In Federación de Servicios de Comisiones Obreras v Deutsche Bank SAE, the Spanish trade union Federación de Servicios de Comisiones Obreras (CCOO), supported by four other trade union organisations, brought a group action before the Audiencia Nacional (National High Court) against Deutsche Bank SAE seeking a declaration that the bank was under an obligation to set up a system to record the actual number of hours worked each day by its employees. The trade unions take the view that the obligation to introduce such a system derives not only from national law but also from the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (the Charter) and the Working Time Directive 2003/88 (Directive).
In this case, the Advocate General Pitruzzella has given the opinion that, under the Charter and the Directive, employers are obliged to set up a system for recording actual daily working time for full-time workers who have not expressly agreed, individually or collectively, to work overtime. The way in which employers comply with this is, however, down to individual Member States. The Advocate General’s opinion is that without any system for measuring the number of hours worked, there is no guarantee that the protections in the Directive will be observed and it also places workers in difficulties in terms of evidencing any claims relating to their working hours.
It is important to highlight that this is only the Advocate General's opinion and it is not legally binding. It will be up to the European Court of Justice whether it adopts the Advocate General's opinion or not. There is currently no further information on when the case will be heard in the ECJ.
In Spain, however, the Government is already proposing to implement reforms to require employers to record daily working time – see Spain: New labor reforms on the horizon?