Press Release

Trade unions say European Court ruling will provide protection against excessive working hours

Date Released: 11 September 2015

The ICTU and SIPTU have said that a European Court ruling on Thursday (10th September), which found that travel time for employees with no fixed place of work should be counted as part of their working day, could benefit many workers in Ireland.

ICTU Industrial Officer, Fergus Whelan, said: “The ruling affects workers with no ‘fixed or habitual’ place of work. It requires a worker’s travel time between home and their first and last customer appointments in a working day to be considered in relation to the 48-hour maximum working week as legislated for under the EU Working Time Directive.”

He added: “Many employers in Ireland are already fair-minded about travel time for journeys to customers for workers. However, this sensible ruling will prevent unscrupulous employers from being able to force workers to work excessive hours which could include considerable time traveling to and from work.”

The ruling resulted from a case which was referred to the European Court of Justice by the Spanish National High Court involving the security installation firm, Tyco, which was not counting the journeys its workers made from their homes to customers’ premises as part of the working week.

The ruling does not affect workers daily commute to their normal place of work.


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