Schedules of work shifts in the commercial sector
Employees must be given an opportunity to state their views when the schedule of work shifts is drawn up. In addition, inexpediently short shifts should be avoided. No shifts of less than 4 hours should be used, except where required by an employee’s needs or for some other justified reason. The distribution of working time and days off should alternate among employees.
Employees will be informed of the schedule of work shifts no later than 2 weeks before the beginning of the working week concerned. If the working time averaging period is 9 weeks or longer, the schedule of work shifts will be released no later than 3 weeks before the working week begins.
A schedule of work shifts may be amended in accordance with the Working Hours Act (605/1996) as follows:
- Amendments may be made with the consent of the employees concerned or for some compelling reason relating to work arrangements that was not known when the schedule was being drawn up.
- The employees concerned must be immediately notified of any such amendments.
Once employees have been informed of a schedule of work shifts, any amendments may only be made with the consent of the employees concerned or for some compelling reason relating to work arrangements that was not known to the employer when the schedule was being drawn up. The employer’s unilateral right to amend schedules is limited to situations where it is necessary to safeguard production, service or other operational arrangements at the workplace due to unforeseeable circumstances.
If the employer or its representative was informed of any considerations that should be taken into account (such as the number of employees on a shift) as part of the above-mentioned consultation procedure when a schedule of work shifts was being drawn up, such considerations are no longer unforeseeable circumstances that would justify amendment of the schedule.
In the event that a schedule of work shifts is amended for a justified reason, the employees concerned must be immediately informed of any such amendments.