With the ruling of the European Court of Justice on the recording of working hours on 14 May 2019, employers throughout the EU are obliged to systematically and consistently record the working hours of their employees throughout the EU. The individual member states of the EU are obliged to pass a corresponding law. However, it is up to the member states themselves how the mandatory time recording is specifically regulated.
The starting point of the ECJ ruling was the legal dispute of a Spanish trade union with the Spanish branch of a German bank. The union argued that Deutsche Bank had to introduce a working time tracking system so that compliance with the agreed working time could be checked and saw, among other things, the EU Working Time Directive as the basis. The competent Spanish court presented the case to the ECJ for decision.
The verdict of the ECJ confirms that employers are obliged to record the working hours of their employees. The court argues that compliance with working time regulations can only be controlled and demanded if the working hours of employees are comprehensively covered.
The decision of the European Court of Justice does not contain any stipulations regarding how working time is to be recorded. However, it is certainly not an optimal solution to use handwritten notes for recording the working hours of employees. Apart from the fact that the risk of receiving inaccurate data is high, a handwritten work time recording causes a lot of extra work for the employees. As a result, valuable working time is lost, which in the worst case has negative effects on the profitability of a business.