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Time Taken To Travel To Work 'should Count As Work' According To European Court

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/time-taken-to-travel-to-work-should-count-as-work-according-to-european-court-10494961.html

Time taken to travel to and from work at the beginning and end of each day should count as working time under the law, according to the Europe’s highest court.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that workers without a fixed office should be able to charge for the time such journeys last, whereas at present they are not allowed to do so.

It could mean that companies employing such workers as electricians, gas fitters, care workers and sales reps could be in breach of EU working time regulations, if they chose to abandon a regional office, for example.

The ECJ said it was protecting the “health and safety” of workers according to the European Union’s Working Time Directive. The ruling revolves around a legal case in Spain involving Tyco, the security systems company.

An interesting ruling.

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Basically only applies to peripatetic employees forced to use their home as a base because their employers have abolished their offices or other work places as part of a cost cutting exercise. It will be interesting to see how the UK courts apply the ruling.

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Basically only applies to peripatetic employees forced to use their home as a base because their employers have abolished their offices or other work places as part of a cost cutting exercise. It will be interesting to see how the UK courts apply the ruling.

it should also apply to all consultants working on the client's sites; no ???

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when I was contracting in the IT services business - work did not start until you arrived at your desk (although you could claim travel costs) - but assume that is covered by the 'no fixed office space' requirement. suspect it will affect very few workers.

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I completely agree with this in the case of workers like carers on minimum wages who are expected to run a car and use their own time to get between multiple places in a workday. It's abhorrent conditions for them. They are being exploited because their employer is 100% breaking minimum wage laws.

For me, the two way commute and all its associated costs are factored into my calculations on what my effective hourly rate is when thinking about salary/job choice. I'm very lucky compared to these people, so this sounds a good ruling on the surface.

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I was just about to say that I hope it will apply to home carers Frugal Git. The poor sods can end up being out of the house on jobs for 14 hours and only get paid for half of it at minimum wage - it's disgusting that it's been allowed for so long.

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Guest eight

In The Road to Wigan Pier Orwell describes how miners were only considered to be "working" from the time that they had actually arrived at the seam, which could be several miles underground and take up to an hour to reach.

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I completely agree with this in the case of workers like carers on minimum wages who are expected to run a car and use their own time to get between multiple places in a workday. It's abhorrent conditions for them. They are being exploited because their employer is 100% breaking minimum wage laws.

For me, the two way commute and all its associated costs are factored into my calculations on what my effective hourly rate is when thinking about salary/job choice. I'm very lucky compared to these people, so this sounds a good ruling on the surface.

isnt the result of that just going to be to increase rural unemployment, by making workers further away unemployable. In cambridge, thanks to the greenbelt and a university that prohibits most development that isnt part of its 'vision' for the city, the vast majority of people have to commute in, often 15-25 miles away.

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isnt the result of that just going to be to increase rural unemployment, by making workers further away unemployable. In cambridge, thanks to the greenbelt and a university that prohibits most development that isnt part of its 'vision' for the city, the vast majority of people have to commute in, often 15-25 miles away.

Yep - I am one of them who does that exact commute to cambs. But i don't think this rule is really applicable to a salaried worker like me who goes in in the morn, and out at night.

I wpuld hope this is explicitly about those on an hourly rate, who are doing multiple 'commutes' throughout the day to their next appointment. Not being able to log commute time as billable hours in those cases is definitely heavily exploitative, and if they are on minimum wage, already imho a breach of the law.

You're quite right - *maybe* they aren't employable if the employer has to cover that cost. I doubt it though. I expect i the instance of a carer, an agency/firm is billing 5 times (at least) min wage to the NHS or similar. Theres probably plenty of scope to increase the rate (paid tp the worker) to cover the extra cost of travel time. If not, the job never was viable as it was imho breaking the min wage regs already.

Edited by Frugal Git

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Blimey - I used to have a 2.5 hour daily each way commute to work.

14 hours a day, 5 days a week will easily blow working time directive rules.

On top of a 9 hour work day, that was rather long so I jacked it in after 14 months.

Tiring days.

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