Businesses may be required to record exact working hours for Working Time Regulations compliance

One of the Advocates General of the European Union Court of Justice has given his opinion that in order to remain compliant with the Working Time Regulations, businesses in EU countries must keep records of the exact hours worked by their full-time employees.

This opinion came about thanks to a recent Spanish case, CCOO vs Deutsche Bank. In this case, CCOO, a Spanish trade union, argued that the employer, Deutsche Bank, should have set up a working time recording system, rather than its existing system of recording absences on a calendar.

This case was referred to the European Court of Justice.

There is currently no mention in the Regulations of a specific need for recording exact working hours, but the Advocate General was clear that in his opinion this detailed recording is necessary in order to collect the data which can prove whether or not the Working Time Regulations are being complied with. Without clear working hours’ data, it is difficult for both employees and employers to produce proof.

Opinions of Advocate Generals are advisory only and do not directly affect the main Court of Justice, but they carry a lot of weight and are often accepted later on.

If this advisory opinion was accepted by the Court and put into practise, it would require all EU countries, which currently includes the UK up until 31st October, to obtain systems which could record the exact details of when their employees were at work. The existing UK requirement to keep “adequate” records would not be good enough.


Luckily, our Time and Attendance system can help employers with these regulations. Our flagship WinTA.NET software includes all of the rules and stipulations included in the Working Time Regulations. These can be altered to suit your situation: for example, to record your opted-out employees or set a fortnightly rest pattern.

Should you try to set a shift pattern which would infringe the Working Time Regulations, the system will pre-warn you.

You can also run reports which show helpful data such as:

  • Average hours worked during any period.
  • Instances when rest day rules have been broken.
  • When night workers are due a health assessment.

The context-sensitive search facility enables you to search using only part of a code or name, and you can filter results using standard and customised filters.

The working hours are recorded through employees clocking in and out. We provide either contactless radio-frequency smart-cards or biometric fingerprint readers for employees to clock in and out with.

This data is then sent almost immediately to the central WinTA.NET system, where it can be utilised in a number of ways, such as reporting for HR absence management, or exporting for payroll.

For more information about how our Time and Attendance system can help you or to Book a Demo, please get in touch.