My personal experience?
I've had to record my work times accurately for a few years, it was kinda annoying, but also freeing. Wanted to work in the weekend? no problem. Wanted to leave early or sleep in? no problem.
Now I 'just kinda have to make sure I work my 40 hours' and always feel pressure to stay 9 till' 5 and do as little as possible outside of that.
Except that in many countries in Europe you aren't allowed to work on Sundays, and time tracking will be used to enforce it.
People have the weirdest views on how tax actually works. Taxes will eat the same proportion, or potentially marginally more - but unless a persons marginal rate is suddenly >50% you're obviously wrong.
I would go as far as to suggest this is a non issue in the majority of cases where overtime is paid.
This means that you pay a% between x and y €, then b% between y and z€ etc. It means you cannot get less because you got to the higher interval.
I would be glad to be in the highest, most taxed step.
Suppose you work a normal hour: you get 1 euro, but taxes eat 50%. you get 0.5 euro.
Now suppose you work an extra hour on Sunday. According to the collective labour agreement, you get 150% so you get 1.5 euro, but your current tax slot was filled and because of the extra hour you fall into a higher rate. The extra income is taxed at a higher rate of 68%. 1.5 * 0.32 = 0.48 < 0.50.
So even though you got 150% you earned less.
Suppose you earn 100€ per month.
Taxes can be flat (say, 10%), in which case no matter how much you earned so far you get 90€
Taxes can be progressive (say, 10% up to 300€, then 20%) and you earn
Jan 90€ (YTD 100€ before taxes)
Feb 90€ (YTD 200€ before taxes)
Mar 90€ (YTD 300€ before taxes <-- this is the top of the 1st level)
Then in April you get 100€ before taxes, which means 400€ YTD. The first 300€ were at 10%, this April 100€ is at 20%. So you get only 80€.
There can be different ways to calculate this, this is just the general idea.
The important point is that you still get more money than you had before. It is not possible to loose money (= have the value decrease) just because you changed the level.
You just get less and less money per month (in steps) as you progress during the year.
I would be delighted to be in the highest step, it means I earn a lot of money.
Finally, the only (extreme) problem would be if you were taxed 100% starting from some amount of accumulated money. It would mean that from that point on you work for free.
This frequently happens in IT as well, with this actually put inside the contract.
Being called at home (when not working) because of an emergency? At least 2 hours are added to my timesheet, even if I solve the problem in 5 minutes, so I only get called if it's really important. Adds a lot of sanity and stops abuse.
We are very productive because we actually get to relax from work.
The law doesn't want to know how much you bill or how much is allocated, but how much you actually work.
I the context of labour, surely it makes sense, but there, most hours are logged.
Outside of that it gets a little harder.
The issue the court had was that if you write it down then there is the possibility that you worked overtime but didn't actually write that or your employer changed it. If start and end of work time are accurately tracked then you can sue them for not paying you overtime.
No, this ruling cannot prevent this practice at all. How could it, without a government official standing watch?
Alternatively employees can raise the matter in court where the additional incentive of money paid to settle the claim makes it worthy of a lawyer handling the matter purely based on expectation of obtaining a cut of the money.
Plus, accurate records are a good basis for any lawsuit in case an employee claims they worked unpaid overtime.
You explicitly stated you'd get tracked for 2 hours for 5 minutes of work.
This differential - which you must have brought up for a reason - is specifically not what the law is trying to address.
What's off the table with this ruling is that a timesheet does not exist, because "we're all friends here, we trust our employees (to work themselves to exhaustion out of fear)"
(FYI, I'm still tracking the exact time, but the time I have to work gets reduced from 38 to 36 hours)
Not really in agreement with the ruling but that's a dumb argument. Tons of tech contractors bill by the hour where accurately tracking time is a financial requirement.
What do you mean? If I'm working on your project, I'm billing you for my time.
That’s a pretty myopic view though many jobs have no objective outputs which makes hours one of the measurable metrics.
It solves nothing, since the crooks will just continue to cook the books. This is already "mandatory" in Czechia and I have yet to hear about anyone being sued for not upholding the Labor Code.
On the other hand, the tech employees will have to take extra care to manage their attendance sheet with arbitrary requirements such as no weekends and/or no late-night work contrary to the actual practice of being on-call as needed with it being already factored into the pay.
Unless there is a significant bounty for employees who report such breaches for their current employer, the only businesses upholding the law are the very same businesses who would have done so nevertheless.
The gripping hand, though, is that many employers aren't interested in hours, but in results. If they just pay you for certain results, and getting those results takes too much time, is it because the employer is too demanding? Or is it an employee who is slow to do that kind of work, but still prefer it over other kinds of work? It might also lead employers to pressure employees to work faster within the hours they're supposed to work, and fire those who can't keep up. I don't think it's going to solve the problem of overly demanding employers, though it probably helps in some cases.
One of my first programming jobs required time tracking and so there was really no need to work more then 38 hours a week - because working more cost the company extra and always required approval from manager. Weekends and holidays were compensated 2x, during week after 5pm 1.5x I believe.
I grab emails, take calls and do little things quite often in the evening, impromptu, it's rather difficult to measure all of that in many management functions.
I get it, the Spanish workers may not have shared such mutual trust with Deutsche Bank, but I don't get how that has to have consequences for everyone else?
Or am I (and maybe even the reporting journalists) reading this wrong and work contracts may, and from now on have to specify otherwise explicitly, if that's how they do business?
That's a nice theory which in most cases is abused by employers left and right. If you really have a mutual beneficial, trustful relationship with your employer this won't change it. If it does, it was all a lie.
An example of such a system is a glorified Excel sheet, given to your manager monthly, where you write how many hours have you worked on a given workday and which project you should report the time on, if you have multiple.
Getting acquainted with the system might take half an hour. Filling it in, in most trivial cases, is a copy-paste that takes up to five minutes a month. In case you have a more complicated case of working times, you should already be accustomed to noting down your work time daily, even if for your own good.
Employers have this stupid notion that the workers are slacking but in office setting IMO this would backfire by malicious compliance from the workers.
Also, good job Spanish Trade Union in making things worse for everyone in EU.
If this is true, this ruling is bound to have an impact on EU economic activity. And I don't see how it can be good, given that nobody's thinking that EU labor is too cheap. If it's applied at face value, it can only reduce worked hours at current costs, or have employers pay more for current output. Definitely can't increase EU labor competivity.
If the added working time has much value they'll find a way to compensate. This way it simply means that you can't force a fastfood worker to do closing shift and then still clean after they've done their work.
Outside of the pure "pair of hands" work there is a lot of evidence that more working time doesn't increase productivity.
And, really, life is about more than just work. No need to allow companies to slowly erode the rights previous generations of workers have fought for.
But not thanks to this court ruling. The only thing that will bring employers and employees is more bureaucracy.
Employees which let themselves get exploited before, will let themselves get exploited with precise time tracking as well. After all, who's going to check whether you actually tracked the time you spent working after hours – answering e-mails, calling back a client, or fixing bugs in your code?
"The Court holds that, in the absence of a system enabling the duration of time worked each day by each worker to be measured, it is not possible to determine, objectively and reliably, either the number of hours worked and when that work was done, or the number of hours of overtime worked [...]"
ALL places I have worked at have this in some way. Maybe not every day and maybe not always 100% correct but how else will they bill projects internally???
Of course, nobody will bother with such tedious timekeeping, and will instead just enter plausible but made up values for start and end times, rendering this court decision useless.
Bingo! In practice, employees will just fill in whatever values are convenient. Nothing's going to change for an employee who was pressured (explicitly or implicitly) to work unpaid overtime – now they'll be pressured (explicitly or implicitly) to not track the time they're working after hours. It's just more bureaucracy for everyone, including for honest, fair employers.
And yes, I'm very bitter about this. Bureaucratic, ivory-tower decisions like this one are partly responsible for phenomenons like Brexit and the German AfD party, which in turn pose a danger to the prosperity and peace we enjoy in Europe.
Please do not follow this road. According to EU the main target of Russian disinformation campaign during current EU parlamentet elections is to spread the picture that EU is colapsing due to bureaucracy/corruption/incompetence/all power moving to Brussels/migration/Islam (select one depending on your target) while their country is solid as rock.
They have a ~1 billion Euro budget to spread that garbage this year. Please don't do their work for free.
But remember what I said next you see someone twisting a complex issue into "the sky is falling, why can't our politicians see it".
I've never seen anyone clock in and out of a pee break people only clock in for the day out for lunch back from lunch and out to go home.
Employees are strongly encouraged not to put in made up values that happen to result in them being paid more money on pain of termination and or prosecution.
Employers are strongly encouraged on pain of getting sued not to put in made up values that don't reflect the work the employee actually did.
People STILL do cheat but having the legal expectation of maintaining an auditable record normalizes accurate time keeping and makes it hard for smaller fish to make targets by cheating as they have to actively forge records and encourage behavior that is obviously erroneous.
Think of being asked to help out with additional work after your shift vs being asked to explicitly clock out THEN get back to work. Its a clear and obvious line made explicit by time keeping practices.
Of course record keeping is necessary but not sufficient. You do have to be willing to enforce the law but this would be doubly hard with lax or non existent record keeping.
On the overall I cannot even imagine how this could be deemed onerous. On net someone that works 8 hours spends perhaps 1 minute clocking in and out. It could even happen via an app on the employees phone or at their computer.
And yet time tracking most people want. This practice has 70% plus Support in Germany and Austria. From this I gather most workplaces are pretty horrible.
Source, please? That number looks pretty specific, so I presume you have a statistic to back it up.
The problem is that there is a significant fraction of employers that pay for 40h (or whatever) and get more. And this is built-in into their current business plan (even if not explicitly). Their employees seem OK with it because they do it. But it's not easy to change into your situation: these employers either will have to pay more to get the hours they already get or pay the same but get less hours. This will have an impact on their cost structure. Whatever widgets they make will get more expensive.
This new regulation is the way the government is saying to these companies "yeah all this economic activity that you're doing is nice but we don't really want it actually. Not like this!"
Widgets that need to be more expensive, should.
> all this economic activity that you're doing is nice but we don't really want it actually. Not like this
That's what they said when we had 6day work weeks and went to 5, or when we got 40h work weeks. Actually enforcing it shouldn't be a bigger change than mandating it already was. Same thing with holidays. I make REALLY expensive widgets because I have 5weeks paid holiday. And they should be expensive because I really want the holiday.
I work few hours with great productivity --- would this new ruling make me have to increase my hours to keep my pay?
This is debatable, moreover, ostensibly the primary driver of that improved quality is actually productivity, though obviously there are other things.
EU excepting Norway/Switzerland/Lux etc. really does depend on productivity quite a lot.