Working time records


Employers must keep detailed records of the hours that their employees work each day and week, as well as details of any leave granted to them. This legislation is part of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997. The employer must keep these records for 3 years.

If there is no method of electronically recording the hours employees work (that is, a clock-in system), the employer must record the days and hours worked each week using an OWT1 form or a similar form.

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. These legal obligations which are set out in employment law have not been affected by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Records to be kept

These records 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 of employment provided to each employee under the Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994–2014
  • Days and total hours worked in each week by each employee
  • The days and hours of leave granted to each employee in each week for annual leave or a public holiday, and the payment made to each employee for that leave
  • Any additional day's pay for a public holiday provided in each week to each employee
  • 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.

If an employer and employee agree, an employee can complete an OWT1 or similar form each week give the completed form to the employer for them to sign. The employer then keeps the completed form for inspection. The form should be available at all reasonable times for examination by an inspector.


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

  • 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 about how an employee notifies their employer if they are unable to take rest period or break referred to in Sections 11, 12, 13 of the Act. The employee must notify the employer of this in writing and state the reason why they could not take the rest break or period.

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 they must notify their employer of any rest breaks that are not taken
  • 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 tell 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. You can find more information about your break entitlements in our document on Rest periods and breaks.

Further information

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 - see contact details below.

Workplace Relations Commission - Information and Customer Service

O'Brien Road
R93 E920

Opening Hours: Mon. to Fri. 9.30am to 1pm, 2pm to 5pm
Tel: (059) 917 8990
Locall: 1890 80 80 90
Page edited: 29 April 2019