Responding to Spanish trade union’s lawsuit, European Court orders companies to record employees’ work timing

From the data provided by the lower court, the European Court highlighted that 53.7% of Spanish employees’ overtime hours were not recorded.

May 18, 2019 by Peoples Dispatch
European court verdict -work hours

On May 14, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) gave a ruling to record the work timing of employees in companies which are within the European Union. The verdict was given after the Spanish trade union Federación de Servicios de Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) filed a lawsuit against the Deutsche Bank. The judgement is said to make a positive impact in the advancement of workers’ rights in the region.

The court said, “It is necessary to record employees’ hours so that legal working time limits can be properly applied.”

“In the absence of a system enabling the duration of time worked each day by each worker to be measured, it is not possible to determine, objectively and reliably, either the number of hours worked and when that work was done, or the number of hours of overtime worked, which makes it excessively difficult, if not impossible in practice, for workers to ensure that their rights are complied with,” the ECJ noted in its statement.

Earlier, the CCOO union had sued Deutsche Bank in a Madrid court for not officially recording the working hours of its employees. The Madrid court had requested the ECJ for a ruling over this case.

According to reports, the European Court also highlighted from the data provided by the lower court that 53.7% of Spanish employees’ overtime hours were not recorded.

In their statement, the CCOO welcomed the ruling and said that the long judicial journey had culminated in a ruling that supports workers and unequivocally defends their rights, forcing States to guarantee them.

Major trade unions in the region, including the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB), also welcomed the verdict.