Working time

Fiona CumingEditor's message: "Working time" under the Working Time Regulations 1998 is any period when the worker is working, at the employer's disposal and carrying out his or duties. Working time will generally include:

  • business lunches;
  • time spent travelling to and from a client or customer's premises;
  • attendance at employer-sponsored conferences, seminars and job-related training courses;
  • time spent abroad on business; or
  • "on-call" time during which a worker is required to be at his or her place of work.

But does the working time of a mobile worker, for example a travelling salesperson, include travel to the first appointment of the day and travel home from the last customer of the day? Yes, according to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the important decision in Tyco.

Fiona Cuming, employment law editor

New and updated

  • Annual leave: Advocate General suggests that workers can carry over holiday entitlement until paid holiday offered

    Date:
    8 June 2017
    Type:
    Law reports

    The Advocate General has taken the view that where an employer has not provided a worker with paid leave, the worker's right to paid leave carries over until he or she has the opportunity to exercise it and, on termination of the engagement, the worker has the right to payment in lieu of any leave that is outstanding.

  • More autonomy means happier workers, according to research

    Date:
    25 April 2017
    Type:
    News

    Employees with higher levels of autonomy have better overall wellbeing and higher levels of job satisfaction, research has found.

  • Working time: Rest breaks can be refused without having been requested

    Date:
    13 April 2017
    Type:
    Law reports

    In Grange v Abellio London Ltd [2017] IRLR 108 EAT, the EAT held that a worker does not have to have made an explicit request to take a rest break under reg.12(1) of the Working Time Regulations 1998 for the employer to have refused a rest break for the purposes of reg.30(1)(a). It is sufficient that working arrangements operate in such a way as to prevent the break from being taken.

  • Should every weekend be a long weekend?

    Date:
    12 April 2017
    Type:
    Commentary and analysis

    With spring's four bank holidays fast approaching, it's easy to get used to the concept of the long weekend. We examine the growing support for a shorter working week and potential benefits it could bring.

  • Date:
    27 March 2017
    Type:
    Legal guidance

    The clocks went forward an hour at 1:00am on Sunday 26 March 2017. But what does this mean for staff who were working a night shift? How will it affect their pay? Should they have gone home at their usual home time, even though they have worked less time?

  • Could the UK follow the French and introduce a right to disconnect?

    Date:
    20 January 2017
    Type:
    Commentary and analysis

    French workers can now negotiate with their employer on limiting their access to emails and other work activity outside of office hours. Could we see similar legislation appear in the UK? Jane Fielding, head of the employment, labour and equalities team at Gowling WLG (UK) LLP attempts to finds out.

  • Date:
    1 December 2016
    Type:
    Legal guidance

    What were the most significant employment case law decisions in 2016? Stephen Simpson counts down the 10 most important judgments for employers this year.

  • Rest breaks and rest periods

    Type:
    Employment law manual

    Updated to include information on Grange v Abellio London Ltd, concerning the extent of the employer's obligation to put in place working arrangements to enable workers to take rest breaks.

  • Working hours policy

    Type:
    Policies and documents

    Updated to include information on Grange v Abellio London Ltd, in which the EAT held that an employer has a proactive duty to ensure a worker's entitlement to take a rest break.

  • Working time: employers must take active steps to provide rest breaks

    Date:
    23 November 2016
    Type:
    Law reports

    The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that an employer has a proactive duty to ensure a worker's entitlement to take a rest break, and that entitlement will be "refused" if the employer puts into place working arrangements that fail to allow the taking of the required rest break.