The Procedure for Recording Working Time

Establishing the procedure for recording working time primarily involves determining the type of time recording. The type of accounting of working time must be determined by the rules established for the regime of working time, the lack of a properly established type of accounting of working time allows for daily accounting of working time. The daily timekeeping is the most reflective of the interests of employees, because the right to be paid for additional hours in this case arises for the employee at the end of each day working in excess of the established norm. In this case, further under-performance up to the standard hours is of no legal significance. Different rules apply in the case of weekly, and even more so in the case of summarized accounting of working hours. In this regard, in the absence of an established type of accounting of working time, daily accounting is applied, reflecting the interests of employees and does not require justification of the inability to comply with the legally established norm of hours. Absence of the said argumentation from the employer’s authorized representatives means the application of daily timekeeping in the organization.

Regardless of the type of timekeeping, the employer’s full-time representatives are required to ensure that each employee’s hours worked are recorded on a daily basis. The employer’s obligation to keep records of the hours actually worked by each employee. As has been repeatedly noted, the rights and obligations of the parties to the employment contract are correlative in nature. Therefore, the employer’s obligation correlates with the right of each employee to request a daily accounting of the hours actually worked. The obligation to prove the accuracy of the employee’s working hours is on the employer.

According to established practice, records of time worked by employees are kept by drawing up a timesheet, which is signed by a person appointed by the employer. As a rule, the timesheet is submitted under the signature of the head of the structural subdivision. In most cases, this timesheet is prepared formally for submission to the accounting department for payroll. It should be noted that a timesheet drawn up in this way cannot be cited as admissible evidence confirming the accuracy of timekeeping. Timekeeping consists of the employer’s obligation to ensure that the hours actually worked are recorded and the employee’s right to demand that they be recorded and paid. The existence of reciprocal rights and obligations for timekeeping allows it to be recognized as a transaction between employer and employee. For transactions between citizens and legal entities, which in this situation can be applied by analogy, a simple written form is established. In addition, timekeeping provides an employment contract, that is a transaction for which a simple written form is established. Since time recording is intended to ensure a written transaction, only the written form is applicable to it as well. The written form of the time sheet means that not only the employer’s authorized representative has compiled the employee’s time sheet, but also that the employee is familiar with it and does not object to it. Such familiarization is only possible in writing. The absence of written evidence in the event of a dispute deprives the employee of the right to rely on testimony to prove this fact. Therefore, the time records must be confirmed not only by the signature of an authorized representative of the employer, but also by the employee.

In view of the above, the employer’s obligation to keep records of working hours should not be regarded as the preparation of timesheets by an authorized representative of the employer, but rather the keeping of a timekeeping log. The employee must have free access to the timesheet and the daily hours worked must be recorded in the timesheet with the signature of an authorized representative of the employer, such as the employee’s direct supervisor and the employee himself/herself.

In this case, the written form of the time recording transaction is observed, the data of such records become admissible evidence to confirm the correctness of the time recording of each employee. It has already been noted that the timesheet, drawn up by an authorized representative of the employer, should not be recognized as admissible evidence when a dispute arises about the correctness of the employee’s working time data. However, the employee, his representatives represented by the trade union acting in the organization, may independently keep records of working time. The employee has the right to record the actual hours worked. This right can be exercised by submitting requirements to the employer to organize proper accounting of working hours, as well as by self-recording the hours worked. In order to keep a record of the hours worked, the employee can apply to the trade union of which he or she is a member. The hours worked by the employee and by the trade union as his or her authorized representative are admissible evidence in a dispute about the hours worked by the employee. Therefore, in the presence of a timesheet prepared by the employer’s authorized representative and the timesheet data submitted by the employee and the union, only the documents submitted by the employee and the union should be used as admissible evidence.

In the case of daily timekeeping, it can be reconciled daily by the employee, the trade union and an authorized representative of the employer. The time limit for challenging the employer’s refusal to pay for hours worked in excess of normal working hours should be calculated from the date of payment of the first wage after the overtime hours were reported, since that is when the employee should learn of the violation of his right to be paid for the additional work.

In the case of weekly timekeeping, it can be discussed between the employee, the trade union and an authorized representative of the employer at the end of the calendar week. The time limit for challenging the employer’s decision on timekeeping must also be calculated from the payment of the first wage after the employer has been informed of the number of hours worked in excess of the norm.

In the case of summarized accounting of working time, its data may be the subject of consideration of the employee, the trade union, the employer’s representative at the end of the accounting period. If the reference period is set to one month, they can be reconciled at the end of each month. The deadline for challenging the employer’s decision on the time recording data submitted by the employee or his/her representative also starts after the first payment of wages to the employee. If the reference period is one month, this period must be calculated from the month following the submission of information on overtime hours, because it is when wages are paid in the month following the reference period that the employee must learn of the violation of his right to compensation for additional time worked.

Compliance with the established procedure for keeping records of working time is one of the circumstances, the proof of which allows to recognize working time as a legal concept. Lack of proper recording of working time is a violation of the legislation on working time. Responsibility for this violation must be borne by the employer, his authorized representatives, who are charged with the obligation to ensure that the time actually worked by each employee is recorded.

Compliance with the timekeeping procedure requires proof of the following legally significant circumstances. Firstly, the determination of the type of time recording. If there is no order issued in accordance with the law by an authorized representative of the employer on the type of time recording, the daily time recording is applied.

Secondly, compliance with the procedure for recording working time involves ensuring daily records of the actual hours worked by each employee. This circumstance is confirmed by written documents on the accounting of working hours, drawn up by authorized representatives of the employer in agreement with the employee, or documents on the accounting of working hours prepared by the employee and his authorized representatives.

Thirdly, compliance with the timekeeping procedure implies that employees are compensated for hours worked in excess of normal working hours within the established time limits. These compensations are provided to the employee after providing information on the number of hours worked in excess of normal working hours. The employer’s refusal to provide them in due time is also a violation of the timekeeping procedure, because compliance with this procedure is not formal in nature and involves certain legal consequences, in particular compensation for hours worked in excess of normal working hours.