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Did you know? Time spent travelling to work counts as work, but only if…

14th December 2016

…a worker doesn’t have a fixed place of work. Therefore those of us who work in the same location each day are unable to claim that those many many hours spent in a car or pressed against a train window count as time on the job.

This has been the case since a ruling was made by the European Court of Justice in 2015, in which they said that time taken every day to travel to and from home should count as working time, and so contractors and employers can be billed for it. However, this regulation does not affect those who have a permanent office but travel a lot for work as they do not classify as mobile workers.

The ruling followed a legal case in Spain from 2011 involving a security systems company called Tyco, which closed down its regional offices so employees had to travel from home to work appointments. At the time the court said that it was not the workers’ choice to begin and finish the journeys at their homes, but the employer’s decision to close offices.

The ruling called upon legislation set out in the working time directive, which is designed to protect workers from exploitation by employers and says that no employee is obliged to work more than 48 hours a week. It also states that employers need to guarantee workers a minimum rest period.

Employers who have staff that are covered by this ruling need to make sure salaries are sufficiently high to ensure that a worker’s hourly rate is not below the minimum wage. If you are unsure if some or all of your staff fall under this regulation and would like some advice then please do get in touch.