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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I work for a garden maintenance company ( 2 bosses, 8 employees

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I work for a garden maintenance company ( 2 bosses, 8 employees - all male) based in a rented shed on a farm. We have no formal contracts. Our employer insists we are at the yard by 7a.m. to collect vehicle; load machinery etc. We then set off and start our first job between 7.30 and 8a.m.. We have approximately 7.5 hours of actual gardening at up to 4 different locations. Our employer claims that because the client doesn't pay him until we start at the customer's house, he only needs to pay us between 8a.m. and 4.00p.m.. Because our round often has around 1.5 hours travel time, we rarely get back to the yard before 4.00 (when we need to spend 15 minutes unloading bags of grass cuttings/prunings etc.). Question: Is his stance legal? Also, what is the legal requirement to provide toilet and washroom facilities. We currently have none specific to the company (there is a small training centre attached to the farm and we have access to their one toilet and sink when there are no courses running, but the farmer often locks it at other times too)
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. can you tell me how long you have worked for this employer please.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I started APRIL 2013

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Ok thank you leave it with me I need to look up a few things and then get my advice ready.I will post back on here when done there is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
The first issue is the pay for your travel time. This is somewhat of a legal grey area I'm afraid. As far as the law is concerned, a worker is only entitled to be paid for time which amounts to 'working time', which 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 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.

So if you are required to travel to/from clients as part of your working day and duties and at that time you are entirely at the employer’s disposal, especially having booked on at a reporting location, you can certainly argue that this time constitutes ‘working time’ and should be taken into account when calculating your remuneration and count towards your working hours for which you get paid.

In relation to the toilet/washroom facilities, an employer is required “so far as is reasonably practicable to provide adequate and appropriate welfare facilities” for their employees. These would include toilets and wash basins. However, this is not a strict requirement where the employer must provide them in any event and all costs – they only need to provide them as far as is reasonably practicable so if the costs and general burden of doing so are too high or prohibitive then they do not have to do so, as long as they can justify it. It will depend on the workplace, where it is situated, the ease of installing such facilities, such as getting connected to the sewer/mains system or the costs of getting portable facilities.

I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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