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Judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union on Working Time

The journeys made by workers without fixed or habitual place of work between their homes and the first and last customer of the day constitute working time.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU” or the “Court”) has stated its judgement on case C-266/14 the subject matter of which has been the construction of Article 2, point 1, of Directive 2003/88/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time.

Briefly, the Court has declared that the journeys which are made by workers who have no fixed or habitual place of work between their homes and the first and last customer of the day constitute working time.

The Court has declared that the exclusion of such journeys from the working time would be contrary to the objective of protecting the safety and health of workers pursued by the Law of the Union, which includes the necessity of guaranteeing workers a minimum rest period.

In rendering its judgement, CJEU has argued that:

– the journeys of the workers to the customers designated by employer represent a necessary means of providing their technical services at the premises of those customers.

– the workers are at their employer’s disposal for the time of the journeys.

– during the necessary travelling time, which generally cannot be shortened, the workers are not able to use their time freely and pursue their own interests.

[…] The Court (the Third Chamber) has declared: “Article 2,  point 1, of Directive 2003/88/EC of  the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003, concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time, shall be construed in the sense that, where workers, such as those in the situation at issue, do not have a fixed or habitual place of work, the time spent by those workers travelling each day between their homes and the premises of the first and last customers designated by their employer constitutes working time within the meaning of this Directive.”

Cătălin Sapașu
Senior Lawyer DUNCEA, ŞTEFĂNESCU & ASOCIAŢII

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