Navigating the EU's Working Hours Law: Insights for Nordic Businesses

Payroll and HR | 29.01.2024

by Erik Bekkåsen

On 14 June 2019, a law changes from the EU Court of Justice declared that all employers must properly record the working hours of their employees. The desire for such a law originated in Spain, where as much as 50% of extra hours worked go unrecorded. The European judges in Luxembourg made the decision to ensure the right to recorded hours is extended to all of the EU, and this law is the result.  
Implementation of these kinds of decisions can take some time, because every country is different, and stakeholders in the labor market and the government have a lot to coordinate. Now that the law is becoming more relevant and solidified in the different countries, we have gathered some relevant information. 
As the leading payroll provider for the Nordic countries, we wish to give some input on what this law change is for, how it affects the different Nordic countries, and the steps we take to make it a seamless integration for you and your company. Our software, Azets Employee, ensures that all working hours are recorded, and we are adapting the system across the Nordic countries to accommodate the new law. 

Click here for more information about the EU law 
On the 23rd of January 2024 the law was passed in the Danish Parliament, with the goal being to ensure that all employers correctly record the daily working hours of their employees. The purpose of introducing an obligation for employers to register the daily working time is to ensure compliance with the statutory maximum for weekly working time of 48 hours. This means that efficient time registration systems must be in place at all workplaces, and that these systems are objective, reliable, and easy to use for the employees. Employers must store the information for five years after the end of the period that forms the basis on which the employee’s average weekly working hours are calculated. 

The law will be relevant from 1 July 2024. 
Click here for further reading about changes for Denmark 

The new law is unlikely to change anything for Swedish employers since Swedish law already calls for employers to record work hours. Investigations are being made by the Swedish government as to whether or not any action is needed for Sweden, and changes may come, but there is no decision for now. 
Arbeidsmiljøloven § 10-7 already states that Norwegian employers must record work hours for their employees. Like in Sweden, the new law will not make any noticeable changes. While not a member of the EU, Norway usually implements EU laws that benefit its citizens. 

More information about Norway can be found here.
Finland’s Updated Working Hours Acts took effect 1 January 2020, which aimed to improve flexible working time and maximum amount of working hours. Changes, and the effects, are still being discussed as the law is implemented, and we will keep our Finnish customers informed about the progress. 
Further information about Finland can be found here 
The new law is a result of a cross-country need in the EU to ensure that no working hours are left unrecorded. While Norway and Sweden will see few changes, Finland is already implementing the law, and Denmark is ensuring better and more user-friendly recording software are invested in.

Time reporting in the Nordics with Azets Employee 
At Azets we are investing heavily in software development to meet our client's needs in all countries. As the leading payroll provider in the Nordics, we strive to uphold all the laws and regulations of each country, so our customers can sleep well at night, knowing that they have a trusted partner in Azets.  


employee_screenshot 2024.png


Azets Employee is compatible to ensure that all laws and regulations are meticulously taken care of based on country-specific needs. We aim to make our customers' HR processes as seamless and worry-free as possible, which is why we continuously develop Azets Employee to become even better based on your local country’s needs.  

If you have any questions about how Azets is handling and adapting to the EU working hours reporting directive, or any other laws and regulations, please do not hesitate to contact our international payroll team. We are here to help. 

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post author

About Erik Bekkåsen

With more than 30 years’ experience from payroll and HR, Erik has led large departments in big international groups. During 16 years at Azets, he has worked to provide the best service and support for customer groups regarding payroll’s local laws and regulations. Since 2019, he has built a Business Area for payroll and HR services at Azets, directed at Nordic and global clients.