19 June 2015: Working Time and Travel to and from Work:
Travel to and from work is not generally considered to be ‘working time’ for the purposes of the Working Time Regulations. But what about workers without a normal place of work who travels from home to their first customer?
This came up in the European Court of Justice case of Federación de Servicios Privados del sindicato Comisiones Obreras about peripatetic workers without a fixed work place. The Advocate General asserts that there are three aspects to ‘working time’ which for peripatetic workers consist of being:
(1) At the workplace: This was fulfilled because travelling is an integral part of the job;
(2) At the disposal of the employer: Again this was fulfilled because routes and destinations were determined by the employer;
(3) Engaged in work duties: This too was fulfilled because travel was integral to the peripatetic work.
There was no difference between travel from one job to the next, and from the first and last jobs. The recommendation of the Advocate General is not binding, but it is usually followed by the ECJ.
This case will have implications for (say) gas fitters who drive directly from home to their first job or care workers who have to visit a number of patients in the course of the day.
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