BlogWorking time judgement harmful to small businesses

Working time judgement harmful to small businesses

Working time judgement harmful to small businesses

A new ruling from Europe could have massive implications for workers and small firms, UKIP MEP James Carver has warned..


The European Court of Justice has ruled that time spent travelling to and from appointments by workers with no fixed office should be classed as working time. 


“This time has previously not been regarded as work and it means firms such as those employing care workers, sales reps and gas fitters could be in breach of the EU working time regulations,” said Mr Carver, West Midlands Euro-MP.


“This could hit thousands of small businesses and employees who could find themselves actually below the minimum wage level depending on their hourly wage.


“The Working Time Directive is designed to protect workers from exploitation by employers and one of its aims is to ensure that no employee in the EU is obliged to work more than an average of 48 hours a week.


“The court says its judgment is about protecting the "health and safety" of workers. What it is more likely to mean is that they exceed 48 hours hours a week and this could cause massive financial headaches for employers.


“This is more unnecessary red tape from the EU which will hamper small businesses which in reality need help not hindrance. While we remain in the EU the ECJ is the final arbiter of our laws. A vote to leave the EU will help businesses flourish and all the necessary safeguards for workers and management alike emanate from our own parliament,” he said.


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1 Comment(s)

3 years, 9 months ago.

Alan Wheatley's reply...

Hi Jim,

Just what is the UCJ ruling?

The telegraph quote you give says "to first job"; the BBC said to first job and from last job, and also on another occasion it was between jobs from first to last, but not to first and from last.

I believe that the convention, at least in the UK, has been that travelling to and from ones normal place of work is the responsibility of the employee, which makes sense.

Travelling time to and from other places is classed as working time.

Where normal work requires employees to travel from place to place it seems to me unreasonable to count travelling time as not work and not paid. After all, the employee has no choice about doing the travelling and they have no control over how long the journeys will take and how many there will be. You mention care workers, and from the reports I have heard it seems they are being exploited.

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