EN
HR Legal

Working time may include travel to and from work

logo
Legal news
calendar 27 October 2015
globus Denmark, Sweden, Norway

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled that travel time to and from work must be calculated in the daily working hours for workers with no fixed workplace.

In 2011, a Spanish company closed its regional offices and affiliated all employees to the central office in Madrid. Hence, several employees, including a number of technicians, who installed and maintained security systems all over the country, did no longer have a fixed workplace. Instead, the workers were directed each day to their client assignments via an application on their work mobile phones. The locations of their client assignments differed on a daily basis.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) was to decide whether travel time between home and clients should be calculated in the daily working hours. According to CJEU, working time is the period in which workers are at the employer’s disposal and are carrying out his duties.

The technicians found that they were at the employer’s disposal during travel time, which the company did not agree on.

Travel time was working time

CJEU stated that the technicians’ travel time between home and work was to be included in the daily working hours.

The court attached great importance to the fact that the travel time was a necessity for the workers to carry out their duties. As the customers were located all over the country, the technicians could not decide the distance to the workplace.

Furthermore, the court attached importance to the fact that the technicians were subjects to the company’s directions and instructions during transportation. Consequently, the technicians should be considered as being at work during travel time to and from the first and the last client.

It was of no importance that the working day started and ended at the technicians’ home addresses. The court weighted that transportation between home and clients was an integral part of being a worker for workers with no fixed or habitual workplace. Therefore, the workplace could not be reduced to the clients’ addresses.

A maximum weekly working time of 48 hours

The ruling is relevant in relation to the working time directive, which, inter alia, aims to secure that workers obtain the required rest periods and do not work more than 48 hours in average per week.

The working time directive is implemented in Danish law by the working time act. Hence, CJEU’s ruling is a guideline in relation to the interpretation of the Danish regulations on this area.

IUNO’s opinion

In the light of the CJEU ruling, IUNO recommends companies to go through their working time policies and their time recording systems to make sure, in which situations travel time is included in the calculation of daily working time.

It is on the companies’ own risk to make sure that they have the necessary controlling devices to secure that the workers are time recording correct. If the companies close the workers’ fixed working place, it is the companies’ responsibility to bear the costs for the controlling devises.

[Case C-266/14, The Court of Justice of the European Union, 10 September 2015]

In 2011, a Spanish company closed its regional offices and affiliated all employees to the central office in Madrid. Hence, several employees, including a number of technicians, who installed and maintained security systems all over the country, did no longer have a fixed workplace. Instead, the workers were directed each day to their client assignments via an application on their work mobile phones. The locations of their client assignments differed on a daily basis.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) was to decide whether travel time between home and clients should be calculated in the daily working hours. According to CJEU, working time is the period in which workers are at the employer’s disposal and are carrying out his duties.

The technicians found that they were at the employer’s disposal during travel time, which the company did not agree on.

Travel time was working time

CJEU stated that the technicians’ travel time between home and work was to be included in the daily working hours.

The court attached great importance to the fact that the travel time was a necessity for the workers to carry out their duties. As the customers were located all over the country, the technicians could not decide the distance to the workplace.

Furthermore, the court attached importance to the fact that the technicians were subjects to the company’s directions and instructions during transportation. Consequently, the technicians should be considered as being at work during travel time to and from the first and the last client.

It was of no importance that the working day started and ended at the technicians’ home addresses. The court weighted that transportation between home and clients was an integral part of being a worker for workers with no fixed or habitual workplace. Therefore, the workplace could not be reduced to the clients’ addresses.

A maximum weekly working time of 48 hours

The ruling is relevant in relation to the working time directive, which, inter alia, aims to secure that workers obtain the required rest periods and do not work more than 48 hours in average per week.

The working time directive is implemented in Danish law by the working time act. Hence, CJEU’s ruling is a guideline in relation to the interpretation of the Danish regulations on this area.

IUNO’s opinion

In the light of the CJEU ruling, IUNO recommends companies to go through their working time policies and their time recording systems to make sure, in which situations travel time is included in the calculation of daily working time.

It is on the companies’ own risk to make sure that they have the necessary controlling devices to secure that the workers are time recording correct. If the companies close the workers’ fixed working place, it is the companies’ responsibility to bear the costs for the controlling devises.

[Case C-266/14, The Court of Justice of the European Union, 10 September 2015]

Receive our newsletter

Anders

Etgen Reitz

Partner

Søren

Hessellund Klausen

Partner

Similar

logo
HR Legal

14 June 2024

Equal rights for agency workers covered by collective agreements

logo
HR Legal

13 June 2024

Gender changes protected against gender discrimination

logo
HR Legal

6 June 2024

From Russia with love

logo
HR Legal

24 May 2024

Vegan rights on the menu

logo
HR Legal

16 May 2024

Too little rest did not fly

logo
HR Legal

15 May 2024

Summertime, and livin’ is not easy

The team

Alexandra

Jensen

Legal advisor

Anders

Etgen Reitz

Partner

Caroline

Thorsen

Junior legal assistant

Cecillie

Groth Henriksen

Senior associate

Johan

Gustav Dein

Associate

Julie

Meyer

Senior legal assistant

Kirsten

Astrup

Managing associate (on leave)

Maria

Kjærsgaard Juhl

Legal advisor

Rikke

Grønlund Holm

Senior associate

Sofie

Aurora Braut Bache

Managing associate

Søren

Hessellund Klausen

Partner