Lucia Falkenberg, eco CPO and spokesperson of the New Work Competence Group, on the landmark ruling of the German Federal Labour Court on the recording of working hours.
The landmark ruling by the German Federal Labour Court (BAG) in September affects around 45 million workers in Germany: All employers must allow their employees to record their working time systematically in the future. The grounds for the judgement will probably be available in the course of the next few months. Subsequently, it is expected that the legislator will eliminate the legal uncertainty regarding the design of working time recording.
“As the eco Association of the Internet Industry, we appeal to the legislator, in the event of a legal reform of working time recording, to adapt it to the new circumstances of the more flexible world of work,” says Lucia Falkenberg, CPO and spokesperson for the New Work Competence Group at eco – Association of the Internet Industry. “New changing working environments require flexible framework conditions. The trend towards digital and connected working will continue, not least due to pandemic-related experiences. Flexible working time models such as trust-based working time must also be possible in the future.”
Lucia Falkenberg is convinced that the working world of tomorrow will be characterised by flexibility and the possibility of working independently in terms of time and location. Legislation must be adapted to the new circumstances of the more flexible working world with work from home models and mobile working – this includes not only working time but also occupational health and safety and tax aspects. “We expect the legislator to set a legally secure framework for mobile working,” Falkenberg continues.
On the BAG President Inken Gallner’s statement that recording working times is also protection against external and self-exploitation, Lucia Falkenberg comments: “Maintaining and improving occupational health and safety must be a top priority. TI am convinced that this will succeed if existing labour laws are adapted to mobile working requirements, while legitimate protection needs and sector-specific circumstances are taken into consideration. Instead of additional regulations, which mean more bureaucracy and more obligations, we need support from the legislator for flexible working to strengthen Germany in the global competition for skilled workers.”
Companies are willing to enable hybrid working models, greater flexibility, and more independence, even after the pandemic. These companies need legislation that addresses the realities of the digital world of work and takes the interests of employers and employees into account.