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Travelling to work 'is work' - European court rules

(19 Posts)
LurkingHusband Thu 10-Sep-15 11:49:04

Time spent travelling to and from appointments by workers without a fixed office should be regarded as working time, the European Court of Justice has ruled.

The ruling is targeted towards people such as care workers, gas fitters and sales representatives.

This time has previously not been regarded as work.

The BBC's legal correspondent Clive Coleman said the decision could have a "huge effect".

"Thousands of employers could now find themselves in breach of working time regulations and may have to ask workers to opt out of the working time directive," he added.


ExitPursuedByABear Thu 10-Sep-15 12:09:43

And .......

Penfold007 Thu 10-Sep-15 12:24:40

I don't have a fixed office and travel to clients, my employers have always counted it as working time. I was aware though that many employers don't count travel time as work time. I expect care agencies will now require employees to opt out of the working time directive. I don't think it will improve the employees lot.

Alibabsandthe40Musketeers Thu 10-Sep-15 12:30:25

It might see them have to opt out of the working time directive, but it should also see them being paid for the time between clients - which I think does not happen in a lot of cases presently.

PausingFlatly Thu 10-Sep-15 12:35:35

But they'll have to be paid for the time, even if they've opted out of the working time directive.

As many were on minimum wage calculated only on contact hours, they were previously working for below minimum wage in total.

The care agencies were screaming about this recently, saying it would cause the industry to fold. Will certainly have interesting effects, and make very clear how much the poorest workers have until now been subsidising the UK's handling of our age-&-dementia crisis (that's been foreseen for decades and is now upon us).

Sgtmajormummy Thu 10-Sep-15 12:35:44

In Italy (EU obviously), travelling along the shortest route between home and work in order to arrive on time is counted for insurance purposes. So if you have a car accident on the way you are fully covered for sick leave and disability. This happened to a friend of mine and she was very well looked after. Thankfully.

Isitmebut Thu 10-Sep-15 14:29:30

The recent UK move to hike the Minimum Wage may not be enough in some professions.

To me there is probably a big difference between a care worker and a Sales Rep, as if paid on contact hours, the former's take home pay for the 'contact' is fixed, but a Sales Rep could get a honking big order and earn shed loads of commission.

In the past after government legislation on red tape, income tax fiscal drag, Home Stamp Tax, pensions etc and then economic events changed conditions, government never adjusted at all, never mind in a timely manner to ease the employer/employees pain.

Government needs to listen and better tune their polices to conditions.

A while back the oil industry was struggling so there were tax adjustments, the farmers are currently asking for help and talking to government, so I believe are child carers on this 30-hours free malarkey - so if the likes care homes are going to struggle when wages go up, their people need to speak to government people and look for ways, again possibly through lower taxes, to ensure services/facilities aren't compromised, especially when DUE to government legislation. IMO

pointythings Sun 13-Sep-15 22:11:29

I agree with Isit that governments could do an awful lot to mitigate this in terms of tax breaks for employers in this situation. I don't think the ruling is unfair at all in and of itself, if someone's first and last appointments for the day are miles away from their homes they would be making very long days indeed. In rural parts of the UK that could be a real burden on low-paid care workers. Companies should be offered incentives to make this work for everyone.

squidzin Wed 16-Sep-15 11:04:06

Hasn't the UK already opted out of the working time directive already, anyway. Hence Zero-hours contracts. This wont affect the UK.

squidzin Wed 16-Sep-15 11:08:06

If Cameron negotiates further assault on workers rights, (via "British Bill of rights") I will be opting OUT of EU.

What is the point, when the EU provide a lot of protection for workers, which we opt out of, while Westminster still welcome open boarders, wage compression / cost of living boom.

Isitmebut Wed 16-Sep-15 12:48:24

squidzin ... I thought that we covered this as I showed you an F.T. article on another thread;

- The Eurozone has around double the unemployment level of the UK, primarily caused by those EU 'rights' that scare employers legless as if hire with any uncertainty they can never let employees go if business conditions change - as some have predicted for several years, and some are saying could happen within the next 2-years via another global recession.

- The UK Zero Hours Contracts that many workers want accounts for what, less than 2% of our workforce, while in the Eurozone substantially more workers than in the UK are on 'Temp' contracts, with no security e.g. around a half of all young workers are temps, DUE to those EU directives.

Which of those two main points do you disagree with using qualified facts?

Isitmebut Wed 16-Sep-15 13:01:41

squidzin .... here is my source/point to those fixated by Zero Hours Contracts no one brought up, or appeared to have figures for, before May 2010 even though they have been around since the late 1990s.

I suggest those that aspire to EU working conditions and cite the numbers of temp jobs here in derisory terms, start to respect what has been done here since 2010, as the Eurozone in the real world hasn't managed to follow our job creation, temp or not.

Aug 2015; ??The New World of Work: recovery driven by rise in temp jobs??

??They call it the ??precariat??. In a continent known for strong employee protections, more than half of the eurozone??s young workers are in temporary jobs, churning from one shortlived contract to the next.??

??In France, permanent jobs account for just 16 per cent of new contracts, down from a quarter in 2000. In Spain, almost seven in 10 young workers are on temporary contracts. The share of the eurozone??s 15 to 24-year-old workers who are temps is the highest on record, at 52.4 per cent.??

??Now that the eurozone??s recovery is at last under way, the question facing policymakers and politicians is whether the painful reforms of the last few years will do anything to address this.??

??But in parts of Europe, where temporary and contract work is unusually pervasive, economists say there is a dark side to the trend.??

??A deep fracture has emerged in Spain, France, Italy and Portugal over the past 20 years, with an older generation of highly protected permanent employees on one side and a younger generation forced to settle for insecure jobs on the other. That is one reason why youth unemployment surged when the crisis hit.??

??The rules for open-ended contracts in Europe are considered too stringent by employers and they sidestep those regulations by creating non-regular jobs,??

Isitmebut Wed 16-Sep-15 13:38:21

Is this really what the TUC yesterday aspires to?

Eurozone Unemployment Rate 11.10%

Eurozone Unemployment Rate Historical Data
Data for this Date Range
June 30, 201511.10%
May 31, 201511.10%
April 30, 201511.10%
March 31, 201511.20%
21 more rows
Eurozone Unemployment Rate - YCharts

Sept 16 2015; UK unemployment rate unchanged at 5.5% as wages edge up

squidzin Wed 16-Sep-15 13:58:47

The UK is a laughing stock in the Eurozone because the DWP manipulate our unemployment figures really quite blatantly.

Do we have zero-hours because we opted out of the working time directive no? That's all I was saying.

Isitmebut Wed 16-Sep-15 14:17:35

Well if we had Zero Hours from 'around' 1996 (I could not pin point exactly when began), when did we opt out of the working time directive, as if before 1997, the Labour Party had a parliamentary majority of between 160 - 180 seats over 13-years to change it.

As to the manipulated jobs figures, I guess in your world the net increased migration figures, year after year taking up those manipulated jobs, are manipulated as well?

The fact is Zero Hours Contracts DO SUIT some employees, and those jobs might not exist otherwise, but if they are sooo bad, why didn't anyone seem to care within the labour movement before may 2010?

As a side, an interesting related 'social' article, as I have always been sceptical of crime figures (falling) under both Labour and Conservative administrations - as many sorts of crimes are not recorded - but maybe I was w-w-w-wrong.

Zero-hours contracts 'have helped to break link between unemployment and crime'

squidzin Wed 16-Sep-15 14:34:59

Haha well, according to some economists, abortion helps reduce crime rates so I'm sure you can attribute anything you like to crime rates.

I suspect zero-hours advantages the employer more than the employee somehow...

Isitmebut Wed 16-Sep-15 14:40:43

Yup...just as all those honking temp jobs in Europe protect the employer, over the employee ..... with all those honking EU 'rights'.

PigletJohn Wed 16-Sep-15 14:55:00

If you were, for example, a meter reader, or a plumber, or a debt collector, or a healthworker on home visits, you might spend most of your day travelling from job to job.

If you start at 8am and finish at 6pm, would it be sensible to say that as you only spent 2 minutes at each house reading the meter, you had only been "at work" for 2 hours?

The scandal of care workers, who may spend the same amount of time travelling as they do in clients' homes, leads to disgustingly low earnings.

The rate charged to care clients is out of all proportion to the amount paid to the worker.

PigletJohn Wed 16-Sep-15 15:16:07

As for zero hours contracts and crime, it is foolish to claim that one event (e.g. global warming) coinciding with another event (e.g. popularity of computer games) means that one caused the other.

However, this does make more sense

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