Timesheets - templates and explanation 2024

Timesheet for time recording with stopwatch and smartphone

A timesheet is a document used to document working hours. But what does a timesheet have to look like? And who needs one anyway? What applies to mini-jobbers and where can I find a suitable template for my company? This and more you will learn in this article.


Do I have to issue timesheets at all?

Time sheets are used to document working hours and have thus become indispensable since the recording of working hours became a general obligation in Germany.

In addition, the timesheet takes on special significance for mini-jobbers due to the requirements of the Minimum Wage Act (MiLoG).

The obligation to document working hours lies with the employer. This does not mean that you, as an employer, must personally note down the working hours for all your employees - you are welcome to delegate this effort. You only have to ensure that the working hours are correctly noted.

By the way, according to tax law you have to keep time sheets for 10 years. If you cannot prove the correct documentation of working hours, on the one hand you must expect difficulties should you not part on good terms with an employee. In addition, fines and, in the case of violations of labor law, penalties may be imposed.

What must be on a timesheet in any case?

  • Name of the employee
  • For each individual working day: start of work (date and time), end of work (date and time), duration of working time without breaks.

The working hours must be documented until 7 days after the respective working day. It is therefore not sufficient to fill in the slips only at the end of the month.

A new bill on the recording of working hours is in the starting blocks. You can find information about it in this article.

What doesn't need to be on the timesheet?

  • Duration and location of breaks
  • Total hours worked per week or month
  • Signatures
  • Personnel number, department or other internal notes
  • It is not specified whether the timesheet is to be issued handwritten, in writing on paper or digitally.

For the sake of efficiency, it makes sense to record information such as weekly and monthly totals as well as the department, for example. This helps you to comply with the requirements of occupational health and safety (keyword: maximum weekly working hours). If customs should check your documentation, however, these are not requirements of the time sheet.

Timesheet Template

There are many templates for timesheets on the Internet as Word, Excel and PDF files. The Federal Office for Labor and Social Affairs also provides a sample sheet.

Before you download the most beautiful template and hand it out to your employees, it's best to ask yourself how useful this manual procedure is. In many modern companies, digital and inexpensive time sheets have long been standard practice. Experience has shown that it saves a lot of paper, time-consuming filing and, last but not least, nerves, while at the same time giving you a much better overview.

Automatically create timesheets with digital time tracking

Digital time recording facilitates the creation of timesheets by automatically and accurately documenting working hours. There are various options here, for example via app, in the browser or with physical terminals. The recorded data is automatically saved and can be further processed. Timesheets are generated automatically and the payroll department is happy. Individual settings such as break regulations or public holidays can also be taken into account.

Digital time recording offers many advantages when creating timesheets: It saves time, avoids errors, facilitates the accounting of working time and allows location-independent viewing. It can also ensure that your employees have an independent overview of their working time accounts and can thus react more quickly to deviations.

Of course, data protection must also be observed. You must inform your employees about the collection and use of their data and take appropriate measures to ensure data protection.

Record working times digitally and create timesheets automatically

With Sawao, employees can quickly and easily record their working hours, so that you only need to export the timesheet at the end of the month. You save time and avoid errors.

Time sheet in minijob

For mini-jobbers, i.e. marginally employed persons, the timesheets are of particular importance. The determining factors here are the marginal earnings limit of 520 euros per month and the minimum wage of 12 euros per hour. As an employer, you must ensure that you do not pay out more than 520 euros (otherwise the employment is immediately subject to social insurance), but also that you do not pay less than the minimum wage.

This means that your marginal employees may work a maximum of 43 hours and 20 minutes per month (€520 divided by €12 = 43.333). Efficient recording of working hours on a timesheet helps you to monitor that this limit is not exceeded.

Time sheets and data protection - what takes precedence?

The information contained in timesheets is considered personal data and therefore falls under the purpose limitation principle. This means that they may only be used for the purpose for which they were recorded, namely to fulfill the requirements of the Working Hours Act. They may not be misused to monitor female employees.

At the same time, this does not preclude spot checks and case-by-case inspections. If you notice regular deviations from the specified working hours, it is your right to address your employees about this. In this case, the works council has a duty to monitor compliance with the law. It needs its approval, among other things, for the introduction of software for personnel resource planning (PEP).

Is keeping a timesheet working time?

As an employer, you are obliged to document the working hours of your employees. Of course, you can delegate the actual documentation to your employees, but this is then part of their working time.

By the way, if your employees keep timesheets on their own initiative, it is not working time because you did not order it.

Record working times digitally and create timesheets automatically

With Sawao, employees can quickly and easily record their working hours, so that you only need to export the timesheet at the end of the month. You save time and avoid errors.


We would like to point out that the contents of our website (including any legal contributions) are for non-binding informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice in the strict sense. The content of this information cannot and is not intended to replace individual and binding legal advice that addresses your specific situation. In this respect, all information provided is without guarantee of accuracy, completeness and timeliness.

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