Mandatory tracking of working time in Europe

Tracking employees’ working hours can vary between businesses, depending on their policies and the laws required in the countries where they are based. Some countries in Europe have now adopted mandatory time tracking for a variety of reasons. Here’s why, and what the new time tracking laws in Germany and Spain are all about!

The EU working hours directive introduced a few regulations for companies to follow, but it was not a mandatory law. These guidelines for time tracking include the following:

  • Employees should take a break after 6 hours of work

  • Working hours shouldn’t exceed 48 hours a week

  • Employees should get 11 hours of consecutive rest between shifts

  • Employees are allowed to get a 4-week paid leave every year

  • Night workers should work for 8 hours in 24 hours period

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on May 14, 2019, that all organizations in EU member states should record employees’ working hours.

Mandatory tracking of working time in Germany:

The German federal labor law court ruled a new decision obliging all employers across Germany to introduce a work tracking hours system. This law will be mandatory soon after establishing all the guidelines and requirements. In Germany, only companies with minimum wageworkers are obliged to track working hours. However, this decision will apply to everyone involved in the workforce. This law’s primary goal is to protect all employees’ rights and ensure their employers are not exploiting them and that they are receiving their overtime pay. On the other hand, many are criticizing this decision, believing it will negatively impact schedule flexibility and working from home.

Mandatory time tracking law in Spain:

The Spanish government has adopted the latest time-tracking law, and all enterprises must comply. Fines from €625 to €6,250 are imposed on companies that fail to monitor time and attendance during working hours. In addition, records need to be acquired; It doesn’t matter what type of contract the salary is based upon and if the employee works from the office or home. These archives must be kept for four years and be reachable to trade unions, the government, and employees.


These laws currently don’t include any terms concerning how the records will be collected. There are various ways to track your employees’ working hours; for example, traditional techniques like pen and paper or Excel sheets can be a major hassle. Instead, use efficient methods like time tracking apps where you can create reports and collect data easily while complying efficiently with the new laws.

1 comment


Log in or Sign up to comment
Mel Policicchio
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
October 28, 2022

As an American, the idea of my government insisting that I regulate my working hours for better work-life balance is almost unbelievable. Very interesting, thanks for sharing!

AUG Leaders

Atlassian Community Events