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Employment Working Time (Records)

Information

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.

The legislation requires employers who do not have a way of recording employee working hours electronically (that is, using a clock-in system) to complete a special form called the OWT1 on a daily and weekly basis. Employers must also keep a copy of the statement provided to each employee under the Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994 to 2001. Under the legislation (subject to certain conditions), employers will be exempted from recording details of rest breaks and rest periods of employees, under the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997.

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.

Rules

The records that must be kept should contain the following:

  • Name and address of each employee, his/her PPS Number and a brief statement of his/her duties as an employee
  • A copy of the statement provided to each employee under the Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994 to 2001
  • 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 referred to in Section 21(1)(d) of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 provided in each week to each employee concerned and
  • A copy of a written record of a notification issued to an employee concerned in relation to any of the matters 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.

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.

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.

Exemptions

The following classes of employer are exempt (under Section 25(2) of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997) from the obligation to keep records of rest breaks:

  • Employers who have electronic record-keeping facilities (such as a flexi-clock or clock in facilitiaties) 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 he or she has informed each worker (in writing) of rest breaks
  • Evidence that he or she has 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.

Rates

Employers who fail to keep records as outlined in the Regulations are guilty of an offence. Maximum fines on conviction for failing to keep these records are €1,900.

How to apply

Download a copy of the Regulations including 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 Customer Services.

Where to apply

Workplace Relations Customer Services

Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
O'Brien Road
Carlow
Ireland

Opening Hours: Mon. to Fri. 9.30am to 5pm
Tel: (059) 917 8990
Locall: 1890 80 80 90
Homepage: http://www.workplacerelations.ie/en/

Page updated: 20 January 2012

Language

Gaeilge

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.

Contact Us

If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.