European Court of Justice rules companies must register their working hours

15th of July 2019
European Court of Justice rules companies must register their working hours

European member states must oblige employers to set up an objective, reliable and accessible system by which they record the daily working time of each employee. This will ensure that the rights of workers, as set out in the Working Time Directive and the European Charter, are respected. This was a ruling by the European Court of Justice last month.

The decision of the European Court of Justice was the outcome of a case instituted by Spanish trade union Federación de Servicios de Comisiones Obreras (CCOO). It believed the rights of employees were contravened by Deutsche Bank in Spain not complying with the obligation to record the daily number of hours worked by bank employees.

Therefore, it was not possible to draw up lists of monthly overtime, which is a statutory obligation in Europe. As Deutsche Bank did not wish to accept the trade union's demand, proceedings were instituted before the European Court of Justice.

The Court points to the importance of the fundamental right of every employee to have a limit on the maximum working hours and on daily and weekly rest periods. That fundamental right is set out in the Charter and arranged in the Working Time Directive. Member States therefore must ensure employees can actually invoke the rights they have. If working hours are not recorded properly, the Court holds that it is not possible to safeguard those rights.


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