Ready by 1 July? Requirement to record daily working hours

By 1 July 2024, new rules on working time registrations will apply for all employers in Denmark. As a consequence, all employers must implement a system that enables the registration of each employee’s working hours as a result of the amendment to the Act on Working Hours that was passed on 23 January 2024.

In the following, we will highlight the most important questions that need to be considered in this context:

–   How should our employees record their time?

–   Are there any employees who should be exempt from the requirement to register working hours?

–   Do our GDPR and HR policies need updating?

The purpose of the rules is to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Act on Working Hours regarding maximum weekly working hours (maximum 48 hours per week over a four-month period), break rules, and daily and weekly rest periods. These rules apply to all employees.

The rules are being introduced as a consequence of the EU ruling in the Deutsche Bank case (judgement delivered on 14 May 2019, case C-55/18)  and the requirement to record working time will apply across the EU.

1. How should working hours be recorded?  

There is no formal requirement for the working time registration system other than that it must be “objective, reliable and accessible”, as directly expressed in section 4b of the Act on Working Hours.

The company can provide an electronic system, or the employee can make a manual registration and, for example, send the statement of daily working hours to his or her manager via email – there is thus freedom of method.

The employee must record the total daily working hours, but not the exact time of day. If the employee has a flexible working day, for example, where they work 6 hours between 8am and 3pm and then continue working after 8pm, the total number of hours worked should simply be entered.

The usual working hours can also be pre-filled. For example, if the employee works 37 hours per week, the working hours can be pre-filled to 7.4 hours per day. If the actual working hours deviate, the employee must register if the actual working hours are more or less than the standard hours.

What about travelling time?

Daily commuting time to a fixed workplace should not be counted as working time, but travelling to another workplace where the employee has a longer commute than normal will typically be considered working time.

For example, if the employee has to transport themselves between appointments during the working day, the transport time is considered working time if:

– the transport in question is a necessary condition for the workers to be able to provide services to customers

– the workers in question are available and can thus comply with the employer’s instructions and are not free to dispose of their time/use it in their own interest

– Transport time is an inseparable part of the employee’s work.

What about breaks?

If the employee pays for the break and can decide what to do with it – for example, eating or going for a walk – then it is not working time (but a rest period) and therefore does not need to be registered.

How long do we need to keep the registered data?

You must make sure to keep the registered information for 5 years after the end of the period that forms the basis for calculating the employee’s average weekly working hours.

In addition, it must be ensured that the employee has access to their own information in the working time registration system.

The daily rest time and weekly day off

The employee’s working hours must be organised so that the employee generally has 11 hours of continuous daily rest and a weekly day off. This means that the employee must have at least 35 (24 + 11) hours of continuous weekly rest.

However, within certain professions, there are specific activities that allow for reduced rest periods or postponed rest periods.

2. Who is not covered by the rules?

The so-called “self-organisers” are exempt from the requirement to register daily working hours, the maximum weekly working hours of 48 hours, the break rules and the night work rules.

For example, the employee is a self-organiser when the employee can decide when and how the work is performed, or when the length of working time cannot be measured or determined in advance due to special features of the work performed, and in the case of staff with management functions or other staff who have a high degree of authority to make independent decisions.

An individual holistic assessment of each “self-organiser” must be made, which is why it is not possible to divide employees into categories and thereby determine that, for example, an entire group is self-organisers.

It takes a lot for an employee to be considered a self-organiser and it will probably only be a few people in a company who can be exempted from the rules.

There may also be deviations agreed via collective labour agreements in specific areas.

If the employee is considered a self-organiser and is therefore exempt from the requirement to register working hours, it must be stated in the employee’s employment contract (or in an addendum) that the employee is not covered by the rules on daily rest, weekly rest and maximum weekly working hours.

3. GDPR and HR policies

We recommend creating a detailed policy for employees on recording working time that clearly describes what is and what is not working time, what needs to be recorded, how often (e.g. daily or weekly) and how. Should failure to record time have employment law consequences? Who should the employee contact if they want a copy of the record?

If you have not previously registered working hours, it will be necessary to update your inventory of processing activities, where it is stated that working hours are processed about employees and for what purposes, and communicate this to employees via, for example, a privacy or personal data policy, etc.

Our recommendations

We recommend that all employment contracts or an addendum to them emphasis that the employee has a duty to record daily working hours in accordance with company policy and that failure to do so may have employment law consequences.

Assess whether you have “self-organisers” and if so, this should be clearly stated in the employment contract or in an addendum. If it is not stated in the contract, the employee will be subject to the rules on working time registration like any other employee.

We’ll be happy to assist you in drafting an addendum or a contract that is in compliance with the regulations, and to update or prepare a policy for recording of working time.

For further questions, please contact us!


Your Employment Law Team

Karina Helena Svensson
Attorney at Law

+45 23 84 06 28







Jana Behlendorf
Attorney at Law

+45 23 24 60 22







Navina Jegarubanathan
Assistant Attorney

+45 60 52 43 04




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