Homologation of Electronic Time Clock in Brazil

The Electronic Time Clock is widely used by Brazilian companies to manage labor attendances, reducing any irregularities and giving security to employees. In this article, we will provide technical information regarding the requirements for the certification of the Electronic Time Clock in Brazil.

The Electronic Time Clock is important for Brazilian companies to manage and control the labor hours of employees. It helps to control and monitor the attendance and overtime in order to manage payroll systems but it must comply with several requirements in order to be homologated for use.

The Labor Ministry appointed INMETRO to create directives and its deployment for its use, for the proper certification process and issues the certificates and legal documents. Recently, INMETRO released new requirements for the second generation of Electronic Time Clocks.

The Ministry of Labor made it mandatory in 2010 for companies with at least 10 employees to have an Electronic Time Clock system. However in the following year a new directive was published which made the time clock registry more flexible, allowing companies to use alternative systems, which include software, manual registration and use of analog equipment. This flexibility resulted in several questions about how it should actually work, and also the release of unreliable software for the time clock registries.

It is important to note that such systems must be authorised by an Collective Labor Agreement, known in Portuguese as Acordo Coletivo de Trabalho. The alternative systems must follow the same general requirements as the Electronic Time Clock. In case such systems are not properly regulated, the Labor Auditor can invalidate all the time clock registries recorded.

Electronic Time Clock Certification Process by INMETRO

Before starting the certification process, the manufacturer must make sure it is registered with the Ministry of Labor and request registration of each Electronic Time Clock model produced, delivering the proper documentation as specified by law. Foreign companies must have an office or a legal representative in Brazil to issue a certification process at INMETRO.

In the Programme of Compliance Evaluation, or known as PAC in Portuguese, the definitions of the directive ABNT NBR ISO/IEC 17000 are detailed, with specific adaptations, which is implemented by the Quality and/or Environmental Management System. Imported Electronic Time Clocks and alternative systems must comply with the same directives and requirements as the Brazilian ones.

INMETRO establishes 3 different certification models, the time clock manufacturer is responsible for choosing which one it needs. Each one has different steps in the Compliance Evaluation Process. The models are listed below:

  • Certification Model 4 - Product testing followed by verification through the testing of samples taken in the commerce and with the manufacturer
  • Certification Model 5 - Product testing, evaluation and approval from the Quality Management System of the manufacturing process, supervision through visits with the manufacturer and testing of samples collected from the commerce and manufacturer
  • Certification Model 7 - Batch testing

The Compliance Certificate expires 6 years after it’s published, and maintenance evaluation is performed every year or less by INMETRO, if there are specific recommendations from the manufacturer. If there are any changes to the certificated Electronic Time Clock, including the addition of new software, the product must go through a new certification process.

Deadlines for the Adoption of the New Requirements

INMETRO established deadlines for the adoption of the new requirements for the Electronic Time Clock, applicable to the models of second generation, which are as follows:

  • From October 1st 2015 - only Electronic Time Clocks in compliance to the new requirements can be manufactured. Remaining previous models can still be sold, but production must stop immediately
  • From April 1st 2016 - only Electronic Time Clocks manufactured or imported in compliance to the requirements can be sold in the country. However only the manufacturer or importer can sell the equipment. Older models can no longer be sold
  • From October 1st 2016 - the new models of Electronic Time Clock can be sold countrywide by any store, not only manufacturers or importers

General Features and Requirements

The Ministry of Labor and INMETRO established several new requirements for the second generation of Electronic Time Clocks, regarding its functionalities and mandatory features for operating, all stated by a Federal regulation.

Any time clock registry system, including alternative ones, must comply to the following general requirements:

  • Do not allow alterations or the deleting of the data stored in the MRP, the Clock Registry Memory
  • Be inviolable
  • Do not possess any function that may restrict the clock in / clock out operation
  • Do not possess features that allow automatic clock in /clock out
  • Time clock identifications unerasable printed on its external structure, containing the name and CNPJ of the employer, the brand, model and manufacturing number of the equipment

The Electronic Time Clock must provide the following functionalities:

  • Clock in / clock out marking, composed by the following steps:
  • Receive immediately the employee identification, without the interposition of other equipment
  • Get the time from the Real Time Clock
  • Register the time clock operations with the MRP
  • Print the employee receipt
  • Generate the Arquivo-Fonte de Dados, also known as AFD, or Data Source-Archive, from the stored data in the MRP
  • Record the AFD in an external memory drive, through the Fiscal Port
  • Issue the Instant Listing of Markings, with the marking made in the previous 24 hours containing:
  • Heading with identification and corporate name of the employer, place of work, manufacturing number of the electronic time clock
  • NSR, the Número Sequencial de Registro, or Sequential Registry Number
  • PIS number, the Programa de Integração Social
  • Employee registry number, which is the employee identification in the company
  • Marking time

According to a general directive published by the Ministry of Labor, an Electronic Time Clock must have the following features:

  • Internal clock with real time, with minimum precision of one minute per year, and the capacity of remain operating for 1 440 hours in case of power shortage
  • Display the real time clock, in the format hours, minutes and seconds
  • Paper roll printer, which must be integrated and of exclusive use of the equipment, allowing print outs that last at least five years
  • Permanent storage unit, the MRP on which the data stored cannot be deleted or altered
  • Storage unit, called Memória de Trabalho, also known as MT, or Labor Memory, in which the data regarding the time clock operations are stored
  • Standard external USB storage, also called Fiscal Port, used for collecting the data stored in the MRP
  • In order to make the clock in / clock out operations, the Electronic Time Clock must not depend on the connection to any other external equipment. The time clock main functions are interrupted whenever any communication operation between the electronic time clock with other equipment is performed, both for charging or reading data

Data Stored in Memory Drive

There is mandatory information that must be contained in the two memories present in the Electronic Time Clock: the MRP and MT. The information listed below must be permanently recorded on the MRP:

  • Inclusion or change of the employer information on the MT, containing data regarding the identification of the employer, corporate name and its location
  • Clock in / clock out marking, containing PIS number, date and time of marking
  • Any data regarding the adjustment of the internal clock
  • Any data regarding the insertion, alteration and removal of employee data from the MT

Note that any registration recorded on the MRP must contain a Sequential Registration Number, or NSR.

The following data must be recorded on the MT:

  • Regarding the employer:
  • Type of identification, CNPJ or CPF
  • Identification number
  • CEI, the INSS Specific Registry, when applicable
  • Corporate name
  • From employees who use the Electronic Time Clock:
  • Name
  • PIS and any other information necessary for the employee identification by the equipment

Time Clock Receipt

The Time Clock Receipt is a document printed by the electronic time clock after every clock in / clock out operation, in which the employee can keep track of their labor attendance. The receipt must contain the following information:

  • Heading with the title “Comprovante de Registro de Ponto do Trabalhador”
  • Identification of the employer
  • Location
  • Electronic Time Clock manufacturing number
  • Identification of the employee
  • Date and time of the registry
  • NSR

Obtaining the Homologation for Electronic Time Clocks

OCPs, known in Portuguese as Organismo de Certificação de Produto, or Product Certification Organism, are accredited organisations working along with INMETRO to perform the product homologation process. The OCPs provides technical evaluation of products issuing a certificate.

Currently the only OCP accredited by INMETRO for the product compliance evaluation is NCC Certificações do Brasil.

Note that after the OCP evaluates the Electronic Time Clock, another sample must be sent to INMETRO for homologation.

The following requirements are evaluated by the OCP:

  • Operational manual
  • Commented source code
  • Architecture description
  • Command completion
  • Hardware project
  • Printer
  • Security of authentication mechanisms
  • Authenticity and tracking of the output data generated by the electronic time clock
  • Tracking of relevant variables
  • Validation of the protection and access control mechanism
  • Validation of cryptographic keys generation and protection mechanism
  • Analysis of vulnerability
  • Analysis of the interface
  • Time clock data transfer
  • Activity availability
  • Verification of the integrity of installed programs

The manufacturer must deliver 2 units of the Electronic Time Clock prototype to the OCP for certification.

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