All workers in Germany now legally obliged to officially record their hours

All workers in Germany now legally obliged to officially record their hours

From March 4, 2024 anyone who works in Germany will be legally obliged to track their working hours. Here’s what you need to know about the new rules:

Tracking your working hours in Germany

Due to a ruling from Germany’s Federal Labour Court (BAG), from March 4 anyone who is employed in Germany will have to track their working hours every day.

According to the new law, which was passed in September 2021 but is to take effect next week, employers in Germany are required to set up a time tracking system so that employees can easily log their real hours worked. Your employer will likely notify you of this new system by March 4. 

Why is the new time-tracking system being introduced?

Following a poorly enforced 2019 European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling, the BAG announced that it would introduce its own legally binding system to track hours worked in Germany.

According to figures from the German Institute for Employment Research, people in Germany worked 702 million hours of unpaid overtime in 2022, compared to 583 million hours of paid overtime.

Until now, there has been no widespread legal requirement for employers to officially record working hours, with many employees in Germany working under a trust-based system with bosses. The only exception to this rule was for employees hired on minimum wage, who are required to log their specific hours. 

In industries where exploitative working practices are more prevalent, such as hospitality and construction, employers are also required to track the hours that staff work on Sundays and public holidays.

Thumb image credit: Ali Efe Yilmaz /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

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