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Working time records


The Organisation of Working Time (Records) (Prescribed Form and Exemptions) Regulations 2001 requires all employers to keep detailed records of start and finishing times, hours worked each day and each week and leave granted to employees. This legislation is part of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997. The employer must keep these records for 3 years.

Where there is no method of electronically recording hours worked by employees (that is, a clock-in system), the employer must record the days and hours worked each week using form OWT1 or in a form substantially similar to this – see 'How to apply' below.

Under Section 8 of the Act, an inspector from the Workplace Relations Commission has the power to get full access to these records.

Employers who fail to keep records under these Regulations are guilty of an offence and are liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €1,900.

Records to be kept

The records that must be kept should include the following:

  • Name and address of each employee, their PPS number and a brief statement of their duties as an employee
  • A copy of the statement provided to each employee under the Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994–2014
  • Days and total hours worked in each week by each employee concerned
  • Any days and hours of leave in each week granted by way of annual leave or in respect of a public holiday to each employee and the payment made to each employee in respect of that leave
  • Any additional day's pay in respect of a public holiday provided in each week to each employee concerned and
  • A copy of a written record of a notification of working time issued to an employee as provided for in Section 17 of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997.

The records kept by an employer must be presented in a format that can be easily understood by an inspector.

In addition to this obligation, where an employer and employee agree, an employee may complete form OWT1 or a substantially similar form each week and present the completed form to the employer for counter-signature. The employer then keeps the completed form for inspection. The form should be made available at all reasonable times for examination by an inspector.


Under the Regulations, the following employers are exempt from recording details of rest breaks and rest periods of employees:

  • Employers who have electronic record-keeping facilities (such as a flexi-clock or clock in facilities) and
  • Employers who have manual as opposed to electronic record-keeping facilities and who are required to keep records (using form OWT1 or a substantially similar form).

Employers will not have to keep records of rest breaks if they comply with the following:

  • Each worker receives notification from the employer (in writing) of rest breaks and periods referred to in Sections 11, 12 and 13 of the Act or,
  • If Sections 11, 12 and 13 of the Act do not apply to you (that is, you are part of a collective agreement, a registered employment agreement or an employment regulation order which have already set down specific rest breaks and periods) your employer must notify you of the terms of your collective agreement, registered employment agreement or employment regulation order and, in particular, will not have to record rest breaks and periods.
  • Your employer puts in place and notifies (in writing) each employee of procedures whereby an employee may notify in writing the employer of any rest period or break referred to in Sections 11, 12, 13 of the Act to which the employee is entitled and was unable to take on a particular occasion. The employee must also state the reason for not availing of such rest breaks or periods.

Your employer must keep:

  • Evidence that they have informed each worker (in writing) of rest breaks
  • Evidence that they have informed each worker (in writing) that rest breaks that are not taken must be notified to the employer
  • Records of all notifications sent to the employer by the worker regarding the Organisation of Working Time.

If you are unable to take a rest break in your job, you must notify your employer in writing (within 1 week) that you were unable to take this break. When you notify your employer that you were unable to take your break, your employer must look at the reasons why you were unable to take your break and at any health and safety issues that might or have arisen relating to you and your job. As soon as possible, your employer must allow you take the rest break that you were due. If you do not take your break when this is offered, you are at fault and your employer is not obliged to offer you a further rest break.

How to apply

Download a copy of the OWT1 form here. If you do not wish to complete the OWT1 form, the form you complete must be substantially similar to this and record the same information. Employers should complete records on a daily or weekly basis and keep them for inspection.

If you have any query in connection with the Organisation of Working Time (Records) (Prescribed Form and Exemptions) Regulations, you should contact the Workplace Relations Commission's Information and Customer Services.

Where to apply

Workplace Relations Commission

Information and Customer Service
O'Brien Road
R93 W7W2

Opening Hours: Mon. to Fri. 9.30am to 5pm
Tel: (059) 917 8990
Locall: 1890 80 80 90
Fax:(059) 917 8909

Page edited: 3 May 2016



Related Documents

  • The working week
    The maximum working hours for most employees are set out in the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997.
  • Rest periods and breaks
    Employees are entitled to breaks during work and rest between periods of working time.
  • Hours of work for young people
    The working hours for children and young people are regulated by legislation which sets maximum working hours and rest intervals.

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