PoliticsBack to the Clock of Time: Curse or Blessing?

Back to the Clock of Time: Curse or Blessing?

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Since the basic decision of the Federal Labor Court, recording of working hours has become mandatory. Implementation is not always easy for companies, but the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.


The so-called “time clock decision” of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) came with a bang in 2019. The judges therefore obliged all EU countries to submit an objective, reliable and accessible record of working time. The excitement was great at the time but nothing happened – for years. Since then, the federal government has failed to transpose it into national law.

In September 2022, the Federal Labor Court (BAG) in Erfurt went ahead with a decision of principle and ruled as the supreme court: German employers are obliged to record working hours. The decision is primarily aimed at protecting employees: “Time recording is also protection against external exploitation and self-exploitation,” said BAG President Inken Gallner.

Employment lawyer: Criticism of working time record wrong

Criticism of the decision came from employee and company associations: The time record is a step backwards, with the AGA managing director questioning “flexibility in the form of trust-based working hours, home office or mobile work”. corporate association, Volker Tschirch.

According to employment law expert Professor Matthias Jacobs, the criticism is unfounded because “trusted working hours already had to comply with the requirements of the Working Hours Act.” The only thing new is the registration requirement.

No problem with online shipping giant Otto

At online commerce giant Otto, they started the record of working hours years ago. Staff manager Nadja Stuhlmann says the feedback has been almost entirely positive. Employees record the start and end times of their working hours with the employee card.

Even working from home is okay – as Stuhlmann explains, there’s an app for that. He sees a huge advantage in the system: “We have transparency for both parties.”

Rugged start and positive balance

They have also been using a time registration system at the Radiological Alliance in Hamburg for a year. Employees separate the start and end of work with a transponder. The software does the rest.

Silvia Anthony, personnel manager, says she’s experienced the introduction of the system as turbulent. Initially, the technical implementation was still challenging. Additionally, not everyone was immediately convinced of the advantages – some might have felt more controlled by the new system. Despite a bumpy start, Executive Vice President Martin Simon strikes a positive balance:

Time tracking is a good thing because it protects employees.

Martin Simon, Executive Vice President Radiological Alliance Hamburg

Registration via the app is possible even for beginners

Recording working hours creates transparency for both parties. You don’t have to worry about the time clock returning as in the days of industrialization, because apps, software and their partners make the job easier – even if it takes some getting used to new systems at first.

Nadine Herbrich, co-founder of the Hamburg startup Recyclehero, explains that even in the dynamic work environment of the startup scene, time tracking must be highly applicable. Because it is quite possible to record through the application within 24 hours, even in much shorter working times.

While some companies already have time tracking standard, others need to find the right system for a smooth process, but employment attorney Jacobs is confident:

After five years it will be natural for us to record working hours.

prof. Matthias Jacobs, employment lawyer

Source: ZDF

Timothy
Timothy
I am Timothy Glover, a professional journalist and content creator. I specialize in writing and editing for news websites, specifically covering politics. I have been working as an author at News Unrolled for the past five years and have built up a reputation for producing quality content that is both informative and engaging.

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