Employers may be required to record hours worked each day for each worker:
Federación de Servicios de Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) v Deutsche Bank SAE
This is a landmark case which found that employers must measure the actual number of hours worked each day by each worker (for the avoidance of doubt, this includes employees). It forces EU member states to consider whether the Working Time Directive (WTD) is implemented correctly in their respective countries.
Keeping adequate HR records
The impact of the decision means that the UK’s Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR 1998) which is intended to implement the directive in UK law, fails to implement it properly. Indeed, the UK Government actually intervened in the proceedings and attempted to argue against the decision that was reached. The UK’s WTR 1998 only requires employers to keep adequate records to show compliance with limits such as the maximum daily and weekly working time, night work and working time of young workers. It does not specifically oblige employers to keep records of the hours worked each day, by each worker.
Protecting the health and safety of workers
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) found that the EU Member States must require employers to set up an objective, reliable and accessible system enabling the duration of time worked each day by each worker to be measured in order to provide the organisation and means necessary to protect the health and safety of workers. With regards to the concerns raised by the UK and Spanish governments over costs, the ECJ said that the effective protection of the health and safety of workers should not be subordinated to purely economic considerations.
Amending the Working Time Regulations
The government now needs to decide whether to amend the WTR 1998 accordingly, which would require all employers to ensure they have systems in place to track this information. If they fail to do so, the EU could bring proceedings against the UK for infringement. However, the timescales and impact of Brexit creates a substantial grey area over the potential ramifications of the ruling.
Watch our free HR webinar recording on The Future for Workers (Status and Rights). We provide some clarity on the differences between employees and workers’ status. We also identify the different changes employers need to know about and provide advice on how to prepare your HR practices for April 2020.
Get support, or further information, in relation to any HR related matter by contacting HR Solutions on telephone number 0844 324 5840 or visiting www.hrsolutions-uk.com/hr-services.