Transition to flexible working time

In order to ensure sustainable satisfaction and a balance between the private life of employees and the interests of the company, the introduction of flexible working time models is regularly recommended.

I. Flexible working time models

Not for all companies the introduction of a certain model is suitable to check the attendance and working time of the employees. In order to find out which model is suitable for the company in question, the situation in the company should first be analyzed. What needs or requirements exist on both the entrepreneurial and employee sides? When weighting the needs, particular consideration should be given to the duration and location of working hours as well as the place of work. It should also be determined whether the focus should be on completing tasks, ensuring the functioning of a team or on core working hours. In practice, the following working time models have proven particularly effective: 

  • Flextime with working time account

  • Trusted working time

  • Functional time

II. Working Hours Act 

Special attention should be paid to the legal regulations in this context. It should be ensured that these are complied with. In particular, this involves: 

  • Compliance with break times

  • Compliance with maximum working hours

  • Compliance with rest periods

  • Prohibition of Sunday work

  • Night work bonuses

III. Legal basis 

The legal basis for the introduction of a particular working time model is not exhausted in the Working Time Act, but also arises from:

  • Employment contract/supplementary agreement

  • Company agreement

  • Policy


IV. Works council

Consultation with the works council is essential, as the Works Council Constitution Act grants the works council rights in the organization of working hours. These include, among other things:

  • Right of co-determination in particular with regard to
    - Start/end of daily working time (incl. core time)
    - Breaks
    - Distribution of working time over the individual days of the week

  • Right to information regarding actual working hours


V. Control of working time, especially in case of remote work

  • Recording of working time
    - Particularly in the case of working time accounts, the appropriate technical prerequisites for (also long-term) recording must be created

  •  Logging in/out obligations (breaks?)

VI.Company interests

Regardless of the fact that flexible working time models can be a relief for the employee, the company's interests should be examined as part of the analysis of which working time model is the right one for your company and what needs or requirements are to be placed on it. These can be:

  • Meetings

  • Appointments

  • Overtime

  • Shift work

  • Corporate culture

VII. What else needs to be considered: 

On top of that, the importance of working time becomes clear with regard to the ECJ ruling of 14.05.2019 (Ref.: C-55/18) on the recording of working time, so that the introduction of new working time models entails a large number of individual questions. Which regulations are right for the specific company is entirely individual. In order to avoid potential pitfalls, it is advisable to obtain tailored and case-by-case advice.

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