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Totalled Working Time

Viimati uuendatud: 15.10.2019

The employer can total the working time up, meaning that working hours may be distributed unevenly during some time period or calculation period. For example, an employee could work six hours per day on one week, but 10 hours per day on another week. The totalling period may be up to 4 months and, in the case of the totalled working time, the worked time is calculated at the end of the calculation period. Overtime and undertime shall become clear at the end of the calculation period.

Totalled working time calculation is primarily used for working according to schedule or in shifts. In the case of the totalled working time it is important to follow the rule that the employee’s working time may not, at the end of the calculation period, exceed the average of 48 hours per one 7-day period. In certain cases, the Employment Contracts Act enables to overlook this rule, but in agreement with the employee and by protecting the employee’s health against overworking.

If parties have agreed that the working time totalling approach shall be applied, the employer must inform the employee about the following month’s schedule disclosing conditions. For example, the employee must be aware when will they see the next schedule and how long is the calculation period of their working time. When the employer must change an already compiled and disclosed schedule, corresponding changes must previously be agreed with the employer.

In the case of a totalled working time situations could occur when, due to unexpected circumstances (e.g., illness, sudden vacation), the employee is not working. In this case, the working time of the calculation period must be decreased by the number of days when the employee was not able to work. Already when compiling the work schedule, the employer must consider any known working obstacles and take them into consideration when compiling the next schedule. Else, a situation could occur when an employee who has fallen ill must compensate for the “unworked hours” in hindsight, at the end of the calculation period.

The ending of an employment contract terminates the totalling time period. If the contract is terminated before the end of the agreed calculation period, the last totalling period should cover the time from the beginning of the current calculation period until the end of the employment relationship. When the contract is terminated during the calculation period, the employee could have worked for less hours than the agreed working time. In this case and in addition to compensating for the worked hours, the employee must also compensate the less worked hours to the employee. If the employee has worked more hours than the agreed working time, the more worked hours must be compensated for as overtime.

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