EU countries must ensure all companies start to use time and attendance systems

There has been an important follow-up on a piece of news we previously covered. A few weeks ago, we talked about the Advocate General of the European Union Court of Justice, and his opinion that EU employers “must keep records of the exact hours worked by their full-time employees.”

The European Union Court of Justice (ECJ) has agreed with him and made a ruling that all employers in EU countries have to use “an objective, reliable and accessible system enabling the duration of time worked each day by each worker to be measured.”

(from paragraph 60 of the provisional judgement, found here).

This decision was reached because it was agreed that without such a system, employees could not easily prove whether they were receiving correct treatment or not under the EU health and safety regulations, such as at least 11 hours’ rest in 24 hours and at least 24 hours in a week.

All companies, no matter what the size, need to plan for this. Most time and attendance companies are very familiar with the needs of small and micro-businesses, and can tailor their programmes and pricing accordingly.

Our Win.TA.NET – Start Edition provides time and attendance management for any company with up to 50 employees.

The ECJ also pointedly reminded employers in the past that:

“The improvement of workers’ safety, hygiene and health at work is an objective which should not be subordinated to purely economic considerations.” (source)

Some employers might protest that they already have records which could be used to prove attendance, such as emails set or phone-calls made. A time and attendance system is faster, more accurate and more reliable than trying to cobble together a patchwork of different types of records to prove your case.

With our flagship Win.TA system, the clocking data is immediately available on the system for exporting or reporting.

Certain industries, such as healthcare, transportation and sales will be very concerned about how attendance monitoring can work with remote working.

It is 2019, and the time and attendance sector understands that more and more workers are able to work away from the confines of traditional brick and mortar. Countless time and attendance companies have made provisions for remote workers in their products.

For example, our Self Service Module (SSM) allows employees to clock in and out using their browser, along with many other functions, and the mobile app even includes GPS in the data collected. This enables your employees to accurately clock-in wherever they are.

Even in areas of low internet connectivity, the app can still be used. It will queue the clockings and synchronise them when the employee reaches an area of better connectivity.

It is a common misconception that clocking in and out is only necessary for employees who are paid by the hour, or who work in blue-collar industries which reply on physical production.

This is not the case; there are many different reasons to monitor your employees’ time worked. To adhere to health and safety regulations, for example, or tracking productivity, or gathering data to help your HR department better manage absences.  

The UK is likely to be leaving the EU. Whether this ruling will be adopted into UK law is unknown, but it is undeniable that any UK company which has employees working in an EU country will need to comply with the working time measurement requirements for those workers.

Our time and attendance system can be purchased with multiple different language packs installed, enabling you to unambiguously communicate clocking requirements and processes to your employees in their native language.

Please get in touch with us for further details about this, or any point regarding time and attendance systems covered in this article, via +44 (0)2082 429695 or our contact form.