Travel time for employees without a fixed place of work now counts as working time following a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
The time that an employee spends travelling from their home to their place of work when they have no fixed place of employment now legally counts as working time. The ECJ made the ruling during an ongoing legal case concerning a Spanish security company.
This will affect UK employers as the Working Time Regulations (WTR) 1998 must reflect the European Working Time Directives. However, it is important to note that this change will not affect everyone.
HR Solutions consultant Gill Howells said: “The ruling applies only to mobile workers who have no fixed or usual place of work. Their journeys between their homes and their first and last customers of the day now count as working time under the Working Time Directives.”
“As excluding these journeys from working time would be contrary to EU Law, employers will need to take this into account and to make sure that they comply with the WTR when calculating employees’ maximum working hours and rest periods.”
“There has been speculation in many of the commentaries covering this case that this ruling will mean that workers on the National Minimum Wage (NMW) will be able to claim payment for the time they spend travelling to work and back. This is likely to cause concerns within the care industry”
“However, as UK law stands at the moment, the National Minimum Wage is a UK right only, it is not a European right – there is no European right to a National Minimum Wage. Currently the NMW Regulations in the UK do not count travel between home and any workplace as work to which the NMW applies. However, in view of the new ruling, this is now likely to be challenged in the courts going forward and this may well result in an amendment to the UK NMW provisions.”
“Watch this space!”