Registration and settlement of working time

15.09.2020

Each employer is obliged to keep records of the working time, while the payment of the employee's remuneration is made on the basis of the working time settlement. How do these two activities differ and how can they be implemented?

What is time registration?

According to art. 149 of the Labour Code, the employer is obliged to keep records of employees' working time for the purpose of correct calculation of salaries and other work-related benefits. The registration of working time is therefore a part of all activities related to the recording of employees' working time and is the basis for the correct calculation of remuneration for work, which in turn is the basic equivalent for the employee for the execution of activities under the employment contract.

Registration shall cover the working time both according to the company's fixed working time schedule and resulting from the employer's ad hoc instructions. Therefore, work on extended hours, overtime, on Sundays and public holidays, at night and on extra days off and on duties is also subject to registration.

Keeping records of working time is a statutory duty for each employer. This obligation applies to both small and medium-sized companies and large corporations, regardless of the number of people employed and regardless of the type of contracts concluded with employees.

It is necessary to keep a separate register for each employee, i.e. a register of working time (according to the Regulation of the Minister of Family, Labour and Social Policy on employee records in force from 1 January 2019). Documents concerning the registration of working time, including the working time register, are part of the employee documentation.

Sometimes employers may keep the so-called simplified records. These records may cover employees who work under a task-oriented system, manage the company on behalf of the employer or receive a lump sum for overtime or night work, and thus there is no obligation to keep records of working hours for them, but it is necessary to indicate working days, holidays, together with information concerning reasons for granting them, as well as the type and size of absences, justified and unjustified.

Automation of working time registration

These obligations, including working time registration, are a considerable difficulty for many employers, often requiring a lot of work. This is because these employers still keep records mainly in the traditional form, i.e. in paper form.

However, there is a way to improve and accelerate the repetitive activities carried out during time registration process, by using process-support tools designed to control the presences, absences, late arrivals and days-off of employees.

These types of automation tools are usually used in workplaces in which employees perform office work. However, the supporting tool is also perfect for verifying the working time of people working e.g. at machines or production lines, so it can be used in many companies regardless of the industry in which they operate.

When discussing the issue of working time registration, it is also worth noting that the Labour Code provides for high fines for employers who do not comply with the regulations in force and do not keep records of working time. Such behaviour is treated as an offence against the rights of employees and is subject to a fine of between PLN 1 000 and PLN 30 000 (Article 281(6) of the Labour Code).

What is working time settlement?

Working time settlement is the process usually carried out at the beginning of a month and aimed at calculating the remuneration for the work of each employee, which is a derivative of working time. Therefore, in the first process performed, the working time is always calculated out on the basis of the records kept and then the correct figures are transferred to the HR department, as well as the payroll department, which will take them into account when drawing up the list of payouts.

In practice, work time record sheets are most often kept by direct supervisors who are responsible for the timely settlement of working time of their teams and for transferring the required data on time to the department responsible for the payroll area.

If work is carried out using working time management systems (e.g. Asistar portal), working time data is sent directly by electronic means to the HR and payroll system immediately upon closing the month's accounts. However, in companies not using tools to automate the process of work time settlement, people who manage employees are obliged to settle the work time including all duties, night work, and determine the number of overtime hours, as well as determine appropriate bonuses for them.

Working time is calculated on a monthly basis (e.g. to specify overtime and overtime bonuses), as well as during the settlement periods applied by employers.  The settlement period is the period of time for which the employee's work should be planned, in such a way as to take into account all the principles and protective rules resulting from the Labour Code and concerning the aspect of working time. In order to settle the working time correctly, and as a result to determine the amount of remuneration without any conflicts, it is necessary to choose optimal work systems compliant with the applicable law.

The table below illustrates the key elements of both processes.

Registration and settlement of working time - comparison

 

Working time registration

Working time settlement

 

statutory obligation of an employer

obligation of an employer

Purpose

the correct calculation of the employee's remuneration and other benefits resulting from the employment relationship

calculation of remuneration for each employee on the basis of the working time register

Who is covered by the obligation

The records are made individually for each employee.

 

All employers are obliged to keep records of working time, regardless of the number of employees.

Settlements are made individually for each employee.

 

 

Scope of activities

Records kept shall cover:

  • the number of working hours and the start and end hours of work,
  • the number of hours worked at night,
  • the number of overtimes,
  • the number of hours of duties and the start and end hours of duties, with an indication of the place of duties,
  • days off, with an indication of the reasons for the days off,
  • statutory days off, with an indication of the legal basis for granting them and an indication of their dimension,
  • other justified and unjustified absences from work, with an indication of their type and duration,
  • the working time of an adolescent worker doing prohibited jobs for them, if they are allowed to do so in order to complete their professional training.

 

  • transferring the data from the register to the HR/ payroll department, which will take this data into account when drawing up the list of payouts,
  • data concerning working time shall be sent directly by electronic means to the HR and payroll system just upon the closing of the month's accounts, and in companies which do not use tools to automate the process of working time settlement, it is the manager who is obliged to settle the working time including any duties, night work and determine the number and type of overtime hours worked.

Form

Paper or electronic.

 

Paper or electronic.

Time

Working time records should be kept on a monthly basis.

 

Working time registrations must be kept by employers for the duration of employment, as well as for 10 years from the end of the calendar year in which the employment relationship was terminated or expired, unless separate provisions provide for a longer keeping period.

The result of working time settlement is that the payroll is calculated both on a monthly basis and when the settlement period ends.

Fines

An employer who does not keep records of working time is guilty of an offence against the rights of an employee, with a fine ranging from PLN 1000 to PLN 30 000.

Falsifying the working time register may constitute an offence punishable by imprisonment from 3 months to 5 years.

The settlement is made on the basis of the records, the improper keeping of which is punishable by a fine from PLN 1000 to PLN 30 000.

Legal basis  

Article 149 § 2 of the Labour Code

Labour Code (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 1040, as amended) Section VI

 

Read also: 5 key benefits of an RCP system (Working time settlement)

 

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