May 20, 2019
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has held that employers must keep records of the hours its staff work.
In Federación de Servicios de Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) v Deutsche Bank SAE, a Spanish trade union argued that it was insufficient for employers just to monitor how much overtime an employee worked (as required under Spanish law), and that all working time should be recorded.
The CJEU (following the opinion of the Advocate General given in February) agreed, deciding that failing to do so would make it impossible to determine "objectively and reliably either the number of hours worked by the worker or when that work was done”. Imposing this requirement on employers would in their view, be the only way that workers could work out whether their rights in respect of working hours and rest were being breached.
In the UK, the Working Time Regulations only require employers to keep adequate records to ensure workers are not working more than 48 hours per week (subject to any opt-out) and that rules regarding night work are not being breached.
This judgment goes further than that. Given the uncertainty of how long the UK will be subject to EU law, it is unclear how long this requirement will last, but for now at least, employers need to start implementing systems that enable them to measure all hours that all their staff are working whether it is paid or unpaid.