Time recording becomes obligation

For more than three years, the ECJ ruling on time recording has been in abeyance. Now the issue is gaining momentum. A short sentence in the BAG press release has caused a huge tremor.

As a result of disputes on the works council’s participation rights in the introduction of time recording, the BAG unequivocally interpreted § 3 para. 2 no. 1 in the Working Conditions Act: The BAG ruled that employers are legally obliged to record employees’ working hours.

BAG ruling on the recording of working hours: The most important facts

The Federal Labour Court ruled in September 2022: As of today, the obligation for all employers to record working hours already applies. Currently, only a short press release is available on the ruling – only the expected reasons for the decision will provide clarity on the concrete form of the obligation. Until then, all employers should urgently look for a solution and consider options for legally compliant time recording and decide which system best meets their requirements. The ruling (1ABR 22/21) will inevitably have an impact on issues such as flexible and mobile working as well as trust-based working time. The legislator has not yet made clear regulations for the recording of working time, as the German Labour Court has pre-empted the legislator.

While the requirements for a time recording system have not yet been specifically clarified, according to the 2019 European Court of Justice ruling, it must be objective, reliable and accessible. Times should therefore be visible, overtime should be clearly displayed and, of course, the system should reliably record the beginning and end of working hours as well as breaks.

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Mr. Hendrik Ernst
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