There is still a great need for action in time recording for employees. Article 46 of the Labour Code (ArG) obliges employers to keep all lists or other documents containing the information necessary for the implementation of the Act and its ordinances available for executive and supervisory bodies. In particular, the duration and beginning and end of the daily and weekly hours worked (including compensatory and overtime work) as well as breaks of half an hour or more must be clearly visible (Art. 73 ArGV 1) in order for the authorities to be able to check, on the basis of this information, whether the working and rest time provisions of the Labour Code are complied with. It must therefore always be possible to see for each employee in a company when he or she has worked, taken breaks and finished work.

On 1 January 2016, Articles 73a and 73b of Regulation 1 of the Labour Code (ArGV 1) introduced two exceptions to the general obligation to record working time described above, which make it possible to agree deviations from the detailed obligation to record working time under clearly defined conditions – the following principles apply:

1. Systematic recording of working time remains the standard rule for all employees who do not have a certain degree of autonomy in determining their working times. If the conditions for one of the following two exceptions are not met, the company must therefore systematically record working time – but it can itself choose which instrument is best suited to its organisation.

2. Simplified working time recording limits the recording to the total number of hours worked (a single total value per day). This option is available for all employees who are able to define a substantial part of their working hours

(at least 25%) themselves. No collective labour agreement (CLA) is required for this regulation: A written agreement between the company and employee representatives or with the majority of employees is sufficient;, in companies with less than 50 employees an individual agreement with individual employees is also permissible.

3. Employees with a gross annual income (including bonuses) of more than CHF 120,000 may waive the recording of working hours. The majority of these employees must also be able to determine their working hours themselves (at least 50 % freely determinable) and thus have a large degree of autonomy in the organisation of their work. The introduction of such a regulation must necessarily take place within the framework of a CLA between the employer and one or more representative employee organisations/trade unions; regional or cross-sector CLAs are also possible, and the individual consent of the persons concerned is also required.

Many companies still do not have sufficient time recording or time management systems in place or a contractual basis for the introduction of the above exceptions to systematic time recording. Our lawyers specialising in labour law and company law will be pleased to assist you. Further information can also be found at: