The ECJ judgment on Travel Time as Working Time

Emma Grossmith
Emma Grossmith
Senior Solicitor
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We posted an update in July this year regarding the Advocate General’s (AG) opinion in a European working time case that time spent travelling to and from home by workers with no fixed place of work was working time for the purposes of the Working Time Directive (the Directive).

Now, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has confirmed that it agrees with the AG’s opinion. While the AG’s opinion is not binding, the ECJ decision is binding on UK employment tribunals.

In this case, the employer, a company operating in Spain, employed workers to maintain security equipment at various locations, including business and home addresses. These workers were required to travel directly from their home each working day to their first appointment and similarly from their last appointment back home at the end of the working day. The employees brought a claim against the employer as this travel time was not being counted by the company as working time.

In its judgment, the ECJ held that the workers were at the employer’s disposal during this time spent travelling, they were not free to use this time as they pleased and travel was integral to their role. Therefore, this travelling time at the start and end of each working day had to be counted as working time under the Directive.

You can read the case here:

http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&docid=167291&pageIndex=0&doclang=en&mode=req&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=118214

Read our expert comments on this decision here.

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