Journeys by mobile workers count as ‘working time’
The European Court of Justice last week ruledÂ that travel time to and from the first and last appointments of the day counts as working time under the Working Time Directive.
For those who employ cleaners, carers, sales people and trades, such as plumbers or electricians, as well as others, this ruling could have significant implications, in terms of managing working hours of their staff and for pay and holiday pay.Â
The judgement covered workers who do not have a fixed or habitual place of work and ruled that the time spent by those workers travelling each day between their homes and the premises of the first and last customers constitutes âworking timeâ under the directive.
This has huge implications for employers, both in terms of managing working hours of their staff, and for pay and holiday pay.Â
- Counting travel to and from the first and last appointment of the day, employees could easily exceed the 48 hour weekly maximum (under the directive) and employers could soon find that they are operating illegally and at risk of claims and fines.
- If the time counts as working time it counts as time employees should be paid for too!
- Employers need to check that the increased hours do not bring the total pay under the National Minimum Wage rates.
- These extra hours will mean extra holiday pay and employers will need to budget for this, and ensure their staff are allocated the correct statutory holiday pay.Â
- The Working Time Directive falls under Health and Safety regulations, and so employees do not need to have two years employment to take a case to tribunal.
We are advising that business seek expert help to understand how this impacts on their business and how the risk of claims can be minimised.
Jayne Hart, Director, The HR Dept South Tyneside, Newcastle, Gateshead
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Jayne Hart .
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