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IoD brands ECJ a “red-tape machine” after latest Working Time Directive ruling

11 Sep 2015

The IoD is urging the Prime Minister to ensure employment policy is high up his renegotiation agenda, after the European Court of Justice handed down yet another ruling on the Working Time Directive that will increase employment costs for scores of UK businesses.

Responding to the judgement today, which found that travel to and from home for mobile workers must be counted as “working time” and not “travelling time”, 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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