New case law extends working day!?

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Workers without a fixed office can now include time spent to and from first and last appointments as working time??

We have all been working under the provisions of the working time directive for a number of years now, but many employers have not considered travelling time to and from first and last appointments  as working time, and have not therefore included such time within their working time compliance.

The directive lays down regulations on how long employees work, how many breaks they have, and how much holiday they are entitled to.  One of the main goals is to ensure that no employee in the EU is obliged to work more than an average of 48 hours per week.

The case in question arose in Spain, involving a company, Tyco, which installs security systems.  A regional office of the company was closed down resulting in employees  travelling varying distances before arriving at their first appointment.  The court decided that the fact that the workers begin and end their journeys at their homes stems directly from the employers decision to close the regional office and not from a desire of the worker themselves.  The court said “Requiring them to bear the burden of their employer’s choice would be contrary to the objective of protecting the safety and health of workers pursued by the directive, which includes the necessity of guaranteeing workers a minimum rest period.”

While it is unlikely that anyone will disagree with the health and safety considerations of proper breaks, does this mean those on the minimum wage will be entitled to be paid more?  – well not necessarily,  as in the UK, travel to and from work is not included in ‘work’!  The ruling does however emphasis the importance of monitoring your workforce and the time they spend working.   Here, at Speedy, our timesheets allow simple and affordable  timesheet recording, approval and submission whilst on the go.

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