EU rules to regulate attendance monitoring
The European Court of Justice has followed his suggestion and ruled that EU member states must ensure their employers set up “an objective, reliable and accessible system enabling the duration of time worked each day by each worker to be measured.”
Without clear time and attendance data, it is very difficult for employees to prove whether or not they are being forced to work hours which would violate EU health and safety directives such as:
‘Member States shall take the measures necessary to ensure that every worker is entitled to a minimum daily rest period of 11 consecutive hours per 24-hour period’
‘Member States shall take the measures necessary to ensure that, per each seven-day period, every worker is entitled to a minimum uninterrupted rest period of 24 hours plus the 11 hours’ daily rest referred to in Article 3.’
(from the Directive 89/391/EEC – OSH "Framework Directive")
Many companies will be unhappy with this ruling. Here are a few objections:
My company is tiny. Do I still need this? How can I afford this?
Yes, all companies who employ staff, no matter what the size, will need to pay heed to this announcement.
Most time and attendance companies are very familiar with the needs of small and micro-businesses, and can tailor their programmes and pricing accordingly. There are many different types of systems available, including mobile-based.
Our software provides time and attendance management for any company with up to 50 employees.
My staff can use phone/email records to prove when they were working – shouldn’t this count instead?
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. Clock in at the start, clock out when you’re done. Quick and easy.
With our flagship system, the clocking data is immediately available on the system for exporting or reporting.
All/some of my staff work remotely. How does this fit with time and attendance requirements?
Certain industries, such as sales, healthcare and transportation will be very concerned about this point. Worry not; as mentioned above, many 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.
My staff have salaries and work at desks. Why do I need to monitor their working time so closely?
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.
As you can see from this article, the ECJ considers it necessary as a health and safety matter, to ensure that adequate rest is being taken. Obviously, that is still very important for office workers.
There are also many other ways in which all office environments can make use of attendance data.
For example, tracking productivity. HR departments can also find having easy access to computerised attendance data very helpful for absence management.
The UK is likely to be leaving the EU. Does this still apply?
Whether this will apply to UK workers after Brexit remains to be seen.
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.