Why you need to record employees’ breaks & working hours

Last month, May 2019, the European Court of Justice (the CJEU) announced a new judgement that will impact employers in Ireland and Europe.

The CJEU has judged that all employers must be able to record and report on their employees’ working hours daily, showing an employee’s start time, end time and the times breaks were taken.

Listen to Cpl MD Lisa Holt and Employment Law Solicitor Richard Grogan speak on the topic at the bottom of this article.

How will this impact Irish employers?

Ireland’s working time legislation already requires employers to keep records of employee’s hours, so the impact won’t be as strong in Ireland as in other countries.

However, many employers may not be actively keeping or maintaining daily records. The new ruling by the CJEU puts a new level of importance on reporting and should be taken seriously by employers.

When asked about the implication for Irish employers, speaking on The Last Word with Matt Cooper, Cpl MD Lisa Holt said… “We ask for more, but we’re better than ever at giving back… It comes down to output and delivery… If your teams are working hard, attending events after hours for networking and client relations, of course, you are going to give them all of that time back but if your employees are not adding value, taking a lot of breaks then it becomes a management issue.”

It is a balance, Lisa continues… “there is a huge shift in mental health awareness in Ireland and people are standing up for themselves a lot more – it is important that employees are given advice and coaching as to how to approach these topics about getting time back and most employers will always respect this”

What about recording employees’ hours of work?

The following are important to keep in mind when recording employees’ hours of work:

  • Employers are required to keep records of the days and total hours worked in each week by each employee
  • If you don’t have a clocking-in facility you should record employees’ hours via a template form
  • Records should be kept for a period of three years and the Workplace Relations Commission are entitled to ask for their records when conducting an inspection of a workplace

Lisa makes the point it’s important for companies to provide ease of access for time recording and to have systems in place that meet the requirements under the legislation.

Speaking on Today FM, Cpl Managing Director Lisa Holt concluded… “It’s about give and take. What you put in you get out and it’s about respecting your employees.”

Listen to the interview in full below