A working time account is a voluntary system for combining work and private life that allows employees to save and combine working hours, accrued leave or monetary benefits exchanged for leave. Employees deposit working hours into the working time account and take the accrued hours as leave later on.

A working time account may be statutory or based on collective agreement. A working time account based on Working Hours Act may be agreed upon at any workplace regardless of whether the employer is abided by collective agreement or whether the collective agreement includes provisions for a working time account. A statutory working time account is optional if the collective agreement abided by the employer contains provisions for a working time account.

Statutory working time account

The workplace may introduce a statutory working time account. The employer may agree upon a working time account with the shop steward, the elected representative or other employee representative, the employees or a group of employees. A working time account may be introduced to all employees or a group of employees.

A written agreement on a working time account shall be concluded. The agreement shall describe what items and in what quantities may be transferred into the working time account. According to legislation, additional and overtime working hours as well as accrued flexitime working hours may be transferred into the account (up to a maximum of 60 hours per a four-month reference period).

Also monetary benefits based on law or agreement, after these have been converted into time-based units, may be transferred into the working time account. An example of these is holiday bonus.

The accumulated hours saved into the working time account may not exceed 180 hours over the calendar year, nor may the total hours accumulated in the working time account exceed an amount equivalent to six months’ working hours.

When transferring saved items into the working time account, the terms applicable to these items are replaced with the terms of the working time account. 

When introducing a working time account, the parties shall also decide on the principles and procedures of using the accumulated leave. To provide for the possibility that the working time account system becomes irrelevant for the parties, the agreement must include provisions for the discontinuation of the system, to cover for the compensation of accrued leave on the account at the time of discontinuation.

Working time account based on collective agreement

A local working time account agreement on the introduction and terms of a working time account may be concluded at the company or workplace level. A shop steward or an elected representative may sign the contract on behalf of the employees.

When agreeing upon a working time account based on collective agreement, the provisions of the respective collective agreement shall be adhered to. The working time account agreement shall include provisions for the coverage of the agreement, items transferrable into the account, timing of using the accrued leave and notification procedures. The agreement shall also include provisions for the maximum number of transferrable hours and those taken as leave and, if applicable, the accrual and reference periods. Provisions are also needed for joining the working time account system and departing from it, and the termination procedure of the agreement.