The Court of Justice clarifies the concept of “working time” - Travelling time between home place and the first or the last customer can count as working time

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Date:
09 Oct 2015

In a recent judgement of the Court of Justice of 10 September 2015, the Court clarifies that the travelling time of an employee without a fixed workplace from home to the first customer and from the last customer back home can, under certain circumstances, count as working time. This decision of the Court of Justice confirms the point of view of some Belgian Tribunals.

 

In the case submitted to the Court, the technicians of a firm had to work at the premises of the customers. Initially, the technicians travelled each morning from home to a fixed regional office. Afterwards, they drove to the first customer using a company car. After visiting the last customer, they brought back the company car to the regional office and returned home. At a certain point, the firm unilaterally decided to close the regional offices and for that reason, the technicians had to go directly from home to the first customer and from the last customer directly back home.

The Court ruled that in those circumstances the travelling time between home and the first and the last customer count as working time, taking into account that the variable working place was unilaterally imposed by the employer.

With this decision the Court of Justice confirms the position of some Belgian Tribunals, which also are of the opinion that the travelling time of an employee from home to a customer and back home can under some circumstances be considered as working time, regardless whether the variable working place was agreed with the employee or not.

 

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As confirmed by the Court of Justice, the travelling time between home and the first or the last customer can count as working time.