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Salary - 08.10.2019 klo 16.29

Employee’s own time sheets proved valuable – got over 11,000 euros in unpaid overtime

Photo: Getty Images

An employee recorded his work shifts in his own calendar, and using these records was able to show how much overtime he had worked and the date the employment relationship started. The employer had not recorded the hours worked during the employment relationship.

The employer did not pay any overtime to the employee, who worked as a cook on hourly wages. Under the collective agreement negotiated by PAM for the hotel, restaurant and leisure industry, hours worked in excess of 120 hours in a three-week period are overtime, with wages for the first 18 hours of overtime increased by 50% and beyond that by 100%.

The employee had kept his own time sheets throughout the employment relationship, keeping track of his work shifts in his own calendar up to when the shift ended. The employee’s own records were considered reliable, so belatedly the employer had to pay the employee outstanding pay of 11,506 euros with interest as of the date when the employment relationship ended. The employer also had to pay the costs of the legal proceedings.

The employee’s own timesheets were very important evidence in the court case since according to the District Court the employer had not kept any records of the employee’s working hours during the employment relationship. The employer only began to record work shifts after the employment relationship ended based on CCTV footage and having consulted other employees. In the employer’s view and based on the records made afterwards there had been considerably less overtime than indicated by the employee’s own entries.

It was also noteworthy that according to the employer’s records the employee’s employment had only begun two weeks later than shown by the employee’s records. The employee’s own timesheets, based on his calendar, were considered reliable by the District Court since the entries were always made in the same way at the end of the shift and as soon as possible after the shift ended. The starting date of the employment relationship and the hours worked were also recorded in the calendar, and therefore this was also considered reliable proof of when the employment relationship had actually started.

PAM’s lawyer Henry Vähtäri, who represented the PAM member in court, considers that the case is an important reminder of how important it is to keep your own working time records. “The judgement is a good example of how your own calendar entries are really useful in a situation where an employer neglects to keep a work shift schedule as required by the Working Hours Act. It’s easy to keep your own records, and your own notes often prove decisive in various situations where details have to be compared to an employer’s records”, Vähtäri comments.

The judgement of the District Court can still be appealed to the Court of Appeal, so the judgement is not yet final.