Magazine Working time fraud

Ein Mann raucht und trinkt Bier

When employees cheat on their working hours, this is often a red flag for employers, as cheating can result in immense damage for the employer. But what exactly is working time fraud and which cases are covered? Working time fraud means that the employee is paid for working hours that they have not actually worked. In other words, the employee deceives the employer into believing that they have worked when in reality they have not.

The classic case here is the manipulation or misuse of time clocks. But other cases that are not so obvious also fall under working time fraud, for example:

  • The employee does not enter their breaks in the time recording system.
  • The employee pursues leisure activities at the workplace by surfing the Internet or making private phone calls.
  • The employee abuses home office regulations by pursuing private errands during working hours or helping out their partner in their company.

If, on the other hand, the employee does not deceive the employer, this is only referred to as a breach of working hours, as in the case of notorious lateness. In this case, the employer is not deceived. Everyday actions such as going to the toilet, getting a cup of coffee or having a quick chat with colleagues are not regarded as working time violations.

As an employer, do you have a concrete suspicion that your employee is deceiving you about their actual working hours? You are probably wondering how you as an employer can prove working time fraud.

Often you will not get very far with Excel tables showing the working hours the employee has stated or witness statements from colleagues, so it will be necessary and sensible to hire a detective. A private investigator can help you to uncover the fraud and provide you with solid evidence that can be used in court (for the proceedings before the labor court).

If the detective is commissioned on the basis of a concrete suspicion, he or she will observe the employee in question. This involves documenting when and where the employee carries out their work in a way that can be used in court, so that it can be determined whether the employee actually fulfills the reported working hours.

Ein Mann raucht und trinkt Bier