This is good news for peripatetic workers i.e. those whose work requires them to attend customers’ premises rather than a fixed place of work and particularly those who are paid on an hourly basis and/or under a zero hours contract. They should now be paid for travel time to and from their first and last appointments. It is not good news for employers (and in some care worker cases, their local authority client) who will have to bear the cost. Any employers who are thinking of changing from office based businesses to mobile ones should bear this in mind.
Time spent by plumbers, decorators and carers driving to their first customer of the day counts towards the 48-hour working week, a European court has ruled, in a decision the government admits will drive up costs for businesses.
In a defeat for the British government, the European Court of Justice ruled that time spent by tradesmen travelling between their home and their clients is ‘work’.
The judgement amounts to a significant tightening of European labour rules, and could force thousands of British companies to hire more workers to remain in the law.
The ruling could also force companies to pay higher salaries to avoid breaking minimum wages laws, as well as giving employees more breaks,