Employers may be forced to record staff breaks

coffee break

In a statement released on May 14th 2019. The Court of Justice of the European Union announced Member States must require employers to set up a system enabling the duration of daily working time to be measured


An extract from the Press Release

The Court holds that, in the absence of a system enabling the duration of time worked each day by each worker to be measured, it is not possible to determine, objectively and reliably, either the number of hours worked and when that work was done, or the number of hours of overtime worked, which makes it excessively difficult, if not impossible in practice, for workers to ensure that their rights are complied with.

The objective and reliable determination of the number of hours worked each day and each week is essential in order to establish whether the maximum weekly working time, including overtime and minimum daily and weekly rest periods have been complied with.

Improve the protection of the safety and health of workers

The Court considers therefore that a national law which does not provide for an obligation to have recourse to an instrument that enables that determination does not guarantee the effectiveness of the rights conferred by the Charter and the Working Time Directive, since it deprives both employers and workers of the possibility of verifying whether those rights are complied with. Such a law could also compromise the directive’s objective of ensuring better protection of the safety and health of workers, which is the case irrespective of the duration of the maximum weekly working time laid down in national law.

By contrast, a system enabling the time worked by workers each day to be measured offers those workers a particularly effective means of easily accessing objective and reliable data as regards the duration of time actually worked.  This facilitates both the proof by those workers of a breach of their rights and also the verification by the competent authorities and national courts of the actual observance of those rights.


An objective system that measures each employees’ daily worked time

Consequently, in order to ensure the effectiveness of the rights provided for in the Working Time Directive and the Charter. The Member States must require employers to set-up an objective, reliable and accessible system enabling the duration of time worked each day by each worker to be measured.
More on the ruling can be found in the official press release here: https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2019-05/cp190061en.pdf

Current UK rest break entitlement 

Workers over 18 are usually entitled to 3 types of break – rest breaks at work, daily rest and weekly rest. Workers have the right to one uninterrupted 20 minute rest break during their working day, if they work more than 6 hours a day. This could be a tea or lunch break.  The break doesn’t have to be paid – it depends on their employment contract.

Workers have the right to 11 hours rest between working days. eg if they finish work at 8pm, they shouldn’t start work again until 7am the next day.

Workers have the right to either:

  • an uninterrupted 24 hours without any work each week
  • an uninterrupted 48 hours without any work each fortnight

A worker’s employment contract may say they’re entitled to more or different rights to breaks from work. An employer should give an employee enough breaks to make sure their health and safety isn’t at risk if that work is ‘monotonous’ (eg work on a production line).

Domestic workers in a private house (eg a cleaner or au pair) aren’t entitled to rest breaks for health and safety reasons.


Evalu-8 will take care of it for you

Explore the options Evalu-8 provides for employees to effortlessly clock-in and out and subsequently record hours worked objectively and accurately.


  • Clock in and out from the Evalu-8 dashboard using a phone, tablet, PC or laptop, with one click.
  • Scan a QR code within just a few seconds to clock in and out.
  • Use your existing clocking-in machine to link with Evalu-8 via an API. Automatically upload clocking in details without the need for human intervention.
  • Allow managers to clock employees in and out

Other time features include:

  • Receive automatic notifications if an employee clocks in late or forgets to clock out
  • Automatically populate time sheets
  • Create and publish shift rotas
  • Identify what IP address, location, device and operating system was used to clock in or out.

Arrange a demonstration or start a free trial now – and let the software do the hard work for you.

Evalu-8 Team

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