Time Recording 2023 | Legal Requirements for Employers in Germany
Time recording is an important task within human resource management that companies must address. Not only is it sensible for economic and organizational reasons, but it also plays a significant role from a legal perspective. This is because it ensures compliance with working time regulations, labor laws, and collective agreements, among other things.
↓ Definition of work time recording
↓ Legal requirements for mandatory time recording
↓ Exceptions to the obligation to record working hours
↓ Typical models for time recording
↓ Challenges of work time recording
↓ Checklist: What matters when selecting a time recording system
↓ 5 tips on recording working hours
↓ Criteria for work time recording
↓ What is the time clock ruling from the ECJ?
↓ Benefits of work time recording
Definition of Work Time Recording
Work time recording describes the entire process of capturing, documenting, and monitoring the daily working hours of employees within a company. Time recording is closely associated with time management, which, in turn, can be categorized under human resource management.
Legal Requirements for Mandatory Time Recording
Time recording is a task within human resource management that specifically deals with various aspects of daily work. From a legal perspective, the Working Hours Act is especially crucial in Germany. Among other things, it includes a maximum daily working time of eight hours.
A groundbreaking ruling on time recording was issued by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in 2019. The ECJ established a uniform obligation for work time recording, which was later confirmed by a ruling from the German Federal Labor Court. According to these rulings, companies are required to record and document the working hours of their employees.
Exceptions to the Obligation to Record Working Hours
As is often the case in life, there are exceptions to this rule. In principle, all companies are initially required to record and document the working hours of individual employees. However, not all businesses are obligated to implement an electronic time recording system. Small companies with fewer than ten employees are exempt from this obligation, as a complex time recording system would be disproportionate for them.
Typical Models for Time Recording
The obligation for time recording can be implemented in various ways. Depending on the level of digitalization, recording working hours may look like the following, for example:
- Handwritten timesheets
- Excel spreadsheet using a template
- Punch clock
- Digital time recording system with terminals and/or an app
Challenges of Work Time Recording
Regardless of the chosen method, the introduction of a time recording system can be a significant challenge for companies. The difficulties vary greatly depending on the company and can at times be complex. Time recording may sometimes face resistance from employees initially, as they may fear increased control or have concerns about data privacy. In such cases, companies need to clarify and build trust. Training can also be beneficial to raise awareness among employees regarding the correct use of the time recording system and increase acceptance.
Checklist: What Matters When Selecting a Time Recording System
When implementing digital time recording, companies should not take any risks. Choosing the right system is crucial. However, due to the variety of providers and solutions, making the right decision can be challenging. The following checklist shows what’s important:
- Customer service
- Scope of features
- Legal compliance
5 Tips on Recording Working Hours
While companies can manage without professional time recording software by using pen and paper or a simple Excel template, it is not recommended. Instead, companies should see the obligation for time recording as a significant opportunity and make the most of it. The following tips can help:
- Compare various time recording systems
- Implement modern human resource software with integrated time recording
- Communicate the necessity of time recording with your employees
- Invest in training to maximize the potential of the time recording system
- Pay special attention to the security and up-to-dateness of the time recording system
Criteria for Time Recording
The recording of your employees’ working hours must meet several criteria. Primarily, it should operate accurately, reliably, and objectively while being legally secure, efficient, and convenient. If the system meets these conditions, time recording can be well integrated into the company. Ideally, time recording should be part of a holistic workforce management system where all the important areas related to working time, such as time recording, time management, and scheduling, work together.
What is the ECJ time clock ruling all about?
In the context of legal rulings regarding time recording, the time clock ruling is often mentioned.
This refers to the ruling of the European Court of Justice from 2019. The ECJ ruled that all companies must record the working hours of their employees.
Benefits of Work Time Recording
While time recording is mandatory, it also offers advantages for all parties involved:
- Protection against overtime
- Compliance with maximum working hour regulations
- Objective monitoring of working hours
- Optimization of personnel scheduling
- Simplification of payroll processing
- High level of transparency
Time recording is mandatory in Germany. It captures, documents, and monitors the working hours of employees, ensuring compliance with working time regulations, work time laws, and other guidelines. With modern tools like myplano, work time recording can be done quickly, easily, and digitally by the employees themselves.
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