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Travel between home and work may be working time but not automatically paid time

Makbool Javaid

In Thera East v Valentine [Employment Cases Update, unreported elsewhere], Valentine (V) begins his work, as a support worker assisting disabled people, by driving from his home to his first assignment; after his last visit, he drives back home. An ET upheld V’s claim that his home-work-home travel time was working time under the Working Time Regulations 1998 in accordance with Federación de Servicios Privados v Tyco (ECJ). The ET also held that because V had not been paid for that travelling time, there had been an unlawful deduction from wages, but the EAT disagreed. While travel between home and work, and vice-versa, might be working time it did not automatically follow that V should be paid for such time. That was a contractual matter and V’s contract was clear, i.e. he was not entitled to be ‘paid’ for time spent travelling to the first place of work and from the last place of work and any hours worked in excess of 1815.07 hours per year would generally be taken as time off in lieu.

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