Home To Work Travel

Hand shifting the gear stick

A recent case from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that workers travel to and from a non-permanent place of work must be included as “working time”.

Examples of employees who may fall into this bracket include:-

  • Mobile engineers
  • Salespeople
  • Carers

In the past, these will not have had their travel time to/from their first/last business call of the day counted as working time.

Issues for employers

Employers will need to ensure that, now the time of travel is included as work time, employees do not breach the Working Time Directive (WTD) threshold of 48 working hours per week. If the inclusion of travel now takes workers over this limit, employees can waive their rights to this limit, but are not obliged to do so.

Also, employees are entitled to 11 hours uninterrupted rest in every 24 hour period. Again they can waive their rights to this law, provided there is no foreseeable risk to employee safety.

Wage implications

The impact on wages is less clear. There is a contradiction between the National Minimum Wage (now the National Living Wage {NLW}) and the case presented in the ECJ. Where employees are paid hourly, it seems fair for them to claim payment for this travel time.

However, the NLW legislation indicates that time taken to travel from workers residence to place of work is not counted as working time for pay purposes.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

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