How to master the new laws on tracking working time in Europe - Actonic – Unfolding your potential
We have outsourced our Atlassian licensing and services business to the newly founded Seibert Solutions GmbH. Actonic's products will be further developed under the usual name.

How to master the new laws on tracking working time in Europe


Tracking working hours is not new in the workforce; it has been around since time cards and clocks were the only technology available. Some companies follow this technique to keep track of working hours, which will help them improve the management of their payrolls. While other businesses believe it negatively affects the creativity and flexibility within the team. In Europe, monitoring time laws have always been present, but they were never mandatory except for businesses with staff working on an hourly basis or Sundays. However, some changes have occurred, and countries like Germany and Spain are adopting new time-tracking laws that will be mandatory for all businesses with no exceptions.

But what are the benefits of tracking working hours? And what are the best time tracking methods to adopt these new regulations? In this article, we’ll tell you!

What are the benefits of tracking working hours?

  • Recording of working time is extremely helpful in organizing payments accurately for your employees’ compensation, whether for hourly, salaried, or even bonus finances. It is an excellent method to ensure you’re paying your staff fairly without impacting your business.

  • Employees’ rights are protected with time-tracking practices, which are a perfect solution for preventing overworking without benefits. In addition, employees can hold their employers responsible for unjust methods and time exploitation.

  • It is ideal to guarantee that your organization abides by the laws without risking any breach.  

  • Recording of working times and using apps that summarize your team’s activities is key to obtaining transparency. It will help budget and prioritize tasks during a project where all team members will attain specific issues without exceeding the time limit.

  • Employees can track their vacation days and sick leaves without risking any miscommunication with their managers.

How to manage and monitor working hours in Spain and Germany?

The new law (Case No. 1 ABR 22/21) introduced by the German Federal Labor Court requires every employer to record all the working hours within their teams. This decision obligates every organization to incorporate a working hour system to record working time. Furthermore, similar strategies are being adopted in Spain for companies to document all the data needed. However, these regulations don’t include any specifications or techniques for collecting the information.

If you want to know more about the new time tracking rules in Spain and Germany, you might find this article helpful: Mandatory tracking of working time in Europe.

The following methods can be helpful for any organization to stay compliant with the law while recording data on working hours.

  • Manual, handwritten time tracking, such as with spreadsheets or time cards, is an inexpensive way to track time, but it’s also an old-fashioned way. At the end of the day or week, the employer notes how many hours were worked. All timesheets are physically collected in folders. However, this method of recording working hours is very time-consuming and error-prone, as well as easily manipulated – it is suitable for very small businesses at best. Nowadays, there are a lot of more advanced technologies, so we would not recommend this method.

  • The electronic time tracking with the use of biometrics is a more advanced method of recording working hours. Here the employee is registered with fingerprint or handprint or also on the basis of his eyes. Keys or smart cards can be lost – biometric methods can be used at any time and are completely independent. The disadvantage of this method, however, is that the cost of purchasing and maintaining the hardware is quite high. Strict data protection requirements also make it difficult to use.

  • Some employers prefer to use browsers and URL clock tools to get an overview of how employees spend their working time. Here, working time is recorded by logging in and logging out of employees on the computer with their individual identifiers. This time recording method is also very efficient for remote work and there are no costs for hardware. However, a disadvantage is that only computer workplaces can be recorded here. Data backup is also a critical issue.

  • Automated time tracking tools in the cloud are the most modern and efficient way to create records. With these apps, you can track all your activities without having to organize or manually enter information. Cost for hardware is obviously non-existent. A time tracking tool also ensures that the data can be accessed at any time and from any location.

    Time tracking is especially productive here when managers add tasks and goals to be accomplished while monitoring work progress and time. This method simplifies the process by creating accurate reports and invoices.
    For example, Jira software has several time tracking features that help your organization monitor your team’s activities during a project. Jira can track the amount of time spent on issues and the number of hours your team has worked on a particular project. However, the built-in Jira solution has one drawback: if you need to track work hours and meet strict privacy guidelines at the same time, Jira may not be enough. However, this should not worry you at this point. To help you comply with the new laws in Spain and Germany effortlessly, we’ve developed an app: Timesheet Builder: Resource Planning and Teams Management. This adds important team management and data protection features to the Jira software. There has never been anything like this in the Atlassian Marketplace!


Whether based in Spain or Germany or elsewhere in Europe or the whole word: prepare your team to handle new laws by using systems that work best for your business! There are many methods for time tracking, but for most companies, a software solution that can guarantee data protection guidelines on the side is the best choice.
And what will yours be?

In a free demo, we will find your solution!

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.