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Time spent travelling to work can constitute “working time”

In a case before the European Court of Justice (ECJ), the Advocate General (AG) has given his opinion and set out that, “working time” under the Working Time Directive will cover the time travelling from home to a first assignment and from the last assignment back home for those workers who are not assigned to a fixed place of work.

In this case (reference to the ECJ came from Spain) a group of workers drove to customers throughout Spain installing security systems. The AG’s opinion was that this time satisfied the three criteria of time where the worker is at work, at the employer’s disposal and carrying out his activity or duties, and should therefore be regarded as working time rather than a rest break.

This is only an opinion of the AG and not binding on the ECJ but the ECJ do usually follow the opinion of the AG. Whether or not the ECJ follows the AG’s opinion, its decision should provide clarity in defining working time for mobile workers with no fixed workplace or “base”.

We will keep you updated!

(Federación de Servicios Privados del sindicato Comisiones Obreras v Tyco
Integrated Security SL and another C-266/14.)

Time spent travelling to work can constitute “working time”

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