Working Time Act: BMAS presents draft law on time recording

No time recording can become really expensive for companies in the future. We explain what the BMAS draft law provides for.
Draft law on compulsory time recording

In the year In 2019, the European Court of Justice ruled (ECJ) that employers must record the working time of their employees. Now a draft bill (RefE) from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) is available, which concretises this obligation and puts it on a legal basis.


In the year 2022 the BAG decidedthat employers have a general duty to record working time (BAG, decision of 13 September 2022, ref. no. 1 ABR 22/21). The BAG derived the obligation to keep records from the employer's basic duties to protect workers. In contrast, the ECJ requires the introduction and maintenance of an objective, reliable and accessible system for recording working time.

Until now, employers were not obliged to systematically record the working hours of their employees. Only in the case of overtime or workers covered by the Minimum Wage Act were working hours required to be documented. The BMAS bill now provides that all employers are to be obliged to record the working hours of their employees.

What does the bill change?

The BMAS has now presented the long-awaited draft bill for a law amending the Working Time Act and other regulations to introduce legal provisions on the recording of working time. The draft stipulates that employers must, in accordance with § Section 16 (2) sentence 1 ArbZG-E be obliged to record the daily working time of their employees and to do so already on the day the work is performed. In contrast to the regulation from § Section 17 (1) sentence 1 MiLoGwhich states that the record must be made no later than the end of the seventh calendar day following the day on which the work is performed, the draft does not wish to adopt a similar provision.

The draft stipulates that the recording of working time electronic must take place. Our Software for (project) time recording offers a simple way to comply with all legal requirements. According to the draft law, companies in which a collective agreement or a company/service agreement provides otherwise are exempt from the compulsory recording of working time. Companies with less than 10 employees are exempt from the electronic recording obligation according to the draft law.

The recorded material shall kept for at least two years be made. Employers must ensure that employees have the possibility to record their working time themselves. Attention: According to § Section 22 (2) RefE-ArbZG it will in future be an administrative offence if employers intentionally or negligently fail to comply with the obligations to record working time pursuant to section 16 (2) RefE-ArbZG or fail to do so correctly, completely, in the prescribed manner or on time. In the event of such an administrative offence, a Fine of up to EUR 30,000 be imposed.

Is trust-based working time still possible?

Yes! But here, too, the following applies: In the case of trust-based working time, the employer shall ensure that he/she becomes aware of violations of the provisions of the Working Hours Act (§ Section 16 (4) ArbZG-E). This can be done, for example, through an electronic working time recording system. Even with trust-based working time, the recording of working time does not remain dispensable, but there are No general control obligationbut only an obligation to keep records.

Upon request, the employer must inform the employee about the recorded working time and provide him or her with a copy of the records (section 16 (5) ArbZG-E). It is sufficient if employees can view the electronic records themselves and make copies. This makes it easier for employees to claim overtime. However, the burden of proof regarding the necessity of overtime remains unchanged.

What are the advantages of mandatory time recording?

However, the introduction of compulsory time recording also has numerous advantages for workers and employers. By recording and documenting working hours, overtime can be better recorded and compensated. Mandatory time recording helps to create fair working conditions and ensure compliance with the Working Hours Act.

Employers also benefit from mandatory time recording. For example, the precise documentation of working hours makes it possible to plan better so that overtime can be largely dispensed with. Mandatory time recording also helps to better monitor compliance with working time requirements. With ZEP you meet all previous and future requirements in every respect to a detailed record of your project and working times.


The BMAS bill to introduce compulsory time recording is an important step towards creating fair working conditions and protecting workers. Mandatory time recording helps to better record working hours and compensate for overtime. Employers should prepare for the new regulation and choose appropriate methods for time recording.

With ZEP, you already meet all the requirements of the ECJ and the BAG - as soon as the law has been passed, you are also legally on the safe side with ZEP. If you have any questions about our solution, please contact our support team contact us. We also keep you informed on our Social media channels always up to date on the topic of time recording. You want to be informed monthly about all relevant topics? Here you can subscribe Register for our newsletter.

Tanja Hartmann CEP

Tanja Hartmann

Content Marketing Manager at ZEP

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