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Court: Employee's working hours can't be extended due to competitiveness pact

In a similar case last November, another district court also ruled on the side of an employee.

Työntekijä leimaa itsensä sisään töihin.
File photo of worker using electronic key card. Image: Niko Mannonen / Yle
Yle News

A district court in south west Finland has ruled on the side of a worker in a dispute over extended working hours which rolled out in government's so-called competitiveness pact nearly four years ago.

In 2016, Juha Sipilä’s centre-right government signed an accord with labour market leaders that extended workers’ annual working time by 24 hours.

However on Monday, Southwest District Court ruled that the weekly number of working hours in employment agreements cannot be extended on the basis of the pact.

The aim of that agreement was to make businesses more competitive by reducing labour costs. The competitiveness provision was then written into the collective agreements of various sectors.

In a similar case last November, a western Uusimaa district court also ruled that the competitiveness pact could not be the basis for extending the amount of weekly working hours written into a worker’s employment contract.

Why do salaries rise every year? What is going on behind the closed door live streams on Finnish news sites? What is a 'tupo'? We tried to answer these and other questions about industrial relations and the labour market in this recent All Points North podcast.

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