June 14, 2019
A recent decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union requiring companies to record all time worked by almost all employees “may have more far-reaching consequences than yet realized,” according to the BEERG Global Labor Newsletter. Member countries will be required to revise and interpret their laws according to their own definition of “working time.”
Some countries have interpreted “working time” broadly, with BEERG querying whether it may include employees leaving their phones or laptops on regardless of whether they answer calls or emails or even the entire time spent on business trips away from home.
The only employees excluded from the EU Working Time law are “managing executives or other persons with autonomous decision-taking powers.” However, BEERG indicates it is “not aware of any court, and especially not the CJEU, which has, to date been asked to rule on the proper interpretation of these words. So, whether this derogation is to be construed narrowly or expansively remains unknown.”