From Regulation to Reward

Project Management
PMO & Governance
Product & Tools
Mathilde Hoeg
Digital Communications Manager

2024 is the year of time registration. With the EU legislation from 2019, every country has been required to interpret it and enforce it. In Denmark, this means that every organization is required to have time registration measures in place. While it may seem like a hassle the legislation is an attempt to protect the rights of employees by

  • increasing fairness
  • making sure people are being paid for the work they do.
  • reducing overworking & stress
  • honoring rest periods and holidays

Finally, it’s a step to prevent tax evasion by making sure all businesses have accurate records of time spent.

Understanding the law

As of July 2024, the Danish law goes into effect.

It’s the result of a ruling from the European Court of Justice in 2019 that states that employers must ensure registration of employee’s working hours to make sure that rules regarding rest periods and maximum working times are observed.

The interpretation and implementation of the law can vary from country to country.

In Denmark, all employers must prove a time registration solution that is

  • Objective
  • Reliable
  • Accessible.

Furthermore, employees should always be able to access their own information in the time registration system.

This information should be kept for five years.

While there are exemptions to the requirements of time registration, these cases are pretty rare and to be honest we don’t see the need to avoid time registration. There are plenty of advantages besides protecting employees – not that you’d need more reasons!

A gift in disguise

While some people think time registration is a hassle and might find it difficult to get excited about, there’s a lot to gain in doing time registration well. If you find a system that lets your employees track their time and at the same time captures data in a way that delivers insights, such as

  • What are we actually doing?
  • Where are we spending our budget?
  • Are we spending our time on the right projects and tasks?
  • Does the time we spend deliver the value we expect?
  • Where are the bottlenecks?
“It’s not about you – but that doesn’t mean it can’t benefit you”

So, how do you get started with time registration?

There’s a high degree of methodological freedom. In principle, you could do it on pen and paper – but it’s 2024 and going digital will give you more benefits than just following the law.

It’s for the employees

Because time registration is meant to benefit the employees, you should get employees on board when implementing your solution. In fact, it’s the most important part.

Great ways to do this are

  • Teach the system
  • Show the benefits
  • Choose a user-friendly solution

The less time spent time registering - while still getting the benefits - the better. That’s why Time for Teams focuses on a great user experience that’s based on how people actually work. If your weeks are often similar – you can copy from last week. Or you can distribute hours across a week which comes in handy, for example, if you are only working on one project for a specific time.

When it comes to time registration, you must make it available but you can’t force people to time register. That’s why it’s good to make sure that it’s for the benefit of the employee – both in short-term agency and in long-term protection.

Be clear on the time registration process

If people have never registered time before ,there’s bound to be lots of questions. So you should be clear on what should be registered, the way to register it, any formatting needs, and how often – if there are deadlines, e.g for invoices or to help ensure that people remember to do it frequently.

It might also help to create a definition of what you consider working time so there’s no discussion going to happen afterward. 

The regulation in practice can vary from country to country, so be sure to check in with these laws to include them in your guidelines.

Explain the benefits

While the new EU-regulation is made for the benefit of the employee, a lot of people might see it as a hindrance rather than a help. Explaining the long-term benefits can help ensure that people are more positive towards adoption.

Benefits to time registration include:

  • Improved agency: the user can see how they spend their time
  • Fairer working hours: people might be surprised at how much they're actually working and be able to scale back and achieve a better balance
  • Better organizational planning: there will always be unforeseen circumstances but better time registration can help identify issues in planning and make work more efficient and better distributed.

Finally, choose a system that's easy to use. Any good-will you garner through effective change management will be lost if the system is cumbersome, buggy, or just slow to load. Make it fast and easy and people will use it.

Get insights with reporting

A good time registration system comes with reports built in – a great one lets you create your own.

What you need reporting on is completely up to you and can vary according to your business needs.

A report that shows you the percentages of how many people are registering their time can be a great idea. Making sure that people are registering their work hours is beneficial to you as an employer as there will be no surprises down the line. You always know how much people are working and that they are safely within the limit.

Reports that show the use of the system and the frequency also mean that you’ll be more sure of the validity of the insights you garner from reports. It’s difficult to assess how much time has been spent on a project if only half of the employees are registering their time on it.

In time, you might want to look into different aspects or combine time registration reports with other reports to gain further insight.

We often see great value in looking at actual work vs. planned work. This is where you can evaluate your planning processes and identify issues and bottlenecks when it comes to the execution.

Keep it future-proof

You want a solution that's future proof and that means scalability and flexibility.

Get a solution that’s scalable. While it might be possible to start in Excel it can be difficult to scale when more people are added. And without a centralized system, you risk that individual work flows start popping up in different departments making it harder to ensure that the solution is objective and reliable.

Your solution should also be flexible, i.e. easily configurable. There might be new laws in the future or country-specific laws that will require different configurations.

All about that change

Time registration is about more than compliance. When done right, it fosters a culture of agency, efficiency, and transparency. If you choose the right time-tracking solution, your organization can unlock valuable insights, drive productivity, plan better, and ensure fair treatment of employees.

So, get ready for the change – it’s going to bring great things.

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Mathilde Hoeg
Digital Communications Manager

With a background in IT and Project Management, the one thing that really stuck is her love for communication. She helps tell the Projectum story, sharing how our products can improve processes in your organization.

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