The world of work in Germany is in a constant state of flux - new laws here, detailed changes there. And you can no longer see the wood for the trees. So that you are not alone in the jungle of regulations, we would like to bring some light into the darkness:
When it comes to leave, there are some details to consider, especially for employers. But employees should also be aware of this: Statutory claims to minimum leave can expire or become time-barred after limitation periods. However, only under certain conditions. As an employer, you have a duty to inform and cooperate. What does this mean in detail? You must inform your Explicitly inform employees of open days of leave and the expiry deadlines according to the law or existing special regulations. This must be done in writing - you should archive a receipt so that in the event of a dispute you have proof that you have pointed out the imminent expiry of the leave days. On the other hand, you must make it possible to take the leave until it expires. If you do not fulfil this obligation, the holiday entitlements do not expire and accumulate for each year in which you do not fulfil the obligation. Attention: (Former) employees can still use the holiday entitlement up to 3 years later. Claiming leave (or financial compensation).
With the leave module in ZEP, you can view all entitlements at the click of a button and on an employee-specific basis so that you don't fall behind in the first place. You want to know more about our module?
When it comes to working hours, there are, of course, legal regulations on how long employees are allowed to work and when breaks must take place. But which paragraphs of the Working Hours Act (ArbZG) apply here? And how are the corresponding break times actually regulated?
§ 3 regulates the working hours. In principle, 8 hours of daily work are to be assumed here. Exception: 10 hours per day may be worked if the average working time - over a period of 6 months or 24 weeks - is 8 hours per working day. The corresponding Break times are set out in § 4. The following applies: at least a 30-minute break if the working time exceeds 6 hours or at least a 45-minute break if the working time exceeds 9 hours. Break time is not equal to Rest period, which is regulated in § 5 is: After the end of the daily working time, an uninterrupted rest period of at least 11 hours must be observed!
Not only are working hours and break times regulated, but also - per ruling of the BAG of 2022 - the recording of working time. As an employer, you are obliged to record the full time of your employees. The system used for this must be objective, accessible and reliable. Whether analogue or digital is irrelevant, the main thing is to ensure health protection and data protection. The following must be recorded: start & end of working time, break times & overtime. You can also delegate the responsibility for correct documentation to your staff, as long as the correct application is ensured. This can be done through training or regular spot checks.
Even with trust-based working time, it must be ensured that employees document their working hours and that all relevant requirements are met. The working time is still possible even with time recording, provided that the maximum working and rest times are respected. As an employer, you must introduce a system for time recording. If there is a works council, the "how" must be agreed with it.
Mobile working is becoming increasingly important in the hybrid world of work. The past few years have played their part in making the "New Work" principle increasingly popular with employers and employees alike. Flexibility, individuality and the reconciliation of family and career are just a few of the advantages of this work mode. But here, too, time recording is mandatory! In hybrid working, there are very different forms of work, which are usually summarised under the generic term "home office". Here, however, it is important to note some crucial differences:
In company practice, a home office is the possibility for the workforce to work from their own four walls. However, the home office is not the same as a domestic teleworking workplace. Employees therefore have the possibility to do their work from home without you as the employer having to set up the workplace completely.
A remote workplace includes the home office, but also offers the possibility of location-independent work outside the workplace using information and communication technology. It should be noted that § Sec. 87 (1) No. 14 BetrVG stipulates that the design is subject to co-determination. Work is possible for your employees from anywhere.
This must be set up (completely) by you as the employer at the employee's home. This regulation is defined in § 2 Para. 7 ArbStättV. In addition, there is the part of "alternating" teleworking, which is an alternation between a furnished workplace at home and in the office. As an employer, you are therefore responsible for fully setting up the workplace of your employees at home, taking into account all aspects of occupational health and safety.
No matter what form of "New Work" you offer your workforce, you must definitely take care of the issue of time recording.
Content Marketing Manager at provantis IT Solutions
Inaccurately recorded working hours can lead to unfair pay, compliance risks and inefficient workflows, so it pays to rely on modern software solutions like ZEP that enable accurate time tracking, effective project management and improved transparency.
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