Work: Working time recording: Criticism of plans

Recording working hours: criticism of plans

Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut (CDU), Economics Minister of Baden-Württemberg, speaks.  Photo: Christoph Schmidt/dpa/archive image

Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut (CDU), Economics Minister of Baden-Württemberg, speaks. photo

© Christoph Schmidt/dpa/archive image

A reform of the Working Hours Act is pending. There is now a draft. This affects millions of workers. Criticism comes from Baden-Württemberg.

Economics Minister Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut (CDU) has criticized the Ministry of Labor’s plans for the future recording of working hours. It is important that the new regulation does not curtail the existing corporate culture, secondly that there is no further bureaucracy and thirdly that the freedom that the European Union gives the member states is exhausted, said the CDU politician in Stuttgart.

According to the plans of the SPD-led Federal Ministry of Labor, the daily working hours of employees in Germany are to be recorded electronically in the future. However, there should be exceptions if the collective bargaining partners agree. With the legislative plans, the Ministry of Labor is reacting to rulings by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the Federal Labor Court (BAG), which had required recording of working hours.

Hoffmeister-Kraut said that in many companies there is a trust-based working time that should be preserved. It enables flexible working models. This would give employees a good chance of better balancing their professional and private lives. “I don’t see that being sufficiently taken into account by Federal Minister Heil’s draft bill.” At the same time, the Minister of Labor warned against burdening companies with additional requirements such as electronic timekeeping. “The exceptions do not go far enough. The proposal means more work, especially for our medium-sized companies.”

The draft by the ministry in Berlin states that the possibility of “trust-based working hours” should not be affected by the obligation to record working hours. This means a flexible working time model in which the employer does not specify the beginning and end of the contractually agreed working time.

Ministry of Economy


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