Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Ceisteanna (282)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

282. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question No. 630 of 12 March 2019, if an EU directive has been issued regarding the European Court of Justice ruling in favour of persons (details supplied) in Spain that found travel time in respect of mobile workers to be actual working time; if a directive has been issued to member states, when it will be transposed into legislation here; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14473/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

I am aware of the judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Case 266/14 generally referred to as the 'Tyco case'. The decision made in the Tyco case was based on a set of facts relating to the particular circumstances of mobile workers in the context of a pre-existing arrangement in respect of those journeys.

The Tyco case was referred to the CJEU in relation to the interpretation of the EU Directive 2003/88/EC concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time. In the Tyco case, the CJEU found that, where workers 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 the Directive.

It is a significant feature of the case that the employer, Tyco, had regarded as working time the journeys of the workers, at the beginning and end of each day to and from customers, before the abolition of its regional offices. The CJEU found that the fact that this time was regarded as working time under Directive 2003/88/EC was important. The CJEU noted that the nature of those journeys had not changed since the abolition of the regional offices and it was only the departure point of the journeys that had changed. It is these distinct facts pertaining to the circumstances of these workers that informed the decision of the CJEU in this case.

It should be noted that the Directive 2003/88/EC does not apply to the remuneration of workers. Employers are free to determine the remuneration for time spent travelling between home and customers, a point made by the CJEU in the Tyco case. There has been no new Directive issued from the European Commission arising from the Tyco decision.

The primary purpose of Directive 2003/88/EC is to set down minimum safety and health requirements for the organisation of working time. It is given effect in Irish law by the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 (as amended).

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.