Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Are you self employed? Also, what is the main reason for your question?
OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court for the rest of today so will prepare my advice in a while and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.
Many thanks for your patience. This is still somewhat of a legal grey area. As far as the law is concerned, 'working time', according to the Working Time Regulations 1998 includes ‘any period during which a person is working, at his employer’s disposal and carrying out his activity or duties’. As you can see travel time is not specifically included in there so it comes down to an interpretation of whether it can be included in this definition.
Guidance from the Government's Business Link advice service suggests that the definition of working time includes 'travel as part of a worker's duties', but would not include travelling to/from the workplace, unless the travel is undertaken following "booking on" or reporting to an assigned depot or booking-on point, or time spent travelling outside normal working hours.
Recent guidance from the Advocate General of the European Courts of Justice has provided further clarification on this. His advice is not binding but it is usually followed by the ECJ so it can still be useful. It said that in general there are three aspects to 'working time', those being (a) at the workplace, (b) at the disposal of the employer, (c) engaged in work duties.
However, since then a formal decision in the ECJ was handed down in the case of Tyco Integrated Security. The company employed technicians who install and maintain security equipment at customers' premises in Spain. The technicians were provided with a vehicle and they travelled from their own homes to the locations they were instructed to install the equipment. They were not generally required to travel to an office or a central location before attending the clients’ sites. The Court decided that the time travelling from home to their customers’ locations was working time because the workers were ‘at the disposal’ of the employer and accordingly it should be included in their normal working hours.
So if there is a requirement to travel to/from clients as part of the working day and duties and at that time the worker is entirely at the employer’s disposal, they can certainly argue that this time constitutes ‘working time’ and should be taken into account when calculating their remuneration and count towards their working hours. However, this is not binding law in the UK and it will need to be applied by the UK courts so even if the employer refuses to accept this, the only way to challenge it would be to take it to court.
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