Travel time can count as paid working time

2015-06-17 Philip posted:

A decision handed down on 17th June from the Advocate General will be of interest to businesses and their employees who are based at home but have to travel to and from customers or clients at the start and end of the day such as domiciliary care workers. Some employers do not count such travel as working time and so it goes unpaid.

The question the AG had to decide was whether time spent travelling from home to their first customer, and from the last customer back to their homes, counts as 'working time' for the purposes of the Working Time Directive? This is important when calculating the hours someone works and so, what pay they are entitled to.

The AG decided travel time was working time for this class of worker: travelling was an integral part of the job, the route and destinations were determined by the employer who could modify their instructions.

The AG saw no saw no distinction between travel between jobs, which was agreed to be working time in the case, and to and from the first and last jobs, which was not.

The recommendation of the AG is not binding, but it is usually followed by the European Court of Justice and lower courts including Employment Tribunals here in the UK. This will probably mean employers who have not previously counted an employee’s travel time between home and the first and last customer will have to do so – meaning the hourly paid employee will be entitled to be paid for that travel.

Federación de Servicios Privados del Sindicato Comisiones Obreras v Tyco Integrated Security SL and another

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