European Court Rules That Commuting Time Is Part of the Workday
If Dante had known the pain of traveling to and from work, he would have made it a punishment in one of the circles of hell. But a recent court decision in Europe might actually make some workers want to commute longer.
On Thursday, Europe’s top court ruled that the time spent commuting to and from work should count as part of the workday. The ruling applies to employees who don’t have a regional office to work out of, like electrical technicians, for example.
The time spent commuting to the first appointment and driving home from the last appointment is to be considered part of the work day, according to the ruling, which was handed down by the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg.
To not consider the time commuting to and from a job location work would “jeopardise the objective of protecting the safety and health of workers,” the ruling says.
In Europe, employees are protected by the Working Time Directive, which dictates that they cannot work more than 48 hours per week. Therefore, determining what is considered work time and what is considered personal time is especially important.
In the U.S., commuting from home to work and back is not considered hours worked except in certain cases.
Tell us: How much time do you and your employees spend commuting? Do you think the time it takes you to get to the office should be part of your workday? Why or why not?Related: 8 Tips for an Awesome, Healthier Commute
Catherine Clifford is senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC. She was formerly a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com, the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Clifford attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.