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In the case of Federacion de Servicios Privados del sindicato Comisiones Obreras –v – Tyco, the Advocate General has held that, where an employee has no fixed or habitual place of work, time spent travelling from home to the first place of work of the day and from the last place of work of the day to home should be counted as working time for purposes of the EU Working Time Directive.

Background

The employees in this case installed and maintained security alarm systems. They had no fixed place of work. They were provided with a company vehicle and allocated to a particular region. On each working day, the employees travelled to jobs at customers’ premises allocated by the employer. At least once a week, the employees would travel to a logistics centre to collect parts needed for their work.

The employer counted the employees’ working time as starting when the employee arrived at the first job of the day and continuing until the end of the final job of the day. Travel time between jobs counted as working time. However, time spent travelling from home to the first job of the day and from the last job of the day back home did not count. The employees challenged this before the Spanish courts, saying that this was “working time” for the purposes of the EU’s Working Time Directive.

The Spanish court referred the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”). Prior to the CJEU making a decision, a preliminary assessment had been undertaken by the Advocate General. The Advocate General’s view is usually, but not always, followed by the CJEU.Continue Reading Time travelling to and from work can count as working time

Following the unexpected victory by the Conservatives in the UK general election on 7 May, the Government has announced its programme for the next session of Parliament. Amongst its proposals, the Government is proposing new laws regulating the ability to take lawful strike action.

The new proposals will require a 50% voter turnout threshold in strike ballots, while retaining the condition that a simple majority of those votes must be in favour of industrial action.

Additionally, the new proposals will require that 40% of those entitled to vote must vote in favour of industrial action in certain essential public services (health, education, fire and transport). The Bill will also introduce time limits on a mandate following a ballot for industrial action. The Conservatives proposed in their manifesto that employers would be allowed to use agency workers to cover for striking employees. No mention of this proposal was made in the Queen’s Speech, so we will have to wait for the Bill to be published before we see if this proposal becomes reality.Continue Reading UK Government reveals new legislative programme – Implications for employment law

With just three weeks to go until the general election, and the main parties having now published their manifestos, what is the future looking like for employment law?

The Conservatives have indicated their support for real terms increases in the National Minimum Wage, rising from its current level of £6.50 per hour to reach £8

In Chestertons –v– Nurmohamed, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has given the first appellate guidance on when a worker’s disclosure is made in the public interest, so as to attract whistleblower protection.

Changes to Whistleblowing legislation

In July 2013, the whistleblower legislation was changed to require a worker making a disclosure to have a reasonable

This post was also written by Martin Gätzner.

France

Under French law, the employment contract of an employee who is on sick leave is suspended. The employee is expected to inform his or her employer and the relevant social security organisations of the sickness absence within 48 hours, and will be entitled to receive social security allowances while absent from work.

Depending on the provisions of the applicable collective bargaining agreement, employees may be entitled to receive their full salary for a limited period. In such cases it falls to the employer to pay the difference between usual salary and the allowances provided by the French social security organisations.Continue Reading Sickness absence management – employee rights, risks and recommendations

The recent line of holiday pay cases has led to widespread media coverage suggesting some employers’ payroll costs are due to soar. Businesses have therefore been eagerly awaiting the Employment Tribunal’s decision in Lock v British Gas, which has now been handed down on the question of whether commission structures will impact holiday pay.

This post was written by David Ashmore and Amy Treppass.

In Metroline Travel v Stoute, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) decided that employees with type 2 diabetes controlled by diet (rather than medication) are not automatically protected by disability discrimination legislation.

The Facts

Mr Stoute was employed by Metroline and worked for them as

In Ottimo Property Services Ltd -v- Duncan and another, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has decided that, where several different clients change service provider at or around the same time, each individual service provision change can be considered together to decide how TUPE applies.

The facts

Mr Duncan worked as a site maintenance engineer at

This post was also written by Claudia Röthlingshöfer.

Welcome to Reed Smith’s monthly global employment law blog post. This month’s post covers the protection afforded to whistleblowers around the world.

France

Under French law, employees cannot be sanctioned, dismissed or be subject to direct or indirect discriminatory measures (especially concerning salary, training, reclassification or appointment)