Frequently asked questions about ban on overtime and shift swaps

Can I change the shift roster? Can I carry out additional work during a ban on overtime and shift swaps? This page has answers to these and many other questions related to ban on overtime and shift swaps.

See the general instructions on what to do during a ban on overtime and shift swaps.

The shift roster must be made available to the employees in writing at least one week before the start of the shift roster period.

After this, changes can be made to the shift roster by agreement with the employee in accordance with the employment contract, or for a justified reason. A justified reason is not, say, absence due to illness, another reason arising from employer obligation, or a strike. The employer must prepare for such situations in advance.

The employer is not allowed to exert pressure or impose sanctions on single employees for any union decision made by JHL. If such actions are taking place, contact your shop steward or regional office immediately.

During a ban set by the union, overtime work and shift swaps are not allowed. We also recommend employees not to take initiative to swap shifts.

If your employer tries to request you to perform overtime work or swap shifts, notify your shop steward or regional office immediately. Ask for the intended order in writing.

If your employer is requiring you to perform emergency work, ask the employer to show the emergency work notice filed with the Regional State Administrative Agency. If it is a question of emergency work according to the employer, the employer may extend working time by a unilateral order.

The notice must indicate the reason, extent and likely length of emergency work. The employer is responsible for filing the notice. The shop steward will state their opinion on whether the work that JHL members have been requested to perform fulfils the criteria of emergency work. The Regional State Administrative Agency will give the final interpretation on the matter.

The union monitors the use of emergency work. In case the employer does not ask for the shop steward’s opinion and sends the notice without it, the regional office must be notified of this.  If the opinion is lacking, the Regional State Administrative Agency will take that into account in its decision.

An employee who works under a part-time employment contract can have their working hours exceed the number of hours in their contract IF the employee has agreed on doing additional work in the employment contract.

In another case, it is not necessary to exceed the number of hours in the contract, and the work duties fall within the ban on overtime.

During the ban on overtime, it is however not allowed to do work that exceeds regular working hours.

You should take part in the negotiations. However, you must first agree locally on the remuneration policy in situations where the chief shop steward, shop steward or occupational safety and health representative has to take part in the employer’s meetings outside working hours.

One must not circumvent legal industrial actions by using temporary agency labour. Various collective agreements may have provisions on the situations in which it is allowed to use temporary agency labour.

In case the employer is considering using temporary agency labour, you must notify the shop steward and the union’s regional office immediately.

According to an international practice in the temporary agency work sector, job agencies do not act as intermediaries providing employees for a company that is the subject of a legal industrial action, unless the parties to the dispute view it positively.

If you notice that temporary agency labour is used during industrial actions, notify the shop steward or regional office.

A stand-by shift marked in the shift roster constitutes regular stand-by.

Working time accrued during stand-by constitutes overtime work if the day’s or working week’s working time has been reached. Overtime work that arises from this falls within the ban on overtime.

If stand-by duties have been agreed upon earlier, the employee and/or shop steward must contact the employer about the stand-by duties and inform that, in accordance with the union’s decision, stand-by duties cannot be performed as overtime work.

Stand-by does not constitute overtime work

  • If the working time arising from stand-by constitutes regular working time or additional work, it has been ruled out of the ban on overtime.
  • If the work related to stand-by is emergency work, it is impossible to refuse the work.

It is recommendable to contact the employer’s representative beforehand to agree upon stand-by duties and arranging them. One should also agree upon what actions will be taken in various situations, and how situations will be interpreted.

During a ban on overtime and/or shift swaps, work only the hours in accordance with the period’s confirmed shift roster.

You can, if it is done at the request of the colleague for a personal reason and the workplace has an established practice where employees can mutually agree on shift swaps.

You cannot, if the reason for swapping shifts is that the colleague has fallen ill or needs temporary child-care leave.

Yes, they can, provided that your tasks in the other unit conform to your employment contract and the starting and ending times of your shift remain the same.

No, you cannot. During a ban on overtime, regular working hours are observed.

Contact your shop steward or the regional office to make sure. The union informs separately whether additional work falls within the industrial action.

No, you cannot. You are not allowed to exceed your regular working hours during the ban. You are entitled to take time off if you have credits in your working time account.

No, you do not. You should observe the confirmed shift roster.

JHL sent a message about a ban on overtime and shift swaps to all members who are registered as working in the concerned sector. The ban concerns the working members of JHL. You are not required to do anything.

Yes, you can, if the job is not covered by the industrial action.

You should remember, however, that a ban on overtime and/or shift swaps also applies to stand-in jobs.

Yes, it does, if you work in a sector with a ban on overtime and/or shift swaps. You can find the sectors with a ban on overtime  and/or shift swaps on JHL’s website.

JHL send its members a message on industrial actions. If you have not received a message from the union, make sure your contact details are up-to-date in our myJHL service.

Public servants can legally participate in industrial action taken on the basis of a decision of the union or association. Public servants’ right to strike has been restricted, however. They are not allowed to take part in sympathy and demonstration strikes or in bans on overtime and shift swaps.

Public servants are under the obligation to perform protection work also during industrial actions. Protection work is work that is necessary to prevent the health or lives of citizens from being endangered or to protect assets that are specifically endangered due to the industrial action.

The National Dispute Impact Assessment Board assesses whether the announced industrial action will jeopardise society. If it does, the Board must in its decision exhort to cancel the industrial action altogether or to limit it as specified in the decision.

During industrial actions by other unions, public servants are obliged to fulfil their normal service obligation.