Employment law specialists feel companies should not expect the current relaxed climate to continue. At some point, they say, the Health and Safety Executive in likely to choose to make an example of at least one company in a high-profile case. Companies should therefore make sure that, at the very least, they introduce basic monitoring of staff hours so that they will have some data to back up their case.

The problems of timekeeping solutions

wtsBut finding ways to track employees’ working hours effectively can be difficult. First, the regulations don’t make it clear whether activities such as travelling to meetings or holding informal discussions with colleagues over lunch count as working time. Second, many timekeeping solutions are problematical when it comes to IT staff because they don’t always work from a single location or keep regular hours.

Helen Jerry, a solicitor with Magrath & Co who specialises in employment law, points out that the headache of monitoring hours is compounded in the IT sector by the fact that many staff resent the imposition of patriarchal systems