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The European Court of Justice (ECJ) recently issued a ruling regarding working hours for employees who use their homes as a base. These employees, known technically as peripatetic workers, may be entitled to additional compensation for the time they spend driving to their first stops of the day and then the drive home again at the end of the day. It appears as though the ruling could affect some van driving jobs here in the UK.

At the heart of the ruling are jobs requiring workers to take company vehicles home at night or that compensate workers for using personal vehicles. These workers have no office or warehouse that acts as a base of operations, so workers are not commuting to another location where company vehicles are being picked up. The ECJ ruling considers whether such drivers should be paid for their first and last journeys of the day, as they would be if they were driving to and from an office or warehouse.

We mentioned van driving jobs as potentially being affected due to the fact that there are certain occupations here in the UK where employers issue company-owned vans to workers who take them home at the end of their shifts. This includes skilled tradesmen, couriers, and some workers employed by companies in the small package delivery space.

The British government has offered new guidance in relation to the ruling while they look at all of the details. At first glance, it would appear the following apply:

The most important thing to realise about the ruling is that any additional time considered part of normal working hours must be added to the rest of a worker’s time and compensated accordingly. Companies will no longer be able to separate out the extra driving time to avoid having to provide workers with mandatory rest breaks, paid holiday time, and so on.

If your company employs workers in any van driving jobs that involve taking company vehicles home at the end of the day, it is important that you understand the new ruling and how it affects your business. You may have to change the way you calculate working hours as a result of the ECJ decision.

Sources:

  1. Fleet News UK – http://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/fleet-industry-news/2016/02/22/government-updates-its-advice-on-working-hours

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