Care workers and other professions that involve travelling to work to people’s home or other sites can be considered “at work” from the moment they leave their homes, the European Court of Justice ruled overnight, but only in cases where their employer does away with a fixed office in their area. That cost-saving measure could end up costing them significantly more, as the BBC is reporting that the decision could affect millions of workers.
The court said its judgement was about protecting the “health and safety” of workers as set out in the European Union’s working time directive.
The directive is designed to protect workers from exploitation by employers, and it lays down regulations on matters such as how long employees work, how many breaks they have, and how much holiday they are entitled to.
One of its main goals is to ensure that no employee in the EU is obliged to work more than an average of 48 hours a week.