Viewing the ECJ ruling as an opportunity: Markus Wieser on mandatory time recording

The ruling handed down by the European Court of Justice obligates employers in all EU member states to systematically record their employees’ working hours. We spoke with Markus Wieser, Executive Director Product Management, ATOSS Software AG, about these issues. He explains why the ruling is more of an opportunity than a bureaucratic burden for companies. This is due to the fact that digital workforce management creates modern and fair working environments – for the benefit of companies and employees alike.

Markus Wieser

Markus Wieser, Executive Director Product Management, ATOSS Software AG

Mr. Wieser, the current ECJ ruling on working time recording is the subject of a good deal of controversial discussions. What possibilities do you see to meet these requirements?

Software solutions for time and attendance management enable the complete and differentiated electronic recording of working time, as the ECJ prescribes. Time recording can be handled directly at the workplace on a PC, via software terminal, telephone or on the go by an app on the smartphone. The latter option is especially advantageous for mobile employees, as in field service, facility management or in the public sector during field work such as traffic monitoring or city cleaning, for example. Regardless of the type of time recording, intelligent automatisms show missing time bookings and guarantee secure and efficient time recording. The recorded working hours are the foundation for calculating time accounts and bonuses as well as for the automatic checking of legal requirements, such as maximum working hours or rest periods. In this way, intelligent time and attendance  management enables legally compliant processes while protecting the health of the workforce at the same time.

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What role does digital workforce management play in this context?

Workforce management goes a decisive step further and ultimately entails the integration of time and attendance management and workforce scheduling. Our solutions draw on the centrally collected actual data from time and attendance management to calculate demand, cost, service and employee-oriented duty plans. In the process, they not only take statutory, collective bargaining and operational requirements into account, but also personnel requirements, time accounts, availability and employee qualifications, their individual preferences and wishes – and much more.   

EuGH Arbeitszeiterfassung - Zufriedener Arbeitnehmer

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What is the significance of demand-oriented workforce scheduling?

Workforce management software featuring integrated workforce forecasting is capable of determining the exact number of employees required. In other words, specifying how many employees should be deployed when, where and with what qualifications. In retailing, for example, demand drivers such as order or cash desk data and customer footfall are included in the calculation. The calculated requirements are referenced to the comparable, previous year sales days, and a forecast is generated taking trends and planned advertising campaigns into account. This creates a sound basis for pinpoint precise staff deployment. The creation of such duty plans is a highly complex matter that cannot be managed by “home-made” spreadsheet solutions. Ultimately, digital Workforce Management is the only viable way to ensure the flexible and optimized organization of working time in line with actual personnel requirements.

So this suggests that you view the ruling more as an opportunity?

The answer is a resounding yes. Digital workforce management ensures greater efficiency at all levels, while at the same creating more flexibility and transparency. Automatically generated push messages, for example, inform about missing time bookings, maximum working hours or expiring qualifications. Intuitive self-services integrate employees directly, unburden HR departments of routine activities related to working time and absence management and drastically speed up these processes. In this way, forgotten time bookings or absences, such as holidays or business trips, can be requested electronically by staff and forwarded directly to superiors for approval.

And how do employees benefit?

Agile ways of working call for the involvement of all process participants, especially company staff. Employees of all generations can actively participate in the creation of their work schedules via intuitive self-services, mobile apps, preferred duty plans or shift exchange platforms, and can view their duty plans as well as their time and holiday accounts at any time. This encourages and promotes employee motivation and personal responsibility. From our viewpoint, digital workforce management makes vital contributions to more modern and fairer working worlds – entirely in the meaning of a classic win-win situation.

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Sabine Eriyo

An ardent language lover, communication ace and philanthropist: Sabine is a passionate copywriter and communicator, both in her private life and for topics that affect the world of work. As a dedicated humanities scholar, she is also inclined to aesthetic and philosophical pursuits.

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