The working hours of an employee in a changing working hour scheme varies between a minimum and maximum amount in a specific timeline as defined in the work contract. Changing working hours may also refer to a situation when an employee agrees to work for the employer on call. These contracts of varying working hours include e.g. zero-hour contracts.
If the employer has a fixed need for labour, it must not take the initiative on varying working hours. Nor is the employer allowed to make an initiative for defining the minimum working hours to be less than what the employer’s need for labour requires.
If the employer wants to give work shifts to an employee on a changing working scheme and the shifts exceed the minimum working time of the work contract, employees must be given an opportunity to notify by a deadline to what extent and on what conditions they accept the work. The deadline must not be earlier than one week prior to preparations the work shift schedule.
Agreeing on new minimum working hours
If the employer’s real need for labour has been more than what was agreed with you for six months, you can request changing the provision on working hours to correspond with the actual need. The negotiations must be conducted in a reasonable time and you have a right to ask e.g. the shop steward to accompany you in the negotiations.
If you cannot reach an agreement on the new minimum working hours, your employer must present proper reasons in writing for how the working hour provision in effect still corresponds to the employer’s need for labour.