Some workers are about to get a massive pay rise thanks to an EU ruling

Business leaders are not happy

A new EU ruling has been condemned by employers as it could mean a huge pay rise for some of their workers.

The European Court of Justice ruled that workers without fixed offices should be paid for the journey time to and from their first and last customers.

This translates to a pay rise for thousands of carers, electricians, cleaners and other workers who move from one place to another.

The case was brought by Spanish employees of a security company who argued that, in accordance with the EU’s working time directive, they should be paid for the time they spend travelling from home to their first appointment as it should be classed as work.

The UK government’s counter-argument that the rules would mean higher costs for businesses was dismissed.

Allie Renison, head of EU and trade policy at the Institute of Directors, said: “This ruling will surprise and concern many UK businesses, and indeed public sectors employers, who had been following the law to the letter. The notion that the period mobile workers spend travelling between home and their first client in the morning must count as working time goes above and beyond the protections intended by the law.

“It is a worrying development that the main source of new European labour law now seems to be the EU court. The new European Commission has thankfully decided to reduce the volume of new regulation it creates, but, along with the recent judgement on holiday pay, the ECJ has become a red-tape machine, tormenting firms across Europe. 

“The working time directive needs to be reviewed, in order to resolve the lingering questions which are now being ruled on by the ECJ. Ensuring that employers do not have additional costs and burdens sprung upon them like this must be a core element of the PM’s renegotiation efforts.”

 

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