Now it is the employers’ duty in all EU countries to register the employees’ working hours. So, the EU court states in a new verdict.
The verdict means that all employers in the EU member states must introduce an “objective, reliable and accessible system that makes it possible to measure the length of each worker’s daily working hours”, as it is stated in the verdict.
That means, that it must be a system that is easily controlled. The deadline must help to protect the employee and ensure the working week does not become too long and that the resting time regulations are complied with.
Danish Employer’s Association are not happy about the verdict
Earlier it has been the employee’s task to prove if this has not been complied. But with the time registration the burden of prove is no longer with the employee. In Danish Employer’s Association (DA) they are not happy about the verdict.
- We are worried that is a very extensive verdict that gives guidelines in an area where we do not have particular challenges in Denmark, says Martin Steen Kabongo, head of collective agreements in DA.
Now DA tries to figure out which impact of the verdict will have for the companies:
- We will soon get together with our counterparts in FH (The Association of Trade Unions) and the new government to figure out what this verdict means and the agreements have to be adjusted, because working hours is an affair for collective agreement, says Martin Steen Kabongo.
Therefore, the main difference for employees on a collective agreement is not that the rules must be followed but that their working hours must now be registered.
Martin Steen Kabongo also points out that it might be a difficult administrative task to handle for the employer because of the labor market we have today:
- There are a lot of different employment forms today. It is only employments by the hour that requires an accurate time registration. Furthermore, we have a labor market build on trust between the parties and this can undermine that, he says.
Trade Unions believe that the verdict will solve a problem
According to the verdict it is up to each member state how the time registration must be handled. Unlike DA, the Association of Trade Unions (FH) believe that the verdict will solve a problem in the Danish labor market:
- We are very satisfied with the verdict. We know that it is also a problem in Denmark that some employers do not comply with the duty to secure the necessary resting time and maximum weekly working hours for their employees, says Arne Grevsen, vice president of FH.
He is especially pleased that the burden of prove no longer is with the employee if there should be any disagreements about the working hours:
- The verdict shows that EU takes the rights of the workers serious. It strengthens the employee’s rights and can help to stop the great amounts of free and undocumented overtime that workers in all of Europe gives to their employers, he says.