InsightsInsight - Employment & HR - POSTED: September 11 2015
The European Court has decided that time spent travelling counts as time spent working
In the case of Federacion de Servicios Privados del sindicato Comisiones Obreras v Tyco Integrated Security SL and another (c-266/14), the European Court looked at whether time spent by workers travelling between their home and their customers’ premises was working time under the Working Time Directive.
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It decided that this was “working time” for the purposes of the Directive. This case related to a security system installation and maintenance company whose technicians covered regions, going from customer to customer to carry out their work. The technicians were assigned to the central office in Madrid after the regional offices were draft. Each technician used a company vehicle to travel from their homes to the places where they were to work (sometimes over 100km away) and they drove home at the end of the day.
The time spent travelling to customers at the start and end of the day had not been considered to be working time but as indicated above, the European Court decided that this was not right and this time should be taken into account.
This case means that if a worker does not have a fixed place of work and travels to different locations to carry out their work, that worker is likely to be regarded as working on those journeys. The fact that those journeys might start and finish at the worker’s home is irrelevant and in this case, travel time was deemed to be working time as a result of their employer’s choice to close their regional offices.
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