Airlines operating at UK airports expect delicate labour negotiations over employee clocking-in systems as European rules on maximum working hours come into force.

The UK's opt-out from European Union rules on a 48h maximum working week ended in August, and managers are now required to prove employees comply with the new limits, using digital timesheets. However, employees at many airlines operating at London Heathrow do not record when they finish work, under historic privileges. Alitalia UK airports human resources manager Gianpetro Signorini says airlines will break the new rules if they do not clock staff out, but other airline human resources chiefs say convincing unions of the need to comply will require good communication to avoid industrial action. British Airways suffered around £40 million ($64 million) in costs and lost revenues in July after an unofficial strike over the use of a new swipe card timesheet system (Flight International, 29 July-4 August).

Unions fear data will show employees working fewer hours than rostered and that airlines will use the data to force roster changes.

Source: Flight International