Source: European Court of Justice, 10 Sept 2015, n° C-266/14
In an important decision, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has considered that the travelling times domicile-first client and last client-domicile of itinerant employees will have to be considered as an effective working time. In the facts, the Spanish company Tyco, specialized in the installation of safety devices, closed its regional offices and only kept the main office in Madrid, depriving hence its employees of a fixed workplace.
Those employees were therefore forced to do long trips and spend an unusual long time on the road, which could exceed 100 kilometres between the first client or the last client, and their domicile. The company Tyco had considered that the travelling time first-last client-domicile was a rest time.
The Court considered that the travelling time domicile – first client and last client – domicile of itinerant employees had to be considered as an effective working time.
This position clearly contrasts with the provisions of the French Labour Code. Indeed, the article 3121-4 of the Labour Code considers that the travelling time between the domicile and the workplace was not an effective working time. The French Supreme Court had to specify, at a later time, that this travelling time could be considered as an effective working time if it was unusually long.
This decision of the ECJ settles, therefore, a principled position, at least in regards with the itinerant employees, and which will have important impacts on the labour law of the States members of the European Union and de facto on French Law.