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There’s more to life than productivity. The quality of life for EU citizens is high and getting higher.



> The quality of life for EU citizens is high and getting higher.

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?


Seems very reasonable to me, don't know why you call this bureaucracy:

"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???


For project budget and billing purposes, it is sufficient to track the number of hours each day. This court decision, however, would require to also track the start and end time, as well as the durations of all breaks. That's because there are laws regulating how much break time you have to take each day (dependend on how many hours you work) and also how much time has to pass between two work days. If you're working from home, you'd have to track every little interruption in which you walk the dog, take your child to kindergarten, etc., otherwise your start and end time won't fit your billed hours.

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.


No idea why you're so bitter about this, but obviously there is no expectation that each minute is recorded. This just spreads a common practice to the exploitative employers that don't respect workers rights - such as the right to have a20 minute break during the day.


> obviously there is no expectation that each minute is recorded

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.


Oh the "let's be sensible" argument...

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.


So we can never argue about it because the russians might try to use it against us? I would rather know the EU has problems so I can get away in time.


If the EU has problems we can discuss those left and right. The difference between having problems and making them up is relevant here.


Not saying that.

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".


We have this in the US. 99.5% of values are collected by a computer and therefore recorded accurately.

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 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.

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.


> And yet time tracking most people want. This practice has 70% plus Support in Germany and Austria.

Source, please? That number looks pretty specific, so I presume you have a statistic to back it up.


I just have one break (lunch) and for tracking and internal billing, and for knowing whether I'm ahead or behind on my flexible working time (I'm expected to do 40h and I have a buffer that can't go above +15h or below -15h) I punch in and out in the morning, for lunch, and when I leave. On some days I don't bother or I forget, and instead enter, as you say "plausible but made up" values. But the important thing is this: The flex time buffer is visible to my employer. If I do just a few late evenings or a sunday session because of some problem with a deployment, say - then It's understood that I'll come in by noon on monday, or take friday off. It's not expected that I do 40h of normal time AND that sunday firefighting. I can't see any problem with this or why it would be onerous or oberly bureaucratic.


In your case this way of working and paying for that work is already built-in into your company's business plan.

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!"


Yes but if they systematically work more than 40h weeks then that's just not something to brush off as "well that's what we do in the industry", that's in many places illegal.

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.


Outside work the quality of life is good. But many people can't find employment in their field, which clobbers quality of life.

I work few hours with great productivity --- would this new ruling make me have to increase my hours to keep my pay?


"The quality of life for EU citizens is high and getting higher."

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.




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