Year’s Eve, an increase of 50% is paid.
• For Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Epiphany – as for all days marked red in the calendar – wages are paid increased by 100%.

Under the collective agreement for the private security sector, Christmas Day 25.12. is not a midweek public holiday and therefore does not reduce working time or give entitlement to midweek public holiday compensations.

N.B! In accordance with the collective agreement that entered into force on 1.11.2018, as of 1.1.2019 evening work bonus of 1.00 € an hour will be paid between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. and night work bonus of 2.20 € an hour between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Pharmacies

Leave on eve of public holiday

An employee who works an average of five days a week in an employment relationship of indefinite duration is given Midsummer’s Eve or Christmas Eve off.
Leave on the eve of a public holiday during annual holiday is counted as leave taken on the eve of a public holiday.
So Christmas Eve must be given as a day off if an employee did not get the day off on Midsummer’s Eve and was not on annual holiday then.

Days that reduce working time
Days that reduce working time at the turn of the year 2019-2020 are, in December, Independence Day, Christmas Eve or Boxing Day and, in January, New Year’s Day and Epiphany.
Days that reduce working time mean that working time is reduced without wages going down.
An employee and employer may also agree that the reduction in working time is paid out as monetary compensation.

When is the reduction given?
The reduction in working time is given in the working time period that includes the reducing day – so not necessarily on the day that reduces working time.
If the working time period is for example 3 weeks and it started on 9.12., the employee must be given leave corresponding to 2 working time reducing days (Christmas Eve or Boxing Day and Christmas Day) within the period.

How is the reduction done?
For full-time employees, the reduction is 7.5 hrs per working time reducing day.
The reduction is made by giving a continuous period of leave. If this is not possible, the number of hours in the period is reduced by other means.

It is also possible to agree to pay out the reduction in working time as monetary compensation for each midweek public holiday separately.

For a part-time employee, working time is reduced by the number of hours obtained by dividing the average weekly working time agreed in the collective agreement by 5.
If the period working time varies, average weekly working time is calculated based on the 12 preceding calendar weeks.

Example 1.
The agreed weekly working time of a part-time employee is 25 hours / week.
Her working time reduction is made up as follows: 25 hours / 5 = 5 hours.
The working time of the employee concerned is reduced by 5 hours in a week with a midweek public holiday without reducing his/her wages, or alternatively extra wages are paid for 5 hours.

Example 2.
A part-time employee’s working time varies and in the 12 weeks before the week of Independence Day (in the period 10.9-2.12) he/she has worked a total of 264 hours.
Then the average weekly working time is 264 hours / 12 = 22 hours.
His/her working time reduction is made up as follows: 22 hours / 5 = 4.4 hours.
The working time of the employee concerned is reduced by 4.4 hours in a week with a midweek public holiday without reducing his/her wages, or alternatively extra wages are paid for 4.4 hours.

At work on Christmas Eve
If an employee works after midday on Christmas Eve, he/she is paid a public holiday eve bonus of 3,82 €/ hour.

At work on Christmas public holidays or on New Year’s Day
If an employee works on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day, wages are paid for the work increased by 100%. Evening and night bonuses are also paid at the double rate.
New Year’s Eve falling on a Monday is a normal working day, and no special compensation is paid.

Ski resorts

In principle all days can be working days. You can check the working time schedules in the sector in the collective agreement here (In Finnish).

Wages
Wages for work done on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve after 3 p.m. are paid increased by 50%. Evening and night work bonuses and working conditions bonuses are also correspondingly increased.
Wages for work done on Christmas Day are paid increased by 150 %. Evening and night work bonuses and working conditions bonuses are also correspondingly increased.
For work done on Sundays and other church festivals and on May Day and Independence Day, wages are paid increased by 100%. Evening and night work bonuses and working conditions bonuses are also increased correspondingly.

Working conditions and working time bonuses
Evening work bonus (for two hours between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.) 0.76€ / hour
Night work bonus (9 p.m. – 6 a.m.) 2.14€ / hour
Snowmaking bonus 1.30€ / hour
Bonus for climbing luminous column (for climbing time) 0.33€ / hour

Activity programme sector

In principle all days can be working days. You can check the working time schedules in the sector in the collective agreement here.
For work done on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, wages are paid increased by 100%. The same applies to Sundays and other church festivals as well as May Day and Independence Day.

Other bonuses:
If an averaging schedule of maximum 24 weeks has been agreed locally, employees covered by the agreement should be paid:

  • an evening work bonus of 0.76€ / hour for work done between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
  • a night work bonus of 2.14€ / hour for work done between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., unless agreed otherwise locally.