Newsletter Employment & Pensions: New Rules on Time Tracking Duties
Pursuant to the Swiss Labour Act (ArG) currently in force, as well as the Ordinance No. 1 to the Labour Act (ArGV 1), the employer has a duty to ensure that all employees maintain a detailed record of their working time. Only employees in very senior and executive positions, i.e. the few members of the top management, are exempt (they are, in principle, not subject to the ArG).
This legal regulation has for some time been criticized as outdated. Moreover, it does not sufficiently take into account today's working environment, in which - at least with respect to certain functions and positions, respectively - there is no clear separation between the professional and the private life.
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), by directive of 19 December 2013 has called on the cantonal labour inspectorates to adapt their practice of controlling the working time recording starting 1 January 2014. Said directive notes, in particular, that simplified time recording may be sufficient for employees of a specific category. Simplified time recording is sufficient for employees, whose work entails a wide scope of decision making, who, to a large extent, plan their work independently, and who schedule their work on their own. This, however, applies only to employees that do not conduct night and Sunday work on a regular basis.
The SECO directive shall now be replaced by an amendment to the ArGV 1, which amendment was agreed on by the social partners. The exact date on which the amendment is to enter into force is not yet determined. According to a press release of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research dated 22 February 2015, the amendment shall, after a shortened consultation, be entered into force as soon as possible, with mention of the third quarter of 2015. Parliament's approval of the new provisions is not required.