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You will soon have to register your working time: Hear the response from the banks

Several banks have yet to work out how they will be tracking their employees’ time in practice. But it is certain that it becomes mandatory on 1 July 2024.

5. Feb 2024
5 min
English / Dansk

From 1 July 2024, employers in Denmark are required to register the employees’ daily working time.

It becomes mandatory after a majority in the Danish Parliament passed a bill to amend the Danish Act on Working Time.

Meanwhile, it remains unclear how time tracking is going to be arranged in practice, but it is generally expected to also include the majority of employees in the financial sector.
Several of the major banks in Denmark have by no means come up with a solution yet.

These are the findings of a survey completed by the newsletter Finans.

How will banks approach it?

Jyske Bank, Nordea, Sparekassen Danmark and Nykredit are presently trying to find out how to go about it.

“We have decided not to comment on the new act at present. We are, of course, studying it and looking at how to implement the new rules, but, as said, we don’t want to go into detail at the moment,” says Thomas Ross, Head of Media Relations at Jyske Bank.

A similar answer is given by Lotte Schiffer, Head of People, Nordea Danmark.

“We are examining the new legislation and checking what kind of procedures and/or systems it may change. We expect to be ready when the act enters into force on 1 July 2024,” is her written reply.

Bjarne Hvirring, Head of Communications at Sparekassen Danmark, also passes on the question of how the act is going to impact the bank’s employees.

“Right now, the consequences of the implemented act are entirely abstract to us. So, we are not yet ready to make a statement. But, we’ll gladly comment, once we are wiser.”

(Artiklen fortsætter efter boksen)

An objective and reliable time tracking system

The new rules for registration of the employees’ working time constitute requirements from the EU. They are implemented in response to a case between CCOO, a Spanish trade union, and Deutsche Bank.

In the specific case, an employee who worked in a Spanish branch of Deutsche Bank felt she had put in far too many hours at work. The bank disagreed, but she had difficulty meeting the burden of proof.

The case was brought before the Court of Justice of the European Union, which established that employers must implement a time tracking system for the employees’ daily working time. The aim was to ensure, among other things, compliance with the maximum 48-hour work week and minimum rest periods.

This summer, extensive time tracking becomes a reality in Denmark.

It appears from the judgment that the employers must set up an “objective, reliable and accessible” time tracking system enabling the duration of time worked each day by each worker to be measured.

It is presumed that the vast majority of banks already have a time tracking system at their disposal, or at least Nykredit has told the newsletter Finans that they have one.

“The system we use at Nykredit already meets the requirements of the act," says Head of Press Rikke Gredsted Seidenfaden, without commenting further.

It is not specified how Nykredit intends to go about the new act otherwise.

Amendment of the Danish Act on Working Time

The bill to amend the Danish Act on Working Time enters into force on 1 July 2024.

Once enacted, employers will, among other things, be required to register their employees’ working time.

The bill carries out an agreement between the social partners, the Confederation of Danish Employers, DA, the Danish Trade Union Confederation (Fagbevægelsens Hovedorganisation, FH) and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (Akademikerne).

The agreement has been entered for the purpose of implementing the EU Working Time Directive.

According to Danish Minister for Employment Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen (Social Democratic Party), the bill serves the purpose of ensuring that the rules on maximum weekly working hours are met.

The Danish Minister for Employment has commented that it is sufficient for employees to register deviations from this agreement and/or scheduled working hours.

It has also been confirmed that the bill only requires registration of the employees’ total daily working time with no need to specify the hours within which work is completed.

Far-reaching consequences 

What remains is for Danish employers to introduce an appropriate time tracking system by 1 July. 
It is otherwise up to the individual employer to find out how they intend to register working time in practice, says Danish Minister for Employment Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen (Social Democratic Party).

“Time tracking is already done by many, and the bill gives the individual employer the freedom to choose a method that suits their organisation,” she said when the bill was adopted.

Even though most organisations obviously have a time tracking system at their disposal, the new act appears to have far-reaching consequences.

Bech-Bruun writes in a statement that it may be difficult in many cases to calculate the actual number of hours worked for the individual employee. 

"This applies especially to employees who plan their own working hours,” is the assessment from Lise Lauridsen and Sandro Ratkovic, Partners at Bech Bruun.

“One practical question in this connection is, for example, whether answering a short telephone call or reading one or two emails outside normal working hours should be included in the calculation of working time, and, if so, how that is going to be documented in the mandatory system.”

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