EU Time Tracking Law

A brief explanation of the EU time tracking law and the benefits of bringing your business into compliance.

EU’s Working Time Directive

The EU Working Time Directive 2003/88/EC regulates the amount of time employees can work. The directive is designed to protect the health and safety of employees by limiting the number of hours they can work each week. The directive also requires employers to provide employees with rest breaks and paid annual leave.

The Working Time Directive applies to all EU member states and covers a wide range of industries, including healthcare, transportation, and manufacturing. The directive requires EU Member States to guarantee the following rights for all workers:

  • Maximum of 48 hours working time each seven day period
  • Minimum rest period of 11 hours between shifts every 24 hours period
  • Minimum of 24 hours rest every seven day period
  • Minimum of 4 weeks paid leave each year

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) May 2019 Ruling

In May 2019, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that employers must track the number of hours worked by employees to ensure compliance with the Working Time Directive. The ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed by the Spanish labor union Federación de Servicios de Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) against Deutsche Bank. The lawsuit alleged that Deutsche Bank failed to track the number of hours worked by its employees, in violation of the EU Working Time Directive.

Before 2019, many EU member states did not require employers to track the number of hours worked by employees. Instead, employers were required to keep records of employee hours only if they were requested by labor inspectors. The ECJ ruling changed this by requiring employers to track employee hours proactively to ensure compliance with the Working Time Directive.

The ruling applies to all EU member states and requires employers to implement an objective, reliable, and accessible system for tracking employee hours. In addition, each employee must have access to their own hours in the time tracking system. However, the ruling does not specify how employers should track employee hours, leaving it up to individual member states to determine the best method for compliance.

Countries that Have Made the Ruling into Law

Several EU member states have already implemented the ECJ 2019 ruling into law, including Spain, Germany, and Denmark. These countries have passed legislation requiring employers to track the number of hours worked by employees to ensure compliance with the Working Time Directive.

Other EU member states are expected to follow suit in the coming years, as the ECJ ruling becomes more widely known and understood. Employers in these countries will need to implement time tracking systems to ensure compliance with the Working Time Directive and avoid potential fines and penalties for non-compliance.

Time Tracking Benefits

The biggest barrier to time tracking is getting buy-in from employees. However, one of the biggest benefits of time tracking is that it benefits the employees themselves. The new ruling drives home the point that time tracking is an indispensable tool for preserving company culture and protecting workers rights.

Some of these benefits include:

  • Ensuring employees are not overworked
  • Preventing burnout and stress
  • Improving work-life balance
  • Ensuring employees are paid for all hours worked
  • Providing a record of hours worked for labor disputes
  • Increased productivity and profitability
  • More accurate project estimates and billing
  • Better reporting for data-driven decision making
  • Client transparency and trust

How Intervals Time Tracking Software Can Help

Getting started with time tracking can seem daunting due to the sheer number of time tracking tools available. Intervals is a flexible and robust time tracking platform that can help businesses comply with the EU Working Time Directive. Our software enables your employees to track their time easily and accurately, ensuring they are not overworked. Plus, it provides employers with not only the data you need for compliance, but the insights you need to make better business decisions.

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