As of: February 12, 2024, 3:12 p.m
By: Carina Blumenroth
If employees intentionally violate job duties, this may be fraudulent working hours.
This is not a trivial offense.
What the consequences could be.
Most people spend a lot of time with their job - some are considering reducing their working hours and therefore working fewer hours per week.
Others find out exactly whether journeys are part of their working hours.
This is not the case unless employees do not have a permanent place of work.
However, points of contention can also arise if employees are not very particular about their working hours and, for example, take longer breaks or finish work earlier.
Under certain circumstances, this could be fraudulent working hours.
What can then happen to employees?
When do we actually talk about working time fraud?
In some companies, working hours are recorded; if employees deliberately lie, this may be fraudulent working hours.
© Thomas Trutschel/photothek.de/Imago
portal informs that working time fraud occurs when employees receive the full salary but do not work the contractually agreed working hours.
It is important, however, that not every small interruption at work, such as going to the toilet, going to the coffee machine or having a short conversation with colleagues, represents a form of working time fraud.
The decisive factor is that the employee consciously wants to deceive.
Hasselbach law firm
also differentiates between milder forms of violation on its own website.
For example, if incorrect working hours were recorded due to carelessness.
In such cases one speaks of a violation of working hours or a violation of working hours.
This also includes, for example, if employees oversleep.
In these cases, one-off incidents have no consequences.
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Specific examples of working time fraud
Misuse of time clocks (for example, if you don't clock out)
Evaluation of the break time as working time
Private activities during working hours (private phone calls, messages or surfing the Internet)
In some workplaces where clocking in, employees are required to clock out for smoking breaks.
If you don't do this, you are committing working time fraud, the
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Consequences of working time fraud
If the employer notices that an employee has committed working time fraud, a warning may result.
This is accompanied by a request to refrain from breaching the duty.
If a warning has been issued, the employee can no longer be dismissed because of the misconduct.
This will only change if there are further breaches of duty, informs the
Hasselbach law firm
However, a warning is not always necessary in the case of working time fraud; termination (without notice) can also stand up in the labor court.
In order for the employee to be terminated without notice, however, the deception must have occurred “over a long period of time, persistently or with particular cunning,” according to
Working time fraud as a criminal offense
If the public prosecutor's office finds out about the fraud, a fine or up to five years in prison could be the result of working time fraud.
However, this is usually only to be expected in particularly severe cases.
Normally there will be no notification.
What can employees do?
If employees are confronted with allegations of fraudulent working hours, a legal assessment of Lange makes sense.
Occasionally, action can also be taken against a dismissal because the employer must provide good evidence of the accusation of fraudulent working hours.
If necessary, companies can agree to a severance payment in order to avoid the risk of litigation.
It must be clarified quickly whether employees want to take legal action, as they only have three weeks to file a dismissal protection claim.