Flexitime or Flexible working hours definition

Flexitime is a flexible working time model that allows an employee to choose his working time freely within a certain framework. The term flexible working time is used interchangeably. The introduction gives employees a certain degree of working time sovereignty, which finds its limits within a defined framework. Depending on the specific design, a distinction can be made between two models.

Flexitime core time

Simple flexitime is the basic form of flexible working time or sliding working hours concept. Here, the employer determines the earliest possible start and the latest possible end of working time. The discretion of the employee is limited to these limits. In addition, a so-called core working time is determined, in which all employees are fully obliged to attend.

Qualified or variable flexitime

The qualifying or variable flexitime is characterized by an increased working time sovereignty of the employee. This can set the start, end, and duration of work independently and only has to observe a certain minimum working time per week, month, or year. Because of this high degree of flexibility, the remuneration to be paid is determined not by working time, but by other criteria.

Both forms of sliding working time make overtime pay largely superfluous. Nevertheless, in accordance with European directives, it requires documentation of the hours worked, which is ensured by a flexitime account. This acts as a special working time account and gives information on how much work has been done and how much is still to be done. The account specifies target and actual working time based on a specific interval (for example, week, month, or year).

Flexitime in practice

In practice, agreements allowing for implementation are concluded between management and the works council. For reasons of labor law, it is appropriate to conclude an employment agreement on the subject, as this ensures that all employees are affected. In the case of companies that do not have their own works council, the introduction of flexible working hours can be decided independently by the employer.


  • Fewer absences
  • Greater flexibility for workers


  • Risk of abuse in the indication of working time
  • The simultaneous presence of all employees is not always guaranteed, which can make communication difficult