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EU court rules on travel time

EU court rules that travel time should count as working time for employees without a fixed office location.

Kate Knapton, Employment Law Expert from QualitySolicitors Bradbury, Roberts & Raby comments: -

“The recent landmark EU ruling could have real implications for employees here in the UK. The most immediate question this case throws up is at precisely what point in the working day are employees answerable to their employers?

For example in the home-care industry, carers who may have their first house call changed en route to work may now be well within their rights to ask for payment from the moment they are sat in their car. This is because until they arrive at their first call of the day, their boss can still change their workstation after they have started the day’s travelling.  

In the future, I expect the physical tracking of entitled employees will become critical.

Whilst many workers without a single, fixed place of work will already submit time-sheets, employers will likely have to scrutinise these processes even closer to ensure they are utilising their workforce in the most efficient way possible. Many industries will have the straight choice of incorporating travel time into existing employee contracts or finding extra wage resource to pay their workforce travel time. 

I expect the approach to this will be sector specific – for example plumbers can probably plan their jobs throughout a day to minimise travel time, whereas a care worker may have an entire-client base that depend on their help at key times of the day who won’t be as flexible. I expect employers in this type of industry to be amongst the hardest hit by the legislation. 

It remains to be seen how widespread adoption and implementation of this ruling will be in the UK. My advice to anyone looking to broach the subject with their employer would be to arrange a preliminary discussion with their employer on company premises to try and plot a course forward.” 

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