The “time clock judgement” of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) of 14 May 2019 made a lot of waves. Accordingly, employers are required to monitor the daily working hours of their employees. This is designed to ensure compliance with the Working Time Directive and to ensure maximum working hours and minimum rest periods.
Employees deserve protection
According to the ECJ, the employee is the weaker party in the employment relationship. In order to protect employees, it is therefore important that the number of hours worked, their distribution and also the number of overtime hours can be tracked. Systematic recording of working hours should make it easier for the employee to prove when the maximum weekly working time or the rest period has been exceeded.
The judgment is final and binding. National legislators are therefore obligated to implement the ECJ’s provisions.
Exceptions are possible
It remains to be seen what leeway and scope the legislator will have. Senior executives are already excluded from the judgment. In addition, there is the possibility of excluding medium-sized businesses as those would be particularly burdened by rigorous implementation. This judgment could also cause problems with flexible working time models.
Options for recording working times
The ruling does not stipulate how working time is to be recorded. So it is possible that the documentation of the working time is carried out by the employee himself as long as a methodical recording is warranted.
Advice on the guidelines for recording working hours
Our attorneys specializing in employment law will be happy to assist you in structuring your employment relationships in accordance with the Working Time Directive so that you comply with all the requirements of the law.