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.
The records that must be kept should contain the following:
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.
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 will not have to keep records of rest breaks if they comply with the following:
Your employer must keep:
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.
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.
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.
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
Opening Hours: Mon. to Fri. 9.30am to 5pm
Tel: (059) 917 8990
Locall: 1890 80 80 90
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.