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Employment Law

Legal guidance - compliance - software

05 NOV 2015

Federación de Servicios Privados del sindicato Comisiones obreras v Tyco Integrated Fire & Security Corporation Servicios SA Case C-266/14; [2015] ICR 1159; (2015) EMPLR 062

Federación de Servicios Privados del sindicato Comisiones obreras v Tyco Integrated Fire & Security Corporation Servicios SA Case C-266/14; [2015] ICR 1159; (2015) EMPLR 062
10 September 2015

Court of Justice of the European Union


Travelling time from home to customers’ premises is ‘working time’ under the Working Time Directive.

Tyco’s technicians install and maintain security equipment at customers’ premises. They travel from their homes to the customers’ locations in the province or provinces of Spain allocated to them. They use company vehicles. Each evening they are told via their mobile phones which customers they are to visit the following day. At the end of each day they have to report back, via their phones, on their work that day.

Tyco refused to treat travelling time from home to customers’ premises as working time. It treated daily working time as the time between arrival at the first customer and departure from the last. Spanish law permitted them to do this, on the basis that workers are free to decide where they live and therefore the worker alone decides on the extent of their travelling time. That argument clearly does not apply if the employer decides where the worker is to travel to. Tyco argued that the travelling time was a rest period and not ‘working time’ because the technicians were not carrying out any installations or maintenance during those periods.

The CJEU disagreed. Travelling time satisfied all the parts of the definition of working time. The workers were at their employer’s disposal because the employers determined where they were to travel to; and they were carrying out their activities and duties because travelling to customers’ premises was a necessary part of the work of installing and maintaining equipment. So travelling time was covered by the Directive.

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