Employee Time Tracking Regulations/Rules by Countries (Includes EU Zone)

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Are there time tracking laws or regulations you need to be aware of when hiring remote or hybrid employees in different countries?

Efficient employee time management is the recipe for success for any purpose-driven organization. Wouldn’t you agree?

On top of other benefits, effective employee time tracking and management ensure that teams work efficiently and productively. It also helps employers to monitor their workforce’s performance and productivity.

But what about when you’re working in a country with specific regulations or laws regarding employee time tracking? For instance, is it legal to monitor your employees’ activities? Should you seek their consent before going ahead?

We’ll answer these questions and more in this article, tailoring them to how they apply to your specific country: US, Canada, India, Philippines, EU zone, Australia, Poland, Ukraine, etc. We’ll also provide valuable tips on managing your team’s time effectively while complying with local laws.

Time tracking laws regulations countries

The need for employee time tracking, especially in remote teams

As an employer, it is essential to know how much time each of your employees spends on tasks, projects, meetings, calls, emails, social media, gaming, browsing the web, etc. This helps you gauge whether they are productive enough and are committed to company objectives.

The need to track employee time and activities has never been more essential, especially in the remote setup. With technology advancing at such a rapid pace, people can be anywhere in the world and still collaborate effectively. But if they don’t have access to information about their colleagues’ activities, they might not get the right amount of support from their peers.

That’s why managers must keep tabs on their team members’ activities. They should be able to see who is doing what, when, and why. Here are a few more reasons you should consider tracking your employees’ activities:

  • Improve efficiency
  • Identify problem areas
  • Make sure your team members are meeting deadlines
  • Help you plan future projects
  • Avoid potential conflicts
  • Increase morale 

In addition to knowing the exact number of hours spent on various activities, it is also essential to understand which ones are most critical. You may want to focus on specific activities like client meetings, phone calls, email correspondence, research, writing, presentations, etc.

Why employers need to be aware of rules in the countries where they hire

It’s no secret that every country has unique rules and regulations that its citizens and foreigners must follow. Some may have strict laws against monitoring employees’ activities. If you’re hiring workers from another country, you will need to comply with those rules. For example, if you hire someone from India, you must abide by Indian labor laws. These include time tracking regulations, minimum wage requirements, overtime pay, hours worked per week, paid leave, health insurance, etc. The same goes for any other country. However, even if you’re hiring workers from within your own country, you still need to be aware of local laws. For instance, if you work in the United States and hire employees from California, you must comply with state labor laws. But all said and done; you should make it a habit to familiarize yourself with a country’s labor laws before hiring its citizens. Here’s why:
  • You want to avoid facing legal problems. If you fail to comply with local labor laws, you could face fines or penalties. So, it would be better to be safe than sorry.
  • Your employees will feel more comfortable. Your employees will appreciate being treated fairly. And they’ll respect you as well.
  • You won’t waste time and money. It’s very costly to deal with lawsuits. In addition, it takes a lot of time to train new hires. As a result, you’ll save time and money.
  • You’ll have peace of mind. You won’t worry about your employees getting into trouble. You won’t have to stress over them missing deadlines. You’ll know exactly how much time each employee spends working on different tasks.
  • You’ll classify your worker’s employment status correctly. Most employers make the mistake of regarding all their foreign employees as independent contractors. But in most instances, that’s usually not reflective of the worker’s employment status. For example, if they get paid at regular intervals, bring their work equipment, and control their work methods, they may qualify as official employees. It may be entitle them to benefits, sick leaves, insurance, etc.

Time tracking rules by country

If you hire workers from outside your home country, you will need employee time tracking software. That’s because most countries have specific rules and regulations that govern how businesses must operate.

For example, some countries require companies to keep records of their employees’ activities. This includes recording the number of hours worked by each employee. Other countries need companies to pay their employees overtime when they work beyond the standard hours.

In short, you can’t just assume that everything is okay. You need to check what the law says. Otherwise, you might end up having to pay hefty fines or penalties.

The best way to find out what the law says is to ask an attorney. They can help you figure out whether you are complying with applicable laws.

Here are some examples of employee tracking rules by country:

Australia

The Fair Work Act is Australia’s federal legislation regulating employment and workplace laws for its citizens. Here’s a quick outline of the country’s labor regulations you should know before hiring an Australian:

  • Employees must receive a minimum hourly rate of Australian $20.33. However, this amount increases depending on the size of the company.
  • Employees can work a maximum of 38 ordinary hours per week.
  • Employers must adhere to the spread of hours (the time interval within which ordinary hours are worked, say 8 am to 5 pm). Extending work beyond those hours should attract overtime rates.
  • Employers should keep their employees’ time and wages records for at least seven years.
  • In most instances, employers are usually allowed to install employee monitoring software on work computers. However, the employer must notify employees that they’ll get monitored at least 14 days before the installation.
 

Canada

Canadian employees are protected under the Canada Labor Code. The code contains several provisions related to employment conditions for hours worked, vacations, leaves, wages, overtime pay, and time tracking. Here’s a closer look:

  • The general minimum hourly wage rate for a Canadian employee is $14.35.
  • The standard work hours are 8 hours a day and 40 hours per week.
  • You must pay your employees at least 1.5 times higher than the general wage rate if they work overtime.
  • You’re within your rights to track your employees’ activities on company-owned devices. That means you can install time tracking software on such devices without an employee’s protest.

 

India

As of 2017, India has a new set of labor laws called the Factories Act. These laws cover working conditions, safety standards, leave policies, and employee compensation. Here’s a brief rundown of these provisions:

  • The minimum wage rate is 178 INR/day
  • The standard work hours are 9 hours a day or 48 hours per week
  • Employees working overtime are entitled to a pay double the minimum wage rate
  • The employment and labor laws permit bosses to monitor their employees’ task performances on company devices. However, employees should be aware of their surveillance, and if the monitoring goes beyond the work scope, employers must justify it.

 

Philippines

The Philippines has its labor laws governing employment and workplace practices. Here’s a summary of the main points:

  • The daily minimum wage rate varies from $6.57 to $11.17.
  • The standard work hours vary from company to company but range between 37 and 44 hours per week or at least 8 hours per day. Overtime work attracts a 30% additional pay.
  • Employees are entitled to paid annual holidays.
  • You may not require your employees to use personal mobile phones during work hours.
  • Employers may install employee monitoring and time tracking software as long as they notify their employees about it.


Ukraine

Ukrainian labor laws and regulations are straightforward and intentional about safeguarding employment and workplace matters. Here’s a quick overview of the key provisions:

  • The minimum monthly salary rate is 6,500 Ukrainian Hryven.
  • The standard work hours are 40 hours per week or 8 hours per day
  • Employees are entitled to unpaid breaks after four consecutive hours of work
  • Overtime compensation must be double the general wage rate
  • Employee monitoring and time tracking software are permissible as long as it doesn’t interfere with normal business operations.


Poland

The Poland Labor Code defines the rights and duties of employers and employees and protects workers against unfair treatment and abuse of power. Here’s a summary:

  • The minimum gross wage per hour is 18.3 Zlotys
  • Standard work hours are 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week
  • vertime work attracts a remuneration double the standard wage rate
  • Employers can install time tracking software on company-owned devices, but only if they inform their employees beforehand.

 

EU Zone

In Europe, several sets of labor laws apply to various countries in the union. The EU Directive 96/71/EC regulates the working conditions for all employees across the European Union (EU). It also lays down the rules regarding the minimum wages, maximum working hours, rest period, and other aspects of employment. This directive applies to both private and public sector companies. Here’s a quick overview:

  • The standard work hours must not exceed 48 hours (including overtime) within any 7-day interval.
  • The average hourly wage rate is 28.5 Euros.
  • Employees are entitled to a rest break if they work for more than six consecutive hours.
  • Employees can work a maximum of 8 overtime hours per week and are entitled to a remuneration of 50% more than the standard wage rate.
  • The EU area has no specific regulations regarding employee monitoring or timekeeping. It’s a voluntary cause for organizations that want to increase their productivity levels and bottom line. That means employers must seek their employees’ consent before installing any employee monitoring and time tracking software.

 

USA

The US Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) governs the terms and conditions of employment throughout the United States. Here’s an overview of some of its key provisions:

  • The standard workweek is 40 hours per week
  • Overtime pay rates vary depending on the type of job being performed
  • The federal minimum labor cost is $7.25 per hour, though it may vary by state
  • Employers may require employees to use a computerized time clock system during regular work hours
  • Employers are permitted to monitor the activities of their employees using time clocks, but only when it’s done per the FLSA provisions. In addition, employers cannot use time clocks to track employees outside of work hours.

Over to you!

It’s critical to note that while most of these regulations have been around for quite some time, they’re still relevant today. They continue to evolve and change over time, so keep up with them. If you need help keeping your employees productive and motivated, consider implementing a time management solution like ours!

HiveDesk is a time tracking and task management software designed specifically for remote and work-from-home businesses. With HiveDesk, you’ll be able to easily manage your team’s tasks, projects, and expenses—all from one place. And because our cloud-based platform is accessible anywhere, you won’t ever have to worry about losing access to your data.

To learn more about how HiveDesk can improve your business operations, we invite you to get started today.

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