Employment law update on travel to work ruling

Key things you need to know about changes to legislation

Date: Wednesday 30th September 2015

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that time spent travelling to and from first and last jobs by workers without a fixed office should be regarded as working time.

The ruling has been incorporated into the Working Time Directive (WTD) which caps the working week at 48 hours unless workers opt out.

Mobile workers

The ECJ ruled that workers without a fixed office (i.e. work from home or at several different locations of work) that use a company vehicle, or their own car or public transport to travel from their homes or various bases to customer premises or return home from a customer’s premises are still working. The reasoning is that during travel time workers are still at their employer’s disposal.

For example some workers will travel a number of miles a day to reach different locations or sites that are more than 100 miles and the journey can take up to three hours. This travel time would need to be factored into the workers working time.

Mobile workers who have to travel to different locations will be affected. The jobs most likely to be affected are:

• Sales people travelling between different sites

• Business Partners

• Regional Managers

• Domiciliary Care Workers

• Trade Persons for example, Plumbers or Electricians

It is worth noting that the ruling does not affect those who have a permanent base of work or who only travel for work on occasions.

Wage bills

The ECJ stated the WTD is only concerned with regulating working time and not remuneration and pay. For now the matter of pay is subject to national law.

The ruling takes effect immediately.

If you require any help with understanding how this new ruling will affect your business please contact us on 0207 977 9200 or email us.

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