Blog Post
Quick Read
May 22, 2019

EU employers should be recording working time for all employees

Following the European Court of Justice ruling, Ross Tracey, Managing Director at Ceridian Europe, shares considerations for employers and suggestions for meeting the requirements.


Last week the European Court of Justice ruled that to properly bring the EU’s Working Time Directive into law, each EU member state must require that employers keep records of each employee’s actual hours worked. The new ruling comes following a legal action raised by a Spanish trade union to compel Deutsche Bank to record hours worked each day by its members so that compliance with the Working Time Directive can be monitored.

Specifically, the ruling declared that “…in order to ensure the effectiveness of the rights provided for in the Working Time Directive and the Charter, the Member States must require employers to set up an objective, reliable and accessible system enabling the duration of time worked each day by each worker to be measured.”

This ruling may have wide-reaching implications for HR, Payroll and Operational teams within all organisations that employ people within EU member states. The implications, however, may very among EU member states.

The EU Working Time Directive, which imposes limits on employees from working more than 48 hours per week and requires an 11-hour break every 24 hours, has been part of EU law since 2003. Each EU member state was expected to enact laws that brought the EU Working Time Directive into effect. It should also be noted that it’s possible for employees to voluntarily opt-out of this directive.

Each member state will need to assess how this ruling interacts with the laws of their nation. Some member states may determine that they will need to enact new legislation (or amend existing laws). There is no timeline for this entire process to be completed.

How does this impact employers?

As an HR, payroll or operational professional, here are some things you need to start thinking about:

  • What does your organisation do now to measure working hours for your people?
  • Do you have people based in different EU states? You will need to be mindful of the various nuances of the application of the Working Time Directive within each country.
  • What would the impacts be to your organization’s operations and on payroll if you needed to change how you are measuring and tracking worked time?

Can Dayforce help?

Dayforce has a long, credible track record of managing time and attendance for thousands of organisations globally within many different jurisdictions.

Below are two ways that the Workforce Management solution in Dayforce could be used to support the requirements of The Working Time Directive, especially in light of the recent European Court of Justice ruling:

Time and Attendance

Quickly and accurately track time and attendance and calculate gross pay.


Employees can punch in and out using a physical clock, tablet or their mobile device to log time worked with Dayforce Clocks.

Please note, however, that analysis of each EU member state’s laws as it relates to The Working Time Directive would be needed to determine how Dayforce may be used to support each EU member state’s requirements.

Click here to find out more about Dayforce Workforce Management

You may also like:

Ready to get started?

See the Dayforce Privacy Policy for more details.

Subscribe to our Blog