The Advocate General has now given his opinion on the question of whether a worker who is not assigned to a specific place of work is ‘working’ whilst travelling from home to their first job of the day and from their last job of the day back home.
The Advocate General has given guidance which confirms that in calculating working time there are three aspects of work which will be considered working time:
- When a worker is at the workplace
- When he is at the disposal of the employer, and
- When he is engaged in work duties.
In Federación de Servicios Privados del sindicato Comisiones Obreras the Advocate General has given his opinion that peripatetic workers engaged all three aspects as their travel was an integral part of their work and the employer can vary the travel arrangements at any time (for example by changing the client the worker is visiting). Furthermore, since working time and rest time are mutually exclusive the time travelling to the first job of the day and from the last job of the day had to be working time.
Although this opinion by the Advocate General is not binding on the European Courts, the courts do in practice tend to follow the Advocate General’s findings. This will therefore be a potentially significant outcome for employers with sales staff who travel and those providing care services.
If you would like more information on the subject of this blog, please contact Gary Smith by email or call 01279 712576.