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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46166
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have recently started a new job with a company and they want

Resolved Question:

I have recently started a new job with a company and they want us to be on various sites within Scotland for our official start time of 8am but will not pay us traveling time to and from sites. So just say I stay 1hour away from a job they want me to leave my home at 7am in my own time and then leave the site at 4.30pm and be back at home for 5.30pm, when this happens I have given my employer 2 hours of my own time unpaid. Is this legal and if not what are my rights?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Does your contact specify a dedicated place of work?
Customer:

Place of employment stipulates that the position will be mobile throughout the Aberdeen City & Aberdeenshire area, or such other place as may from time to time be notified.

Customer:

They also did not stipulate this at the interview process as our depot is Scotsown road based in Bridge of Don 15 mins walking distance from my home. Where we have to pick up and drop off the trailers at start and end of working shifts.

Ben Jones :

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, 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. However, travelling to/from home to/from the first and last locations would not count as travel time, especially if you do not have a specified workplace

Customer:

Even though I am in a company van for the traveling time to and from various work locations I am doing this for free? This does not seem fair or right especially when we have to pick up and drop of work trailer with tractors ect on them at our bridge of don depot, surely this constitutes as a start point and finish point for hours worked?

Ben Jones :

It does not matter if you are in a work van or a private car, it is not the mode of transport that matters but the purpose of the travel and the specific details surrounding it. As mentioned there is nothing in law that gives you a definitive answer on this point and it is one of those grey areas. There are arguments, as listed above, which you can use in your favour and challenge the employer but if they refuse to acknowledge that this is travel time you are only stuck with taking this to a tribunal and you are on rocky ground then because it is not something you can point anyone to in black and white to show them you are right

Customer:

Ok! So I say to my employer that I am not going to do this and will be at the bridge of don depot for 8am and want droped off at the depot for 4.30pm finish time am I covered to do this as my daily hours of working time stipulates that I am employed from 8am until 4.30pm.

Ben Jones :

Well the issue then is that you are quite vulnerable in terms of protection against dismissal. Until you have at least 2 years' service you can be dismissed quite easily by the employer if they give you the notice period due under contract. So the risk there is you are seen as difficult by them and insubordinate and they just decide that you are a thorn in their side and they dismiss you and you can't challenge it because you do not have the 2 years' service required

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thanks

Customer:

Sorry Ben, Got cut off power cut! Yeah you have been great, although its not the answer that I was looking for as sometimes our traveling time is over 3hours to and from work places, I know now that if my employer is not willing to pay for this time while I am in the company van then I will hand in my notice and look for other suitable employment and at least I know to ask this question at future interviews. Thank you!

Ben Jones :

You are welcome, as mentioned there is nothing stopping you from raising this with them now but just be careful how far you take it so they you do not give them reasons to dismiss. All the best

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46166
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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