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19th June 2015

Working Time

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If any of you have employees who have no fixed place of work, but instead their home is regarded as their "base" (for example some sales people), a recent opinion given by the Advocate General (AG) of the European Court of Justice will be of interest to you.

In such cases, the AG is of the view that the time such employees spend travelling between their home to their first port of call, as well as the travelling time from their last appointment back to their home, is "working time" for the purposes of the Working Time Directive.

So, this has an impact on areas such as minimum wage as well as rest requirements - here, the AG in effect has said that the time spent on the road cannot be regarded as rest.

Does it matter that the AG has made this decision? Well, when a case such as this is referred to the European Court of Justice, the AG reviews the issues and can form an opinion on what the outcome ought to be.

This however is not binding on anyone. Instead, the European Court must still hear the case and give its own judgment. As a matter or practice however, that Court tends to follow the AG's opinion - though not always.

It is likely therefore that this will be the European Court's eventual judgment, which will then in turn become a law which will need to be followed by our own tribunals.

See our Employment services page for more information or contact Nick Hall on 01604 463375 or click here to email Nick.