The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that for workers who have no fixed or habitual place of work, time spent travelling from home to their first appointment and from their last appointment back home does count as working time under the WTR.
This ruling confirms the Advocate General’s opinion in this case, which we released a briefing on earlier this year – see here for our full commentary on the implications of the same.
In light of the ECJ’s ruling, employers will need to make sure that travel time to and from work for workers with no fixed or habitual place of work is taken into account when calculating:
entitlement to rest breaks;
compliance with night working limits; and
that the maximum 48 hour average working week (over a 17 week reference period) is not exceeded – unless the worker has signed an opt out.
It may also impact on the accrual of annual leave for those who work irregular hours.
As we mentioned in our previous briefing, the ruling is not directly relevant to working time for National Minimum Wage (NMW) purposes. Employers do not therefore need to start taking into account journeys to and from work for the purposes of ensuring compliance with NMW following this ruling as the wording of the NMW Regulations is clear that this time wouldn’t be covered. However, the ruling does provide an insight into the approach the courts are taking, and we expect more developments of the law in this area.