European Court rules for the traffic time to be included in office hours

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The people of UK have an answer next time their bosses asks them to avoid the traffic jam in order to reach office early. The highest court of Europe rules that the time taken by a person to reach office or reach home from work will be considered as ‘work hour’. Unfortunately, there is no respite in India where one is engrossed in meeting deadlines and client meetings.

 

The people from marketing, sales, customer services and emergency services spend more hours running around in the city traffic because of the field job. This case was ruled since a lot of employees faced salary deduction for reaching office late due to traffic jams.

 

Employers around the UK won’t be much happy while on the contrary employees welcome this verdict with open arms. The court has given this verdict to ensure the work-time average of 48 hours a week which needs to be followed by the employers. This directly has an effect on the employees’ health.

 

Many British employers might have to change their working arrangement with the new rule in place. Many employers have not considered this time as work, firms who employ sales representatives among many other professions could now be in breach of European Union (EU) time regulations.

 

WHY THE SUDDEN CHANGE?

 

The ongoing legal case in Spain involving a security systems company called Tyco prompted the ECJ’s ruling. Before their first appointment, employees had to travel varying distances, after the company shut its regional offices in 2011. Tyco did not treat the journey to their first appointment or the journey from the last assignment to home, as working time. Instead, this travel time was regarded as “rest time” under the Working Time Directive.

 

HOW WILL THE RULING BENEFIT EMPLOYEES?

 

The Court considers workers to be carrying out their duties over the complete duration of those journeys. The court said the judgment was for protecting the health and safety of workers.

 

It is designed to protect workers from exploitation. It also lays down regulations on matters such as duration of work, how many breaks employees have and how many holiday one is entitled to.

 

The main goals are to ensure that no employee in the EU is required to work more than an average of 48 hours a week. “The “sensible” ruling as said the Trade Union Congress general secretary Frances O’Grady will prevent unethical employers who open a loophole to force staff to work for 60 hours a week.

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