Employers can agree on the ground on workers who regularly work longer than the cap set by the Law on Working Time for Normal Working Hours (Section 11). Agreements between an employer and an individual worker are only possible if the existing collective agreement does not include provisions for regular working time. In the absence of a collective agreement, the aforementioned section of the Working Time Act sets the limits of the local agreement on regular hours. Employers who are subject to a collective agreement of general application can apply directly all the provisions agreed upon on the basis of section 34 of the Working Time Act. However, provisions that are based on section 34, paragraph 2 of the Working Time Act and require local consent cannot be enforced. The employer has the right to apply the annual leave provisions of the collective agreement in the employment relations of workers who are not covered by the collective agreement, but which require the employer to comply with the provisions of the collective agreement provided by the Employment Contracts Act (436/1946). Conditions contrary to the collective agreement cannot be agreed either on the ground or in employment contracts. A business manager or staff delegate must always have a separate authorization from the party concerned when the local agreement is about to change what has been agreed in the employment contract of a single worker. In the broadest sense of the term, “local agreement” means all the steps taken by employers and workers to promote a common understanding of workplace issues. “agreement” can only refer to a process in which the parties acquire, as a result of negotiations, a common understanding of a given situation and its importance. As a general rule, the Working Time Act (872/2019) is a mandatory law.
However, there are several provisions of the law that national social partners can deviate from through collective agreements. Some things can also be agreed on the spot. Generally binding collective agreements may include provisions allowing local exemptions for regular hours, shift work, hours of work based on working time, the daily working time of professional drivers or the maximum length of adjustment for the maximum working time. In such cases, local agreements may be concluded within the limits set by the existing collective agreement. All local agreements must comply with the procedural rules of the existing collective agreement, with the exception of the provisions relating to negotiated procedures.