Readers may recall our blog from June in which we reported that the Advocate-General of the European Union found that workers without a fixed or habitual place of work could count as working time (a) time travelling from home to the first customer of the day and (b) travel from the final customer of the day back to home. The Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) has today upheld that decision. The CJEU’s decision can be found here.
The employees in this case worked for the security company, Tyco. They installed domestic and commercial security systems. Historically, the employees had been based in one of Tyco’s regional offices. The employees travelled to the regional office each day and, from there, travelled to customers’ premises before returning to the regional office at the end of the day. Working time was calculated from the time that the employees left the regional office at the beginning of the day to their return at the end of the day.
Tyco subsequently closed its regional offices. Employees are now required to travel from home straight to customers’ premises based on a schedule sent to the employees electronically. The employees’ union argued that the employees’ working time should run from the time they left home at the start of their shift, to the time they returned home when work was completed. Tyco argued that working time should commence when the employees reached the first customer and end when the employees left their last customer. Unsurprisingly, the CJEU sided with the employees (and the Advocate- General’s earlier opinion), regarding the employees’ travelling time as working time.
Impact on Employers
As we have reported previously, employers must now be careful to ensure that the travelling time of workers who do not have a fixed or habitual place of work is accurately recorded. The fact that these hours must be included in determining employees’ working time may impact on whether employers are complying with working time limits contained in the Working Time Regulations.