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Is travelling to your job ‘work’? In some cases, yes, say the European Court of Justice

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has today delivered an important judgment dealing with travel time to and from work.

The case is very important because previously it had been decided that “working time” did not include time spent travelling to and from work. The ECJ have now ruled that for workers without a fixed office, the time spent by the worker travelling to their first appointment from their home and then from their last appointment home will now be classified as “working time”.

What does this mean for employers? Well, it is a very important case particularly for those in the care sector. The reason it is so important because travel time may well need to be counted as “working time” and this means ensuring the worker does not work in excess of the 48 hour limit specified in the Working Time Regulations (unless of course the worker has signed an opt out). The second issue is pay. As travel time may now be classified as “working time”, the worker may need to be paid for it at least at the National Minimum Wage rate.

The case will need careful analysis to each circumstance and we would be delighted to advise if the case will impact your organisation.