In a recent ruling the European Court of Justice has clarified that for workers with no fixed or habitual place of work, time spent travelling from home to their first appointment and from their last appointment back home does count as working time under the Working Time Regulations. This means that this time must be taken into account in ensuring that the maximum 48 hour average working week is not exceeded, and is also taken into account in calculating entitlement to rest breaks and night working limits.
This ruling has caused some confusion, because such travel time is NOT directly relevant to working time for National Minimum Wage (“NMW”) calculations. Employers therefore do not need to start taking into account travel to and from work for the purposes of ensuring compliance with the NMW. The NMW regulations are however clear that travel time between calls must be taken into account.
This latest ruling adds yet another layer of complication for care operators many of who feel under siege with constantly moving goalposts in employment law, not to mention the impact of the new Living Wage.