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Hi Ho, Hi Ho…. Off to Work & Paid as they Go

by Published on

In this case the claimants worked as technicians for two security installation and maintenance companies. After the companies closed their provincial offices and assigned all employees to the central office in Madrid, they started travelling from their homes in a company car to wherever they were assigned. This could involve distances of more than 100 km.

Before the change, workers started their working day when they arrived at their employer’s premises and finished it when they arrived back there. After the change, the company decided that it should start when they arrived at the premises of the first customer and finish when they left the premises of the last customer, arguing that any other time constituted a “rest period”.

Noting that Tyco had previously regarded the journeys at the beginning and the end of the day to and from customers as working time, the Court held that time spent travelling between home and their customers was still working time after the closure of the central office. All that had changed was the departure point. The workers were also at their employer’s disposal when driving to the first customer as they were legally obliged to do what their employer instructed them to do.

It followed therefore that the time these workers spent travelling each day between their homes and the premises of the first and last customers designated by their employer constituted “working time”.

This decision will inevitably lead to an increase in costs for employers whose workers are in a similar situation. They should therefore seek advice as soon as possible from specialist employment solicitors in order to ensure that they are complying with their obligations both under the directive as a result of this decision and national law in terms of the rate of pay for the journey time between home and customers.

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