In Belgium, clocking is not mandatory. However, employers are required to verify and report the working time of employees. To do this, they can use working time management solutions such as, in this case, the time clock and working time management software (which are closely linked).
When adopting one of these systems, the company is required to report it to the CPVP (Commission de la Protection de la Vie Privée). In doing so, the company has to define and justify the purpose of their use of this type of surveillance. In certain specific cases, the employer will have to ask the employee’s authorization in order to collect his information.
In the case of the biometric clock, whose operation is based on the use of a part of the employee’s body to identify himself, the employee’s written consent is required.
Every employer is obliged to record the working hours of their employees, whether they are working inside or outside the company’s premises. This involves recording the arrival and departure times of each staff member on a daily basis. Company executives paid in days rather than hours must also clock-in their time. Only workers in agriculture and those in the road transport sector are not subject to this regulation. The employer is free to choose the clocking system that suits them.
The installation of a badge system requires the issuance of a declaration of use to the CNIL (Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés). Thereafter, it is necessary to inform the employee delegates and the Health, Safety and Working Conditions Committee. And finally, a memo is to be written to inform employees. Employees will be informed in particular about the legal basis for installing the system, the duration of data storage, the recipients of the data, the right of access and rectification of the data, the right of opposition for legitimate reasons and the possibility of filing a complaint with the CNIL.
What about the data?
The information provided by the badge reader must be kept secure. Only relevant staff members, including those in the human resources department, should have access to the time management software.
What about complaints?
The dispute over an employee’s working hours may be settled by mutual agreement through the verification of the data recorded by the badge system. If the conflict persists, the case will have to be decided by labour court judges.
In Luxembourg, the use of the clocking system is more regulated. Indeed, when adopting such a system, the company must submit a request to the CNPD (Commission Nationale pour la Protection des Données). The CNPD then analyzes the company’s case in order to accept, or not, the implementation of the system. The regulations are strict and will only be accepted if the system is used for one of the following reasons:
- For the health and safety needs of workers (for example, a driver for a cash transport company, a jewelry store, a bank, a chemical and/or toxic products company, etc.)
- For the purpose of protecting the company’s assets (for example, monitoring the stock of goods against theft)
- For the monitoring of the production process relating only to machines (e.g. an automated electronic circuit assembly line)
- For the temporary monitoring of a worker’s productivity or services, where such measures are the only way to determine the exact remuneration
- Within the framework of a work organization according to flexible working hours in accordance with the Labour Code. “(for example, an employers wanting to monitor the working hours and attendance times of their employees at the workplace).