This ruling could have significant implications for companies employing mobile workers who spend a lot of time travelling between appointments.

The judgement covered workers who do not have a fixed or habitual place of work and ruled that the time spent by those workers travelling each day between their homes and the premises of the first and last customers constitutes ‘working time’ under the directive.

This has huge implications for employers, both in terms of managing working hours of their staff, and for pay and holiday pay. 

  • Counting travel to and from the first and last appointment of the day, employees could easily exceed the 48 hour weekly maximum (under the directive) and employers could soon find that they are operating illegally and at risk of claims and fines.
  • If the time counts as working time it counts as time employees should be paid for too!
  • Employers need to check that the increased hours do not bring the total pay under the National Minimum Wage rates.
  • These extra hours will mean extra holiday pay and employers will need to budget for this, and ensure their staff are allocated the correct statutory holiday pay. 
  • The Working Time Directive falls under Health and Safety regulations, and so employees do not need to have two years employment to take a case to tribunal.