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How working time control affects companies and workers

What is time control?

Last Friday, 10 March 2019, the Royal Decree-Law on urgent social protection measures in the fight against precarious working hours was presented. Among the measures contained in this regulation, the obligation to implement a system for recording working hours stands out.

The new wording of Article 34 of the Workers' Statute will now require all companies to record "day by day" the working day worked by their staff, stating the start and end times of each worker - not only for part-time contracts. In addition, this information will be required to be kept for four years, and failure to record the working day will be considered a serious offence, punishable by a fine. maximum fine of 6,250 euros.

How should the time recording of workers be carried out?

In this new scenario, the key questions to consider are:

  • According to the criterion set by the Labour Inspectorate, the type of recording system is a free choice for the company, provided that the method used guarantees the reliability and invariability of the data and reflects, as a minimum, each day of service provision, the start and end time of the working day.
  • Both manual systems, such as analogue time clocks, and digital systems, such as automatic attendance registers, can be implemented. There is also the possibility of using time sheets signed by the staff or the implementation of technological means.
  • Therefore, where there is no specific legal or contractual obligation, the form in which the record is presented is irrelevant, as long as the Labour Inspectorate can check on the spot at the workplace both the existence of the daily record and its use.
  • Timetables, timetables or work schedules are not considered to be a record of working time.
  • Another aspect to consider, based on the analysis of the issue carried out at the time by the Supreme Court, is that the greater the capacity to monitor staff, the greater the possibility of invading their privacy or manipulating unnecessary personal data, so that the proportionality of the monitoring system and whether the processing of personal data is correct will have to be analysed on a case-by-case basis.
  • The standard does not require the recording of every entry and exit of staff to and from the workplace, but if such a system is implemented, it is advisable to remind staff of their working hours and break times so that they are forewarned of any possible non-compliance that might be detected.
  • The obligation to keep a record of overtime does not disappear and is not replaced by the new daily working time record which refers to the ordinary working time.