ECJ has held that working time, for those who do not have a fixed or habitual place of work, includes the time travelling from home to the first customer and from their last customer to home advises Employment Lawyer, Paula Stuart.
In so deciding, the ECJ rejected the UK Government’s argument that this conclusion would lead to an inevitable increase in costs for the employer. The ECJ pointed out that an employer remained free to determine the remuneration for travelling time and that, save in the special case of paid annual leave, the Directive does not apply to the remuneration of workers.
The Working Time Regulations (Regulations) impose a limit of 48 hours average working time per week although individuals may choose to work longer by ‘opting out’. They also provide for 11 consecutive hours’ rest in any 24 hour period. The question of travel to and from customers has always been unclear for the purposes of the Regulations but this ECJ’s decision has now clarified how working time should be calculated.
Paula suggests that ‘Employers should review the contracts and working patterns of their workers to ensure they are not in breach of the Regulations and also consider whether there is the option to introduce ‘travel time’ rates of pay to reduce costs to the business.’
If you require any advice in respect of this, or any other employment matter, please contact Paula Stuart at email@example.com or on 01908 689345.