Working time – travel time
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has decided that peripatetic workers travelling from home to a customer’s place of work should be considered to be working for the purposes of the Working Time Directive.
Federacion de Servicios Privados del sindicato Comisiones Obreras v Tyco Integrated Security concerned Spanish fire alarm technicians, each of whom travelled daily from their home to a customer’s premises using a company vehicle. The distance travelled varied with each customer but could be as much as 100 kilometres. The technicians returned home again at the end of the day, once their jobs had been completed and were not required to attend a company depot, their jobs for the day having been allocated via a mobile phone application. The company did not consider their first and last journey each day to be working time.
The ECJ agreed with the opinion of the Advocate General that where workers are peripatetic, travel from home to the first customer call of the day and travel home after the last should be treated as working time. It should be noted that the service engineers in this case did not work from a particular office or depot, they all nominally reported to the company’s Madrid office but actually worked from home. For the majority of workers, whose contracts stipulate a fixed place of work, the findings in this case are not applicable.
Federacion de Servicios Privados del sindicato Comisiones Obreras v Tyco Integrated Security  ECJ
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