From July you are required to register your working hours

On 1 July 2024, it will be a requirement that all employers have a time registration system where employees record their working time. IDA supports the law, because it can be a contribution to solving problems with work pressure and stress.

Recently there has been massive media coverage of the change in the law on time registration, which will be a requirement from 1 July 2024.

The background is the so-called 'Deutsche Bank' judgment from the European Court of Justice in May 2019, which states that employers must ensure registration of employees' working hours in order to ensure that rules on rest periods and the maximum working time are observed. Since then, the social partners and the politicians at Christiansborg have been working on how the consequences of the EU judgment are to be translated into Danish legislation. It has become a bill, which has been presented in the Danish Parliament on 8 November.

IDA views the new rules positively. Because with mandatory working time recording, it becomes easier to protect employees' working time and lift the burden of proof in cases about working time and compliance with the 48-hour rule. Without documentation, IDA has difficulty handling the cases that may arise.

At the same time, Malene Matthison-Hansen, chairman of the Council of Employees in IDA, sees the upcoming rules as a sensible tool that can help to make visible how much the individual employee actually works. So-called shadow work, where the members look after several jobs at the same time – a consequence of a lack of labour – is widespread among IDA's members. And one of the biggest challenges in members' working lives is stress. Last year, a member survey showed that more than one in five members feel stressed all the time or often . Among those who work in a place where there is a lack of colleagues, 28 per cent say that they feel stressed all the time or often.

"These are tremendous numbers. By registering their working hours, we can obtain documentation of how much the individual actually works. The rules on working hours are not new. What's new is that you as an employer must be able to document that you live up to them. I think that it will surprise many how many hours they actually work, and that the widespread flexibility that many enjoy leads to working more than you think," says Malene Matthison-Hansen.

"It will be to the employees' advantage that there will be more focus on working hours, and we hope that time registration will be used as a constructive tool for a dialogue between the management and the employees in the workplace about how the working hours are organised," she says.

Malene Matthison-Hansen also adds that there is methodological freedom in the law in relation to how the individual employer chooses to set up the registration system.

"I can understand that some people think that it will be a hassle and difficult, but there is really no cause for concern. Of course, we believe that the implementation must be adapted to the individual workplace and the way you work locally. We would encourage companies to be pragmatic. There is no need for anything other than simple time recording – i.e. when you come and go – as it already works today in a large number of public and private workplaces. You can set up a time recording system so that it neither becomes a huge time waster nor problematic for the trust between the management and employees at the workplace," she says.

Facts about the new legislation:

  • The requirement for time registration at the workplace is a consequence of a judgment from the EU.  

  • There is freedom of method for the individual employer in relation to how the registration of working hours is to take place. The law requires the employer to introduce an objective, reliable and accessible working time registration system. There are therefore not many rules set out in the law for the content of the system. This is a way in which companies can tailor a system that suits the individual workplace.

  • The registration must be available to the individual employee during employment.

  • The introduction of a time recording system must ensure the observation of rules on rest time and a maximum weekly working time of 48 hours per week averaged over a four-month period.

  • The employer has always had a duty to ensure the above rules, also in workplaces where the employees have not registered their working time. An obligation to introduce a time recording system should therefore lead to the employer being aware of the employee's working hours and can therefore ensure compliance with the working time rules at all workplaces. The requirement for time registration is therefore based on a consideration of the protection of the employee.

  • It follows from the new bill that some employees are exempt from the requirement for time registration. This applies to employees who organize their own working hours. In IDA, we interpret this exception narrowly, meaning that the only exception should be employees who organize their work a 100% by themselves. If the employee is a self-organiser [selvtilrettelægger], this must be stated in the employment contract.