Should we or should not record the breaks during the day? One of the most common doubts about the Law of Time Control to which we respond from the hand of an expert, Marta Navarro, labor lawyer at Bonet Abogados.

Since last May 12, companies have the obligation to record the start and end of their employees' working hours, but 3 months later there are still some doubts for some companies about how to adapt to this new regulation.

For example, should the breaks made by employees during their workday also be recorded? What about the stops for coffee, smoking or meals?

Is it mandatory to include breaks in the time register?

It all depends on what we have established in the initial collective bargaining. In this agreement we must make it clear which times are considered effective working time and which are not.

For example, in the continuous days of 7 to 3, in which they have a 20 minute break for breakfast, this time is considered work time. Then, only one entry and one exit should be registered. Nor are pauses to go to the bathroom or the like counted.

If, on the other hand, we have a 9 to 6 shift with an hour to eat, this meal time, being a split day, would be necessary to register it, signing in and out in the morning and also in the afternoon. If we have a 15-minute coffee break, this would generally be considered as effective working time.

Most companies must establish what is working time and what is rest time to avoid that, all the time between entry and exit, compute as effective working time and, therefore, be computable and remunerable .

Why should we specify breaks at work?

Throughout the day, there are stops and breaks in the workday which take many hours at the end of the year. We should distinguish between short breaks in which we do not leave the office or facilities, such as going for a coffee, of which if we leave the building, as it is, go to smoke. The latter is a brief pause but it may be repeated several times throughout the day.

On the other hand, there is also the sandwich break in the middle of the morning in which we usually stop about 15 minutes that we have commented previously. It can also be considered a break to go to the bathroom, something logical throughout a day's work, but that with the arrival of mobile devices has increased in a longer time than it should because it is used for other issues.

Now things should start to change. Signing will not prevent long hours, but it will make companies much more careful with these issues.

Registration of breaks in the day with Sesame

Sesame software allows you to specify rest times throughout the day. In this way, with the Sesame PAUSE button it is easier to keep track of the minimum daily and weekly rest periods planned, the breaks between days or the breaks considered as effective working time in addition to the possible realization of overtime.

pause button for the registration of stops in the working day

All these records must be properly documented and must be available to workers, union representatives or Labor and Social Security Inspection. The company must keep them for four years to comply with the regulations for hourly control.

If you have more doubts about how to adapt your company to the regulation of day registration, follow the playlist on Youtube about FAQ’s Sesame Time Schedule Control Law.


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