Working times must be recorded systematically

Working times must be recorded systematically

European Court of Justice passes judgement

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has decided: Employers in the European Union must now systematically record employees’ working hours. The working time directive and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union oblige employers to do this.

This is the only way to check correctly whether the permissible working times have been exceeded and thus the only way to guarantee the employees’ rights in accordance with EU directives and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Deutsche Bank now had to reckon with a lawsuit from Spain. The usual recording of only overtime hours in Germany is not sufficient. The reason for this, however, is also the legal situation in Spain, to which Deutsche Bank now referred.

The lawsuit was filed by a Spanish trade union that wanted to rebuke Deutsche Bank’s branch there to record the daily hours worked by its employees, thus pointing out that the correct working hours had been observed.

At the Supremo Tribunal, the Supreme Court in Spain, Deutsche Bank argued that there was no general obligation under Spanish law to record working time.

The ECJ also criticized this in its ruling. The Court found that it would not be possible without a system neither to measure the number of hours worked nor to record overtime correctly. It is almost impossible for workers to enforce their own rights.

The ruling could also have an impact on everyday working life in Germany. Working hours are not calculated correctly in all industries in Germany.