“Working time” can include time spent travelling to and from home for workers with no fixed workplace

Advocate General Bot has given his opinion in a case before the European Court of Justice that for peripatetic workers (those who are not assigned to a fixed place of work), the time spent travelling from their home to their first assignment, and from their last assignment back to their home, constitutes “working time” for the purposes of the Working Time Directive (2003/88/EC).

The reference to the ECJ came from a Spanish court, after a group of workers who drove to customers throughout Spain installing security systems complained that their employer was breaching the working time rules by not treating their first and last journeys of the day as working time. In the Advocate General’s opinion, 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. (Federación de Servicios Privados del sindicato Comisiones Obreras v Tyco Integrated Security SL and another C-266/14.)

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