Hogan Lovells Comments on ECJ Peripatetic Working Time Ruling

LONDON, 10 September 2015 - Hogan Lovells commented on today's ruling from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) that the time a peripatetic employee without a fixed base spends travelling to and from his first and last place of work each day should count as working time. Employers are likely to face claims that employees should be paid for such time in future if they are not already.

The ECJ agreed with the opinion of the Advocate-General in the case of Federacion de Servicios Privados v Tyco Integrated Security. This found  that, for peripatetic employees with no fixed or habitual workplace, time spent travelling from home to the first customer, and from the last customer of the day back home, counts as 'working time' under the Working Time Directive.

Elizabeth Slattery, Head of Employment, Hogan Lovells, said:
"Although the National Minimum Wage does not currently apply to travel time between home and the workplace or a place where an assignment is carried out, this ruling may well have significant cost implications in the longer term for employers with mobile workforces. Businesses who don't already pay peripatetic employees for their travelling time at the start and end of the day may now face pressure to do so and face challenges in monitoring this.

"If mobile employees already opt out of maximum weekly working time, this decision shouldn't mean that existing working hours have to be reduced. However, employers will need to check that peripatetic employees are able to take at least 11 hours' rest between getting home at night and setting off again the following morning."

Commuting to and from work is not regarded as working time for non-peripatetic employees and the ECJ ruling does not change that. However, because travel to and from home constitutes an essential part of the duties of peripatetic employees, it counts as working time for those workers.

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