BITKOM GERMANY: 59 per cent of companies implement the obligation to record working time

April 19, 2023

  • Time clocks and time stamps are used almost as often as electronic systems
  • Bitkom President Berg: “Recording working hours does not fit into our new working world”.

Whether by time clock, Excel spreadsheet or app: since September 2022, employers have been obliged to record the start and end of working hours, the duration of working hours and overtime worked by their employees. So far, however, only slightly more than every second company (59 per cent) has implemented the corresponding decision of the Federal Labour Court. A third (33 per cent) had already recorded working time before the decision, and a quarter (26 per cent) had started doing so afterwards. 28 per cent of the companies do not yet record working time, but want to start this year. 12 per cent plan to record working time, but do not yet know when. Overall, all companies are implementing the new requirement or plan to do so. This is the result of a representative survey of 603 companies with 20 or more employees in Germany commissioned by the digital association Bitkom.

“For many companies, the obligation to record working hours is a major change. It deeply affects the corporate culture, forces control where previously work was based on trust, and creates completely unnecessary bureaucracy. Currently, around two-thirds of employees who are given the opportunity by their employer work completely or partially in a home office. Especially in the digital economy, a working culture based on flexibility and trust is important, and the industry must remain attractive in view of the immense shortage of skilled workers – recording working hours is absolutely counterproductive in this regard,” says Bitkom President Achim Berg. “If the Federal Labour Court obliges more than 34 million people in Germany to record their working hours meticulously on the basis of the current law, then this shows one thing above all: our labour law no longer fits the times and needs to be very fundamentally reviewed and reformed.”

Among the companies that already record working time, most use an electronic system that is used on the computer (28 per cent) or via smartphone app (17 per cent). A quarter of the companies (25 per cent) use punch or time clocks, and a fifth each use a stationary time recording system operated by card, chip, transponder or fingerprint (22 per cent) or Excel spreadsheets (20 per cent). As many as 16 per cent still use a handwritten time sheet. Berg: “Companies should rely on digital solutions for recording working time. They are easy to use and can also be used in the home office.”

Note on methodology: The data is based on a survey conducted by Bitkom Research on behalf of the digital association Bitkom. In the process, 603 companies with 20 or more employees in Germany were interviewed by telephone. The survey is representative. The questions were: “In your company, do you already record the start and end of work, breaks and overtime of your employees in accordance with the new regulations?

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