ECJ Ruling affecting mobile workers

Mark Cummings  10-04-2019

A recent decision of the European Court of Justice could have a significant effect on the pay received by mobile workers. 

In this particular case, the Court found that employees who drove directly from their homes to customers to install security systems, should be paid for the first and last journeys of the day. The Court said that these journeys should be classified as working time. 

The Court made this decision, as during the first and last journeys of the day, the employees were at the disposal of the employer, and were therefore considered to be "at work". The employees were therefore entitled to be paid for this time. 

UK employers should be aware that the definition of "working time" is different in UK National Minimum Wage Legislation from the definition in the EU Working Time Directive and the Working Time Regulations. There also appears to be a legal conflict as a result of this case, as the Regulations state that “normal travel to and from work” is outside normal working hours. This will almost certainly lead to further litigation.

If employers are thinking about a move from an office-based business to more mobile business activities, it will be important to  and to consider whether working arrangements are legally compliant with European legislation and case law.

Time will tell as to the approach taken by the UK Courts, but employers who have a large number of mobile workers, such as care agencies, IT professionals, and those working in the transport indusctry, will need to be wary of the potential impact of this case.

Samuels Solicitors, based in Noth Devon, has a long history of advising both employers and employees about their respective rights. 

Contact us for a free no obligation discussion about how we can help.