Yesterday the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that employers will have to establish a system to track the working hours of all their employees.
The ruling comes as a way to enforce the European Working Time Directive, which forbids employers from making their employees work more than 48 hours per week while guaranteeing at least 11 hours of rest every 24 hours.
It is also very important that employees can opt-out of the directive if they wish to work longer hours, but they are also completely free to opt-in if they change their mind even if the opt-out agreement is part of their employment contract. To opt-out, an employee has to do it voluntarily and in writing.
Keeping in mind the rampant problem that is crunch time, in theory, this is great news for developers in Europe. No longer will management be able to condition them into staying past work hours.
Another reason why this is good is being paid for overtime. Usually, the employee has to prove his working hours to be paid overtime, now that time will be recorded and it won’t be a burden on the employee.
It’s a bit early to get excited since we don’t know how will it be implemented, nor how it will be enforced, but it is a step in the right direction. Either developers work fewer hours or they will be adequately paid for all that extra time.