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Don’t do gray overtime – it’s a disservice for your work community

In Finnish

Gray overtime refers to working hours in which the agreed working time is exceeded, but is not compensated as overtime. If an employer or a client gives you so much work that you don’t have time to do it during the 7.5-hour working days, it should be treated as overtime and a higher hourly salary should be paid for it. The overtime work must be agreed with your supervise in advance. The essential difference to flexible working hours is that in flexible working you yourself can decide to make a little longer day today and a shorter day tomorrow.

Gray overtime is always a financial loss for employees. By doing gray overtime, you are also doing a disservice for your entire work community. Continuously doing gray overtime leads to it being considered a normal way of working and it may also start to be demanded from your co-workers.

The employer does not have to worry too much about excessive workload if it does not cause additional costs. It is worth noting that the costs, however, flow to the employees as unpaid overtime compensation and a risk of burnout symptons.

Asking someone to do grey overtime is not ok. If you are asked to do so much work that 7,5 hours working days are not enough, you need to agree about the overtime compensation with your superior. If they say no, you should not do longer than 7,5 hours working days. If grey overtime working is common in your organisation, please discuss with your collegues and shop steward how bring it up to an employer for making a chance.



Tiina Henry-Biabaud

Communication Specialist,
Consulting Sector & IT Service Sector

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