Do you know about the upcoming legislation regarding the registration of employees’ working hours?

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Back in 2019, we wrote a couple of articles about the ruling of the European Court of Justice regarding time registration. An EU ruling that requires the employer to register employees’ working hours. There has since been no information about the ratification of the EU directive, but now there is finally news, which we will address in this blog post.

A summary

In case you do not remember the three-year-old EU ruling or you are not completely updated on what has been going on, here is a summary: In June 2017 the Spanish union CCOO sued Deutsche Bank as they believed the bank needed a system that could register the daily working hours of their employees. This was because the union suspected that the employees were working too much. The case was discussed in the European Court of Justice, and they settled that all employees are entitled to rest periods and a limitation on working hours. Employees are entitled to:
  • an average weekly working time of fewer than 48 hours within four months
  • a minimum rest period of 11 consecutive hours per day (24 hours)
  • a day off every week
In 2019, the European Court of Justice then handed down the ruling, which upholds that the member states must demand that employers establish processes that ensure that the employees’ actual daily working hours are registered.

Where do we stand today?

The EU directive is not implemented yet and is therefore not applicable in many of the member states, including Denmark. At this point, it is yet to be discussed how the new rules are best implemented in the Danish labor market. This is something that the various parties in the labor market are still investigating. There is no doubt that it is far from uncomplicated to introduce a new system for time registration in the Danish labor market. We have different agreements, are used to a great deal of flexibility, and have varying working hours. Is it working hours or “interest hours” if an employee answers emails or talks on the phone outside normal working hours? And what about freelancers who work for many different companies? It is complex and in some cases can be difficult to calculate, document and record. At some point, however, Danish employers will be required to implement “reliable, objective and accessible systems” to register employees’ working hours. This way the documentation is taken care of and this ensures that employees’ working hours are not in conflict with EU legislation.

The latest news

For more than two years there were no significant updates concerning the definition and implementation of the EU directive, but at the end of 2021, there was news. The European Court of Justice ruled that if an employee is on “stand-by” and can be called to work at short notice, this is, for example, working hours, as the employee cannot freely dispose of their time. We do not yet know when the law enters into force in Denmark. It has been predicted that we will receive more information during this year, after which the law may enter into force at some point in 2023. We will of course follow up on the matter when there is news.

Hop on the time registration train

If we disregard the legislation for a moment. In that case, it is important to remember that time registration plays an important part when it comes to creating a business with an overview of the finances of internal and external projects, customers, clients, and cases. So even though the statutory registration of working hours is not yet valid in Denmark, companies can advantageously consider whether they should jump on the bandwagon early and acquire a solution for time registration. In this way, the company is prepared for the day the legislation is adopted in Denmark. Besides complying with the legislation there are many other advantages when time registering – for both the employees and managers. Some employees may feel like they are being watched and others may see it as yet another task they have to finish. However, time registration can help with having an overview of your day – especially if you are working on different projects and cases. It can also help improve the communication between manager and employee as the actual working hours are documented.

Interested in time registration?

We have developed Acubiz Time, which is a complete solution for easy and digital time registration. Acubiz Time makes it quick and easy to register working hours, holidays, parental leave, illness, and time consumption in connection with internal or external projects and customer cases. The solution is thus a digital tool that provides an overview of the time consumption in the company and it is thereby possible to optimize the use of resources. To summarize: if you as a company do not yet have control of your time registration, you currently have a minimum of two challenges; both in relation to complying with forthcoming EU legislation, but to a large extent also in relation to having control of your employees’ actual time consumption.
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