In the future, who will have to working time document?
DThe fundamental decision of the Federal Labor Court on Tuesday is very far-reaching. In industry and in public authorities, employers already record the working hours of their employees, and there are unlikely to be any major changes in these areas. What is new, however, is that the obligation to record working hours affects all employees, including managerial staff and those professions in which "trust-based working hours" have been common and people work very independently. The judges are based on a landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which caused a stir in 2019 but has not yet been implemented in Germany. They even go one step further: In their view, the obligation to record working hours results from the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and that applies in principle to all employees, emphasizes Christian Bitsch from the law firm Bluedex.
Will trust-based working hours be over in the future?
This is one of the central questions that arises after the decision. "At least at first glance, working hours based on trust can no longer exist," says employment lawyer Markulf Behrendt from the law firm Allen & Overy. "However, we certainly see possible solutions that, slightly modified, can still be possible." In Luxembourg, for example, employees only have to confirm in a very general way that they have worked eight hours. Overtime must be justified and approved by the supervisor. The principles of trust-based working hours could possibly also be obtained from an Excel spreadsheet that each employee fills out for herself. But that will only be clarified when the written reasons for the decision are available - and that will take a few more weeks.