Adequate timekeeping practices are crucial for a successful business. But mostly, time tracking can be difficult to monitor, especially if staff work online from home or unsupervised. These factors can make it difficult to manage time or keep track of time. Because of that exist many important laws that HR should stay aware of.
As an employer, one of the most important responsibilities you have is to comply with federal and state labor laws and regulations.
Every country has different labor laws. Regulations on the organization of working time are part of such laws.
Although special time rules and regulations vary from state to state, there are a number of federal requirements that apply to all U.S. employees by the hour.
The FLSA is the federal law that sets standards for minimum wage, overtime, recordkeeping, and youth employment. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to keep time and pay records of employees who are not exempt. These employees are eligible for the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and must complete monthly timesheets to track all hours worked.
According to law, employers must have an accurate record of each employee with detail of their number of hours worked per day and per workweek, date and time when the working week began, hourly pay rate, regular earnings, and overtime hours worked.
FLSA Minimum Wage: The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009, and $4,25 for employees who are younger than 20 (during their first 90 days in the new position)
FLSA Overtime: employees must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 per workweek. There is no limit on the number of hours employees 16 years or older may work in any workweek.
Hours Worked: Working hours usually include all the time during which the employee is required to be at the employer’s premises, on duty or at the prescribed workplace.
Time spent checking emails and answering phone calls outside of work hours is generally considered time worked under FLSA. As a result, employees should record and be paid for the time spent in performing this activity.
According to the Department of Labor, it’s your choice how you log and track those hours. It allows you to use a time clock, have a timekeeper keep track of employee’s work hours, or tell your employees to record time themselves.
Any time tracking solution is acceptable as long as it is accurate and complete—but no matter which method you use, you need to accurately track working hours for your non-exempt employees.
Exempt employees are not required to have them fill out a timesheet—but if they fall under the non-exempt category (for example, if the employee’s salary is less than $684 per week) then they would need to fill out a timecard.
Being DCAA compliant means following the agency’s recommendations and guidance to stay in compliance with federal law and be ready for audits. Companies with DCAA-compliant contracts require daily time tracking and accurate records.
DCAA compliant timekeeping requires businesses to be diligent in their record-keeping. While it can be huge, if you deal with it one step at a time, DCAA compliant time tracking can become less boring and help avoid large penalties for your firm.
In order to be compliant with the DCAA, it is necessary for employees to record every hour of their working day, as well as any leave time. This includes vacation, holiday, or sick days.
Both manual and electronic timekeeping systems are acceptable and time must be entered under the correct project name.
Rules for electronic timekeeping
- Password protection must be required. Passwords should be changed periodically not less frequent than 6 months.
- Workforce protection should be initiated to restrict access to project numbers, names, and codes for employees authorized to work on a given project.
Working hours in the UK are governed by the Working Time Regulations 1998, and small business owners should be aware of the basics of this law.
- The maximum working week is set at 48 hours a week on average, which is taken over a period of 17 weeks. These limit the working day to an average of 8 hours.
- For employees under the age of 18, the maximum is 8 hours per day and no more than a 40-hour workweek.
- Workers are also entitled to a 20-minute break every six hours and the right to 11 hours of uninterrupted rest between shifts.
- Timesheets are a mandatory requirement for businesses and you must keep records for each employee for a minimum of two years.
How you manage your time is up to you because the format doesn’t matter. As long as time tracking records are kept they meet all legal obligations.
If you choose the modern way by using modern technology, that will give greater insight into employees’ productivity. Tracking technology methods can measure the hours spent at work and also record periods of absence from the desk.
However, if you do use this type of time tracking technology it is a legal requirement that these records must be available for the employee to see on request.
Until now, timekeeping in the EU was not obligatory. It’s been used voluntarily by companies who wanted to increase employees’ productivity and become more profitable. With the latest regulation of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the practice of time tracking has become a standard for the citizens of European countries.
Each member state of the EU can form its own regulations, but they must comply with EU directives, regulations, and labor law. The Court of Justice of the European Union, the highest court in the EU, ruled on May 14, 2019, that member states must require employers to establish a system that allows measuring the duration of daily working hours. The ultimate goal is to prevent fraud and ensure that employees are paid for overtime.
The EU’s Working Time Directive requires the EU Member States to guarantee the following rights for all workers:
- The average working time for each seven-day period must not exceed 48 hours, including overtime
- A rest break during working hours if the worker is on duty for more than 6 hours
- In every 24 hours, a worker is entitled to a minimum of 11 consecutive hours of rest
- For each period of 7 days, the worker is entitled to at least 24 uninterrupted hours in addition to the 11-day rest
- Paid annual leave of at least 4 weeks per year
- Average working hours must not exceed 8 hours per 24-hour period,
- night workers must not perform heavy or dangerous work for longer than 8 hours in any 24-hour period,
- Night workers are entitled to free medical examinations and, under certain circumstances, to switch to day work
Timing in the EU varies from country to country; every member state has to work out specific laws.
As a whole, employee protections in France are robust.
The French labor code (Code du travail) is the nation that governs work and labor relations in the country.
In France, you get a 35-hour workweek and higher-than-average minimum wage, and it’s harder for employers to terminate employees in France than in many other countries.
- Maximum working time:
Daily: 10 hours, but can be increased to 12 hours subject to conditions
Weekly: standard workweek is 35 hours, but increased within the limit of 44 hours averaged out over a period of twelve consecutive weeks and within the limit of 48 hours in a single calendar week.
- Fixed-term contract: The maximum length of Fixed-term contracts is usually 18 months. Under certain circumstances, this can be extended to 24 months
- Minimum wage: As of 1 January 2021, France has a minimum wage, set at €10.25 per hour. This law stipulates that the initial eight additional hours will be paid with an additional 25% premium in addition to your usual salary rate. Overtime beyond those hours receives an additional 50% premium.
- Overtime: Every hour worked during a weekly working time of 35 hours should be paid at an increased rate (125% or 150%) and, above a certain threshold, should lead to compensatory rest.
Spain is the first country that introduced the law based on the EU directive: It has precise laws on work hours.
The most important include the following:
- The maximum duration of a normal working day is on average of 40 hours per week of effective work
- If the working day exceeds 6 hours, employees must have at least a 15-minute break
- Employees under the age of 18 have a break of 30 minutes and cannot work longer than 8 hours a day
- If the employer and the employees agree, the employee is allowed to work longer than 8 hours a day
- Employees must be paid for overtime
Spanish law does not define how employers should record the working hours of their employees. In most cases, companies need a clock-in / clock-out system that will allow them to monitor when employees start and finish work, and when people have breaks.
It is important that the following requirements are met:
- All companies must keep an hourly record of their employees regardless of the workday they have
- Companies must keep the employee’s time record for four years
- Time records must be public and available to employees, unions, and the government
- Employees must know the distribution and duration of an ordinary workday
- The unions must be notified monthly of employee overtime hours
- A record must be kept of the start and end of every working day for each employee, including breaks (even for remote workers)
- Working time generally may not exceed 8 hours in a 24-hour period and an average of 40 hours in a 5-day work week.
- Overtime work requires a payment of 100% remuneration in addition to regular remuneration for:
- Working overtime at night
- On Sundays and holidays
- On a day off work granted to the employee in exchange for work on Sunday or a holiday
- If an employee has completed 6 hours of working time in a 24-hour period has the right to a break from work of at least 15 minutes
- Employees are entitled to at least 11 hours of uninterrupted rest in each 24-hour period.
- If an employee is required to work on a Sunday, he is entitled to a rest day within the period of 6 calendar days preceding or following that Sunday
The basic rights of employees are determined by the Constitution of Italy and the Civil Code. There is no central employment law, but there are different laws addressing various aspects of the employment relationship.
- The normal working week is 40 hours, and the maximum working week is on average 48 hours every seven days, including overtime, calculated over a reference period of four months.
- Work done in excess of more than 40 hours per week is considered overtime. Unless otherwise specified, overtime work may not exceed eight hours per week or 250 hours per year.
- Night working hours may not exceed eight hours on average at twenty-four hours, unless collective agreements, including corporate agreements, identify a broader reference period for which the above-average average is calculated.
- Employees are entitled to rest periods of at least 10 minutes after working six consecutive hours.
- Workers who must work on a holiday are paid overtime.
- Employees are entitled to 4 weeks paid annual leave, 2 of those weeks consecutive at the employee’s request
- Italian law does not specify a minimum wage. Wages are usually set by collective labor agreements.
The principal Russian statute governing employment is the Labor Code, which is supplemented by other labor-related laws and regulations.
- The normal working week should not exceed 40 hours, which amounts to 8 hours per day when distributed evenly over a 5-day working week.
- Employees are entitled to a lunch break which should not be less than 30 minutes or more than 2 hours. Lunch breaks are not included as working time.
- The minimum weekly rest period may not be less than 42 consecutive hours.
- Employees cannot work more than four extra hours on any two consecutive working days and the total number of hours of overtime cannot exceed 120 hours per year.
- Overtime pay is set at a time and a half for the first two hours and double time for each subsequent hour.
- When working on holidays or at weekends, employees are entitled to be paid at least double time or to be paid normally and receive an extra day off.
- The minimum statutory paid holiday entitlement is 28 calendar days per year.
The Fair Work Act is the key federal legislation that governs employment and workplace relations in Australia and applies to most Australian employers.
The purpose of the Fair Work Act is to introduce a national system of workplace relations that sets minimum standards and conditions for employees and provides a legal framework for employer-employee relations for most jobs in Australia.
- An employee can work a maximum of 38 ordinary hours in a week.
- The time of the day ordinary hours are worked is called the spread of hours (e.g. between 7 am – 7 pm). Working hours outside normal working hours can attract overtime rates.
- A break for a meal is not a condition provided under the National Employment Standards.
- Employers must keep records of time and wages for 7 years.
- Time and wage records must be readily available to the Fair Work Inspector (FVI), legible and in English.
- According to the Fair Work Act, there are eight public holidays.
- Employees are paid at least their basic salary for all hours spent on public holidays.
- From July 1, 2021, the national minimum wage is $ 20.33 per hour or $ 772.6 per week.
Working hours in India is one of the highest in the world, according to the NSSSO report. The official workweek in India runs from Monday to Saturday, from 10 am to 6 pm each day.
Although the maximum working hours are determined by law People in India devote one of the longest hours at work on average compared to their global peers.
One of the many laws it regulates working conditions is the Factories Act, 1948.
The main objectives of the Indian Factories Act, 1948 are to regulate the working conditions in factories, to regulate health, and annual leave, as well as to enact special provisions in relation to young people, women, and children working in factories.
- Every adult cannot work for more than 48 hours a week and not more than 9 hours a day.
- Any work longer than 8 or 9 hours a day or 48 hours a week is considered overtime and is entitled to overtime pay.
- Employees covered by the Minimum Wage Act are entitled to double pay for working hours exceeding the working day.
- Women’s night work in factories and commercial establishments is generally prohibited.
- A break for a meal or rest from half an hour to an hour is required for employees who work continuously for five hours.
- Employees must have a minimum of 12 hours free between shifts and one rest day per week. All employees must receive a day of rest in every period of seven days.
- The employer is obliged to provide 5 to 9 festival holidays, which depends on the country in which operations are located. Employees who are required to work on a public holiday are entitled to extra premium pay, or substitute holiday according to the applicable state-specific Shops and Establishments Act.
- Holidays that are commonly referred to as “annual” or “privileged” leave in any organization (except factory) are governed by the provisions of the relevant state-specific Shops and Establishments Act.
- Minimum wages in India are divided into different categories depending on the type of job and can vary from country to country.
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