According to the European Court of Justice, in a case against the Security and Fire Company, Tyco, mobile employees who do not have a fixed place of work should be treated as being on working time from the moment they leave home and travel to their first work assignment and then, at the other end of the day, when they leave their last appointment and travel back home. This ruling is only relevant to the Working Time Directive (implemented in the UK by the Working Time Regulations 1998) and so the extension of working time for such mobile workers is significant for the 48 hour limit on average weekly working time and entitlements to rest periods and breaks; it does not relate to pay entitlement.
The Working Time Directive and the WTR in the UK do not give workers any right to be paid for working time; that is a matter dealt with by the individual’s contract subject to the National Minimum Wage rules. The National Minimum Wage legislation excludes travel from the workers home to their first assignment and the same journey in reverse at the end of the day from being treated as relevant time for NMW purposes. There has been a recent case in the care sector where a mobile health worker brought proceedings under the NMW legislation asserting that her employer was in breach by not paying her in respect of her journeys between her appointments at the homes of those she cared for. Her claim succeeded, but it was importantly limited to the periods in between her appointments, not the first journey from home or the last journey back home either side of her appointments.