You may be asked to travel long distances to places that are not your normal place of work, including overseas. Travelling to work from home and back again is generally speaking not classed as working time, under the Working Time Regulations 1998. However, if you travel from home on work business, or travel during working hours for business purposes this will usually count as working time.
This was clarified in the Tyco ruling, made by the European Court of Justice in 2015 who decided that travel from home to the first job of the day should be considered as working time. In this Spanish case, employees were traveling from home often three hours to a client site to install security systems. Previously, employees had travelled to a regional office to get their list of appointments for the day, at which point the clock started ticking on working time. Whilst this ruling updated the definition of ‘Working Time’, under the Working Time Directive it does not follow that it changes the National Minimum Wage legislation and hence gives an automatic entitlement to pay.
In addition, any travel taken outwith working hours will also be counted as working time, if it is work related. If you are hourly paid you may be paid for travel time or given time off in lieu (TOIL) for any business travel outside of your normal working hours, your entitlement to TOIL may be outlined in your contract of employment, and if not discuss it with your manager. For salaried staff payment for travel out with working hours is less common but it still depends on what your contract of employment states.
If you travel regularly, your employer should also carry out relevant risk assessments as frequent travel can have a negative effect on your health. Your employer should ensure rest breaks are observed by those who drive regularly and eyesight should be tested frequently.
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