Travelling time is working time, rules ECJ

2015-09-22 Philip posted:

Mixed reactions as UK employers grapple with the implications.

Time spent travelling to and from home by employees without a fixed working base should count towards time worked, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled.

The decision relates to a case – Federacion de Servicios Privados v Tyco Integrated Security – concerning staff at a Spanish security company. But because the ruling covers the EU’s Working Time Directive, it also impacts UK employers.

The decision will affect how maximum weekly working hours and rest break entitlements are calculated . It could potentially mean businesses will have to pay employees for their journey time.

The ruling only affects peripatetic workers – those without an fixed workplace. The decision does not alter how commuting is treated for those with a fixed workplace.

The judgment will delight many working in professions such as care, where mobile working is common, as well as full-time employed plumbers and electricians. But the decision is not without its critics. The UK government has argued that including travel time in working time would lead to higher costs for businesses, and has said that the business sector will now have to carefully consider the judgment’s implications.

Businesses who don't already pay peripatetic employees for their travelling time at the start and end of the day may now face pressure to do so, and face challenges in monitoring this. Employers will also need to check that peripatetic employees are able to take at least 11 hours' rest between getting home at night and setting off again the following morning.

Contact us if you are a potentially affected business or employee. We can advise you of tour obligations and rights.

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