Workers who travel to client sites can claim travel time

The European Court of Justice has held that employees who do not have a permanent work base but travel to clients from home each day should include the travel time to their first client and travelling home from their last client as “working time”.

The Working Time Directive provides that "working time" is any period during which the worker is:

In this case, the employer did not class the first journey of the day to a client nor the last journey home as working time. However, the European Court of Justice held that the workers in this case satisfied each of these tests during their first and last journeys. Accordingly, the employees were entitled to class this time as working time.

Employers who do not have a permanent work base are advised to consider the potential impact of this decision. Similarly, employers with mobile workers should consider the impact in the event of a change in the employee’s work base.

The decision only affects what counts as working time under the Working Time Directive, such as rest breaks and in calculating annual leave. For example, employers need to ensure it does not mean that workers exceed the 48-hour working week, unless the worker has expressly consented to working in excess of 48 hours a week. It does not necessarily affect pay, but employers are advised to note the following:

Federacion de Servicios Privados del sindicato Comisiones Obreras v Tyco Integrated Security SL and another (c-266/14)

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This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. It should not be used as a substitute for legal advice relating to your particular circumstances. Please note that the law may have changed since the date of this article.

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