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Prepare Now for the New German Work Hours Recording Act

Should you prepare for the new German Work Hours Recording Act

It is still possible that the new German legislation will be introduced in 2024. It requires companies to actively use an timekeeping system to record employee work time.

It is important to note that Germany is following directions set by the EU. Since May 2019, timekeeping has been mandatory following a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Employers have been required to implement a recording system to prevent exceeding work hours and ensure the rights of employees. Both employees and employers must have access to this work time data.

In September 2022, the German Federal Labour Court (BAG) clarified this ruling, making it mandatory for all companies based in Germany to record working hours. Shortly thereafter, in December 2023, the written justification for the landmark time clock ruling was published. A timekeeping system must be actively used, not just made available, with the method of recording left to the employer's discretion.

What to expect?

In April 2023, the Federal Ministry of Labour presented an initial draft. According to this draft, the start, duration, and end of daily working hours should be electronically recorded. The federal government is currently working to implement such legislation for smaller companies, aiming to minimize unnecessary bureaucracy. Concrete results are expected in the coming weeks based on the outcomes of a relevant project. Therefore, there is a theoretical possibility that the Working Hours Recording Act will come into force this year. Companies should prepare for legislative changes and regulations now.

The draft legislation also includes some exceptions. For instance, deviations in the timing of recording are permitted as long as they occur within seven days after work is performed. If advance planning of working hours is not feasible, deviations may also occur in this regard. Moreover, small businesses with a maximum of ten employees are not required to electronically record working hours.

Why Working Hours Recording is Important:

Recording working hours is crucial for complying with legal requirements such as maximum working hours and minimum rest periods. Accurate documentation also helps improve productivity, efficiency, and ensures fair remuneration.

Prepare now for the new legal framework and utilize a timekeeping system from TimeMoto to help you comply with the full recording of your employees' working hours, as mandated by the Federal Labour Court's September 2022 ruling. Are you new to timekeeping? Read our short guide to deciding what works best for your business.

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