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Travel time between home and a temporary workplace can be working time

The question of whether travel time to or from work or between places of work is considered working time is increasingly being asked. This is mainly as a result of the absence of guidance in relation to the above issue in legislation.

Some guidance in relation to the issue can however, be found on GOV.UK which provides that “time spent travelling for workers who have to travel as part of their job, e.g. travelling sales reps or 24-hour plumbers” can be deemed ‘working time’, however, “normal travel to and from work” and “travelling outside of normal working hours” are not considered as ‘working time’.

In relation to workers without a fixed place of work, the European Court of Justice decided in a recent case that the time that they spend travelling between their homes and the premises of the first and last customers was “working time”.

In a separate case, the Court of Justice of the European Free Trade Association considered whether the time of a police inspector, that was based at a particular police station, and was travelling to and from temporary workplaces for specific assignments was considered working time. The court decided that time spent travelling outside normal working hours to or from a location other than a worker’s fixed workplace in order to carry out his duties constitutes “working time”.