German employers to record work hours of employees

All employers are required to use a reliable and accessible electronic system to record working hours, including breaks/rest time of employees


Until recently employers in Germany were obligated by law to track the work hours of employees if they worked beyond the standard eight hours on work days and on Sundays and public holidays.

The Federal Labour Court had made it obligatory for all employers, in general, to record the work hours of their employees. This applied to all employers, irrespective of the size of the organisation or workforce. However, there was no law or regulation that imposed a fine for non-compliance, that is, if work hours were not recorded by an employer.

Now, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) requires all employers to have in place a proper reliable and accessible system to record work hours / time electronically. The system should be such that it should be able to verify people’s rest hours and break time in addition to recording the time work was started and the time it was ended, taking into account breaks for rest.

As per the ECJ, deadlines for employees to take holiday days will only be applicable if they have been told of time limits by their employers.

In 2019, German Federal Labour Court had ruled that employers must remind their workers / staff if any of their leftover holiday days are about to expire, so that they get a chance to avail them. Full-time employees in Germany are entitled to a minimum of 20 paid holiday days a year, as per law.

Part-time workers are given holidays on a proportional basis, calculated basis the number of hours they have worked in a week.

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